I always viewed the trains as an abstration, right from the time of Railroad Tycoon 2 through to now. That would be in respect of speed/time/cargo. I don’t see these games as simulators - for that you’d want Train simulator or Trainz. These games are economic/logistic games first and foremost, a process of moving goods around to make a neat little network.
Does it really take a train 6 months to travel from A → B? No, instead they exist to give some presence on the map. Does a coal train only take 6 carriages of coal? Certainly not, but has to be shrunk to accomodate the relative scale of the map.
Railway Empire does give an appreciable scale - it does feel like some solid distance between two points. And the time does move slowly especially compared to Railroad Tycoon. It isn’t without flaws though. For instance, freight cargo pays the same amount regardless.
The only transport game I’ve played that gives the feeling of a large train is Transport Tycoon, where it was possible to put on mutlitple locomotives, and it was possible to have long trains. Bear in mind some limitations with platform. The other nice part was the consist was static - a train couldn’t be a coal train one moment, then a goods train the next. OpenTTD gives a good model train vibe.
Played through most of the tutorial during lunch today. It’s been a while since I’ve played the game, but it looks like they’ve made some good changes that reduce these overall fiddliness and should add more depth to the business part of the game.
Also, it seems like it controls decently on Xbox, which is a pleasant surprise. My kids love trains, so it will be fun playing this with them. I also think the online coop could be a fun time.
Very curious to hear what people think about this compared to the first one. If those tutorial impressions from @cpugeek13 hold true I may be interested, especially with how pretty the screenshots are on the store page.
I played a few more hours of it this evening. Long story short, if you loved the first game, you’ll love the second one. It has a good balance of network building and business management. It’s not as complicated as some other transportation games, but I think that works in its favor since it is much less fiddly as a result. For people who love these kind of games, it’s as addictive as hell.
I think I’ve almost finished with the first campaign scenario. My only real complaint is that it seems like it’s a bit too easy, but that’s probably just because I haven’t played against harder computer opponents. Also, some of the campaign objectives involve delivering specific goods to certain cities, but I haven’t found a way to control the specific goods moved by freight trains and I don’t entirely understand the logic of how they decide what goods to pick up.
A friend of mine is buying it on Steam tomorrow and we’re planning on trying out the online coop. I could definitely see that being a lot of fun.
It’s not super intuitive. If you set the train’s mode to manual loading, you can choose the goods they pick up and/or drop by clicking on the station in the list of waypoints on the left hand side.
So far I’m enjoying it a lot, but I can’t tell how much is new given how long it’s been since I really played the first one. Some of the track laying fiddliness I hoped would be gone is still there - for instance some track layouts that are allowed when fully laid out are treated as invalid depending on how you build them, which is just dumb, and makes it much fiddlier to make tweaks to an existing network.
There’s an ingame manual that is pretty comprehensive. Aren’t these just like strategy guides?
I tried playing cross platform multiplayer with a friend but we couldn’t get the game codes to work. Might be because the games are using different version numbers, but can’t seem to find any new updates on my Xbox. Hope this gets fixed soon.
I finished the first chapter of the campaign. There are still some mechanics and systems I haven’t quite got a handle on, in particular efficient warehouse use. They’re built into stations now, I can’t remember if that got patched into the first game. I kind of brute forced this chapter with warehouses everywhere and lots of short routes ferrying finished goods between them. I suspect that’s not going to be viable later on given the six item limit and I’ll need to use longer direct lines. But that in turn is going to require getting a handle on how to handle many lines running through a station. I ran into a few situations where once I had more than four I couldn’t run through routes, because I didn’t have enough room for an 8 track gridiron. I may need to develop a system for through tracks, but I like having two for freight and two for express.
I just finished it as well. Learned quite a bit from it and my rail system ended up being disorganized, ha. Through the end of it, I kept on telling myself that I would do a better job with the next one. Then I discovered that the 2nd chapter basically starts with an unorganized mess of short rail networks that you need to sort out!
Playing this game makes me really want to bring my copy of Age of Steam or Railways of the World for a board game meet up tomorrow. I’m not a huge train fanatic or anything, but they certainly make for good games!