In my younger days, I used to do temp work for the London Underground, situated at Baker Street. I wasn’t doing the exciting stuff like operations or driving trains, but I was producing spreadsheets on station assets, like the number of signs at stations or whether or not the benches have been painted lately. So when Dovetail’s original Train Sim World appeared a couple of years ago I could finally feel what it was like to have the power of driving a huge machine from Paddington to Reading, with a slightly late timetable, and some frustrated passengers because I couldn’t work out how to open the doors at stations. 

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So when Dovetail invited me to a press event showing off some gameplay from their new Train Sim World 2 that is coming to Xbox One, PS4 and PC on August 20th, I couldn’t say no. The original game has some impressive facts with 1 million players given the opportunity to become train drivers, driving the equivalent of 6 thousand times around the Earth.

Founder and CEO of Dovetail Games Paul Jackson shared some thoughts on the next title:

“Since becoming a railfan as a child I have wanted to be around trains, to see them, to ride on them and best of all to drive them. Train simulation is my way of doing that. Every time we release a new Sim, we make it more real. Train Sim World 2 is a big leap forward, and I really hope everyone enjoys it as much as I do.”

Train Sim World 2 offers three new routes, in three fascinating new locations. The first is the high-speed intercity German railway driving the famous DB ICE 3M with speeds of up to 300km per hour. You get to explore the route from beautiful Koln to Brussels with all the stops along the way. We saw a bit of gameplay of this track and it looked great, with it’s updated 4K visuals powering things along. The clouds, outside architecture, and trains themselves showed a distinct visual upgrade from the last game. 

The next inclusion sees the CSX huge haulage train driving along the Sand Patch Grade, which is a 100-mile-long section of railroad track known for its steep grades and curves, snaking its way through the Allegheny Mountains of Pennsylvania and Maryland in the USA. Unfortunately this wasn’t shown off in the demo, but it will be available to play on launch. 

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Lastly, but never least, is the Bakerloo line from the famous London Underground. This was the one addition in the press conference that seemed to have everyone hugely excited. We were shown some gameplay of the route, from underground to the overground stations on the Bakerloo line. All the details of the train stock can be seen here from the intricate driver cabins and controls to the famous patterns on the seat coverings. The stations themselves have been researched heavily by the development team, even down to the art deco tiling that is found in some of the stations on the route. 

Gameplay-wise the systems in Train Sim World 2 have been reworked so that a beginner can pick up the controls much easier than before, while still allowing the train aficionados to enjoy the huge level of complexity that they long for. The control system has been streamlined whereby certain actions have been combined into one for simple interaction – and this is seemingly going to be a godsend. The HUD system is much clearer and user friendly too, looking very lovely indeed. 

Thrown in to TSW2 will also be a new livery design system. Here you can design your own trains, working with colour and some presets in design and shape terms. You can’t import JPEGs or designs from out of the game, but from those ideas that have been shown already, the opportunity to make something brilliant is there. The team have said that they are working on a way to share designs with the community online. This is hugely intriguing and will allow those who slave away for hours on end creating designs have something to show for it at the end. That’s not the end of the customisable aspects of Train Sim World 2 though – you can also create your own scenarios, picking tracks and determining the number of stops. Hell, you can even take any train from the game and put it on any track – even one of those massive haulage trains down onto the Bakerloo line if that’s what you want to do. 

There is seemingly much to be excited about for the launch of Train Sim World 2 and plenty of new additions. Realistic adhesion physics is a completely new inclusion, testing your train driving skills to the max. It works by letting you feel the slip of wheels in bad weather, or if you’re going uphill then it is going to be a challenge to keep one of those huge vehicles on the track, especially if you are planning on becoming the best train driver in the world. 

The main worry about the addition of Train Sim World 2 is that there will be many gamers who have previously built up a huge collection of content with the first game. You should fear not though, as Dovetail have confirmed that old tracks will be able to be imported directly into the new game, with a feature they are calling the Preserved Collection. With the huge number of DLC packs to arrive in the original Train Sim World, this is a good call that should allow many to upgrade to TSW2 without worry. 

It has to be said that after the event I was left truly excited about playing Train Sim World 2 on Xbox One, PS4 and PC come August 20th. Honestly, like many, it’s the London Underground that has got me most excited, along with the ability to create my very own livery designs. Huge thanks go out to Dovetail Games for giving us an insight into Train Sim World 2. Keep your eyes peeled for our full review nearer the release. Choo choo!

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