I feel like I’ve been left working on the railroad a hell of a lot this year, travelling a fair few miles around America, Canada, and Mexico. I’ve seen the birth of the industrial revolution, traded furs and maple syrup, and all while still maintaining my fleet of engines, signals and water towers. Running an empire is hard work, and having to focus on the smallest attentions to detail and undertaking some pretty bold decision making is part of everyday life. But now with the latest DLC for Railway Empire we can go to where there they know a thing or two about creating a proper Empire.
Yes, this time round I get to go home… to Great Britain and Ireland.
It must be said, I’m a big fan of the base experience found in Railway Empire. I really like the main game as it is without doubt a well-detailed sim with a ton of stuff to get involved in. For those train nuts and railway fans out there, it’s pretty much a must buy. But that said, I’ve constantly found the console controls to be a bit picky – not enough to destroy the experience – but just enough to warrant the brain having to be moved into gear. However, the extra content packs found with Mexico and Canada managed to add some great new story content, new engines, trade routes and items. For the cheap price that they came at, they were well worth purchasing. This time round though we see the price go up a bit, although thankfully a whole bunch of new features gets dropped in to compensate.
The trouble I have, whenever I go back to command my Railway Empire, is that it takes a while to remember the controls again – and how the whole thing works. After an hour of zooming around like an idiot, I eventually get the hang of it again, and I’m glad of that too as this time around you can play around with a variety of options found in both Great Britain and Ireland in the sandbox mode, allowing you to mess about without financial restraints or worries. If anything, should you have exhausted the content found in the Mexico and Canadian options, then it’s good to find new toys to play with. It is however the new scenario on offer that is most interesting, as it takes us into the transport revolution being founded between 1830 and 1850 – in and amongst the many things to do, there is plenty of extra history to delve right into.
There are around 45 cities to explore and connect your lines to, as well as a host of new items to trade. We love a drink here in Blighty and soon you’ll been found transporting cider and whiskey to the thirsty masses the length and breadth of the country. For you train fanatics out there, there is also the chance to have some fun with 10 new historical vehicles on offer, like the iconic Firefly or the Rocket. As usual, I can’t tell an engine from a signal, so the finer details are lost on me, but it all feels very authentic.
With regards to the appearances department, this time round we find ourselves travelling though green pleasant lands, familiar landmarks and iconic cities – the likes of Manchester, Liverpool, Brighton and, of course, London are all included. It’s all pretty much as you would expect really, and the gameplay is well accompanied by decent menus and high presentation. The soundtrack is still of a high standard with an epic cinematic feel to it, however the accents you’ll hear are a bit of a mix, taking in everything from the North, the South, and the Planet Mars.
The Railway Empire – Great Britain and Ireland content is, on the whole another good bit of DLC for the ever interesting base game. It’s a bit more expensive this time around but in return there are more cities, trains, and features. If you liked what came before it, then hop aboard and head to the UK – for once more there is an empire to build.