There seems to be a sim for everything these days. Many years ago it was just the old flying experience, but nowadays we've got simulations for fishing, airport workers and even goats. With some of these already making the crossover from PC to console, Dovetail Games has decided to bring its train sim across the great divide.
If you're expecting arcade, hi-octane fun, then you're probably not accustomed to simulations. This is a highly realistic representation of what it's like to be a train driver. Including three different maps, Train Sim World offers many hours of gameplay for the amateur gaming train-spotter.
Taking you to Germany, New York and London, you'll be able to try different trains across a variety of scenarios. Before you can take charge of your own locomotive, you must learn the ropes for each of the different vehicles on offer. These tutorials involve teaching you how to turn on the engine, prime the brakes, and stop and start the hulking machine.
It's a really nice feature that the different trains have unique and realistic button layouts and ways of starting them up. Obviously, that's pretty standard in sims, but the attention to detail here is impressive. For example, in one of the American locos, you have to hold down the primer for a few seconds and head into the engine room to get it going. Then in each country, there are different protocols for setting off from the station, like tooting your horn to leave New York.
The tutorials do set you up for the scenarios, but we found ourselves going back to do them again after having forgotten more than we'd learnt. It did also feel like they forgot to tell us what some of the controls do. There are so many buttons, and the first piece of advice we can give is don't press anything if you don't know what it does. At one point we got a bit curious, pushed the red button only for the train to grind to a halt at Acton Town - it took us seven whole minutes to work out how to get her moving again.
If you're not willing to sit down and study, this probably isn't the game for you. It can take several minutes to get a train started and ready to move. Once you do get on the way there's a sense of satisfaction to be had, even though you spend quite a lot of time just watching the world go by. Don't think for one second that you can sit back and relax though. If you don't keep your hands on the controls you run the risk of exceeding the speed limit, missing the station, or the train slowing down and you messing up the schedule.