The older you get, the more boring the games you play. Or at least some Youtuber said recently. For one the slow pace in Train Simulator 2017 may make you feel rather more relaxed than old. A perfect game when you feel you’re tired of Euro Truck Simulator.
Now you might think that this game is a bit dull and well, it is. But that shouldn’t stop you from actually playing it. For me personally, there is a depth to it because I travel by train often, especially on holidays. So most of the routes I own, are ones that I have been on in real life. This is the obvious allure for every simulator of course. People playing Flight Simulator often go to places they have been before or are going on holiday.
But this game will make you work, rather than relax. It is a comprehensive simulation of driving a train. This includes letting passengers on, signaling and of course the occasional derailment. Train Simulator 2017 isn’t a new game either. The name might suggest it is from 2017 but actually, the sim has been updated several times and originally stems from 2009.
The game is structured pretty simply: there is a career mode and a scenario mode of sorts. The third mode is a free-form drive wherever you want thing. Train Simulator 2017 does offer that career mode but pretty much no incentive to actually play it. It keeps score of all the things you do right like being on time, and of the things you do wrong like speeding. You’ll probably end up playing the game the same way I do: pick a scenario that suits your fancy and drive. These scenarios are between 15 and 90 minutes long and can take you from America’s east coast to the highlands of Scotland. There is no overarching gameplay to tie these scenarios together, so you’re playing mostly one-offs.
The age of Train Simulator 2017 shows and that’s probably why Dovetail has started work on an entirely new version of the game. But I’m recommending the original title to you because of the endless library of routes. It may not look as good as the new one, but it saves you quite a pretty penny. Don’t get me wrong: Train Simulator 2017 is still an expensive hobby. Even during the Steam Sale, most of the scenario’s will still cost you around $10 a pop. That means you need to be selective and only buy the routes you will actually enjoy. Finding out which ones you might like is actually part of the fun of this game. Some people like the ultra high speed of a TGV and some people like the monotony of a regular passenger service. Or you might enjoy the pure geek heaven of knowing that you are actually driving a train.
All in all it’s safe to say that you will enjoy this game. But truth be told: this game isn’t without its failings. Buy it when it’s cheap and invest in routes later if you are sure you are enjoying it.
Replay value: 8/10
Total Score: 7/10
Train Simulator 2017 is on sale now for $14.99 on Steam.