Train Sim World Founders Edition uses the Great Western Express DLC from the PC version of the game as the base game for the Xbox One version. Set in the UK you are working on the Great Western Railway between Reading and London-Paddington. Featuring a tutorial that will teach you the basics, a scenario mode that sets specific tasks and service mode in which you can take charge of any train or just sit back and enjoy the game as a passenger.
Sims are becoming much more of a ‘thing’ on consoles now, with quite a few cropping up over the past year. Train Sim World, as far as I can remember is the first Train sim to hit consoles. As mentioned above the base game for Xbox is actually a DLC pack from the Steam version of the game, a strange decision to make that has confused some that expected CSX Heavy Haul to be the base game, that will no doubt become a DLC pack for the Xbox version. Nevertheless you get around 40 miles of track, and three trains to ‘play’ with in Founders Edition, all three a staple of railways up and down the UK
The iconic Class 43 High Speed Train (HST) the fastest Diesel locomotive in the world. The class 166 Turbo Express built for longer distance services, and the Class 66 Freight Locomotive. Getting to grips with each definitely takes some doing, even after the basic tutorials you’ll find yourself struggling to remember every thing you need to do in order. It does become a little overwhelming as there’s so many extra buttons and switches on the ‘desk’ that you’re never given any explanation about. Especially the Class 66. Out of all three trains this is the most difficult to get used to as not only does it have a plethora of extra switches, buttons and camera modes, it is also more complicated to control. Yet I found this the most enjoyable of the three.
I think this may be down to the fact there’s a little more going on with regards to moving the trains in to sidings and having to switch tracks manually, this can be done either using the map, hovering over the points and clicking on it to switch, or leaving the cab of the train and ‘physically’ pulling the lever track-side. Compared to the two passenger trains where you’ll just be concentrating on stopping at the right point in a station and waiting for your passengers to load and unload. coupled with how easy they are to control, (the class 166 has just one lever for acceleration and braking) made them a little boring for me.
When it comes to game modes there’s two options, Scenario and Service. Scenario mode is exactly that, a handful of scenarios, 5 to be exact, for you to take part in, Consisting of some standard passenger train driving to dealing with a closure, freight hauling and moving a broken down unit. They’re quite lengthy with the quickest one having a suggested time taken of 40 minutes. Although once all five are completed you’ll have no real need to revisit this mode.
Service mode is essentially TSW’s free roaming mode. You’ll get to pick a train and a service to start you off, but where you go from there is entirely up to you. You can hop straight off if you like and go and sit on another train as a passenger. Or go for a wander up and down the line visiting each station and looking out for the collectables. For the avid train sim fan there’s hours and hours of replay value here as it is an endless cycle of 24hr timetables, and if you really need to, you can save the game to return later.
It’s not all full steam ahead however, as the game does suffer when it comes to performance. There’s often huge drops in frames and lots of screen tearing along with assets struggling to load in. this obviously happens a lot more the faster you’re going and does have a detrimental effect on the overall immersion of the game, the same goes for the audio, at times it likes to play nicely then all of a sudden the volume will change as though you’ve opened a door, without actually doing so leaving you no choice other than to turn your volume down.
There’s a few other audio bugs too, things such as warning horns not working correctly. Gameplay can also suffer from bugs, while not as often as the visual and audio ones, they’re still quite annoying especially when they prevent you from finishing a scenario after spending nigh on forty minutes playing, only to have to reset the game and try again. During my play I did have to reset the Drag Line mission three times before it finally detected I’d reset the brakes, letting me go and pick up the train that was broken down.
I will say though that Dovetail have managed to convert the control scheme from mouse and keyboard to controller very well. The implementation of clicking in the right stick enabling you to move a cursor around the screen instead of looking around is well done and does come in handy when trying to hit a small switch on a ‘busy desk’. I do feel however that the zoom function I have seen on the PC version is either not mentioned and very hard to find, or has been omitted entirely. Hopefully this can be put in to this version as not only would it help with looking around the desk of the train, but also to be able to spot some of the track-side signage, especially if going for full sim and turning off all the visual aids.