With sim games experiencing something of a renaissance as of late, it was only a matter of time before one of the biggest, and most ambitious sims of recent years made its way to consoles - and as of next week, train fans will be able to get in on all the action from the comfort of their own sofa, as Train Sim World: Founder's Edition hits the Xbox One.
Developed by Chatham-based Dovetail Games, Train Sim World is one of the best train simulators we've played. Powered by the Unreal Engine 4, this is a game that puts you into the shoes (quite literally) of a train driver, and lets you walk freely around both the train and its cockpit, and the trainyards and stations you'll be passing through. With fully modelled cockpits where every switch works as it would in real life, even getting a train to pull off may be a challenge, but it's one that's incredibly satisfying too. Handily, along with some revamped controls for consoles, there's also a wide range of tutorials designed to help ease newcomers in - and seeing as we knew nothing about how trains work when we first sat down with it, yet we managed to make our train pull out of the station with ease, we can vouch for how well they work.
On bringing Train Sim to consoles, Matt Peddlesden, senior producer at Dovetail had this to say:
Train Simulation has been a personal passion of mine for the last 17 years, and as a console gamer myself since the first Xbox was launched in the UK, it's always been a dream of mine to get Train Sim on to a console. The slick user interface, easy-to-use controller and generally "lean back" gaming style is just super relaxing and beautifully matches up with the fundamentally relaxed nature of the Train Sim World experience.
Bringing Train Sim World to the console also makes it a more social experience, my son and I will sit together while one of us drives and the other watches for signals, speed changes or talk about the things we see as we drive.
Launching officially on 9th March (that's next Friday), Train Sim World: Founder's Edition carries a price tag of £24.99, and appears to be based on the most recent TSW instalment, Train Sim World. Great Western Express. Letting you take the wheel (or rather, mulitude of sticks) of an intercity train operating out of an accurately modelled London Paddington station, it's up to you to stick to your timetable, or take on a number of challenging scenarios. If the pressure gets too much, you can always kick back and relax with the rest of the passengers, and watch the world go by. Let's just hope it doesn't snow too much, or you could be in for a long ride...
With Dovetail Games having long been eager to get their products out on console, we'll be keeping our fingers crossed this is the beginning of something more. As arguably the first ever proper train sim to launch on consoles, here's hoping Flight Sim World follows not that far behind it.