Train Sim World 3 hits PS5 and PS4 today, and while we need to spend several hours in the driver’s seat before we can bring you a verdict, we thought we’d add the throttle to our first impressions. TL;DR: It’s a revelation compared to Train Sim World 2 in some ways, thanks to the smoother user interface and vastly improved art direction.
While questions have been raised about the need for a sequel to exist, its predecessor can be a messy game at times – and developer Dovetail Games clearly knows this. A subtle but welcome change is the ability to select your train first rather than the route; You can still pile into your favorite location if you want, but it makes more sense to start with your folks.
Even without importing all of our previous content, we only have 1,000 schedules to complete, which will give you a sense of how massive this package is. Completing all of this – and really, it’s more than you could ever hope to do – will probably take about six weeks of non-stop play, and by then you’ve been running trains for life. will be
We started on the newly extended Southeast Highspeed, which is our personal favorite. Running the Class 375 during the summer, you can really appreciate the improvements in lighting and overall graphical fidelity; The game looks bright and the visuals are very rich. However, volumetric clouds add a dynamism to the visuals, as the light changes over time.
When you combine the ever-evolving cloud cover with the dynamic day-night cycle, you really get the sense that you’re on a real journey; The outside looks different when you pull into your final stop than it did when you left. We have yet to actually see dynamic weather in action, but we really can’t wait to get into a storm and come out the other side.
Speaking of journeys, the new Castle and Würzburg route has probably replaced the London Commuter and Southeastern Highspeed as our favourites. The first scene in ICE 1 has you running a speed test across the line, meaning you’ll course over the viaducts at speeds of up to 300km/h. It’s an absolutely stunning run, and the game engine holds up.
A small detail that we noticed as you travel through the German countryside is that there are many tunnels that you need to weave through, and adjust your pupils as soon as you are exposed to sunlight. It will take a second to happen. This, along with the dynamics of light discussed earlier, all help to add immersion. Unfortunately, pop-ins are still a problem – even on PS5, sadly.
We should also mention the new training center, which is inspired by a famous German test track. This is a really smart addition as it gives you the freedom to get to grips with locos in a pressure-free environment. You can actually move around with your trains, brake their speed, and get an overall feel for them. It also means that the developer has been able to decouple [Pun intended – Ed] Trains from their routes, providing more flexibility.
It must be emphasized that if you’ve played Train Sim World 2 – or, to be honest, Train Sim World 2020 before it – this is a fundamentally familiar experience. But while the audio and visuals are a bit choppy in places, this is clearly the best-looking and most immersive railway simulation Dovetail Games has ever made. We can’t wait to get back behind the reverser and bring you our review.
Will you be booking tickets for Train Sim World 3? Get in the driver’s seat in the comments section below, and be sure to let us know.
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