Train Sim World 3 PS5 Review – I have always been a fan of these games by Dovetail Games owning the first two releases myself. With that in mind, I had a good idea of what to expect from the latest release. It has been a year since the release of Train Sim World 2 on the PS5 so the news that the third instalment of the series was on its way was both a shock and at the same time rather exciting for me.
Train Sim World 3 PS5 Review – All Aboard
The idea of simulation games I think is aimed at a certain niche of gamers, especially depending on what Sim it actually is. When you think about the idea of a railway simulation with as much attention to detail that you get from these games then that niche of players is definitely narrowed even further.
Fans of the previous releases will notice a huge difference straight away with TSW3. It is much more polished; the game feels faster and more fluid than previous releases. Even from the off rather than dropping you outside a locomotive and having to climb aboard as the game talks you through the basics of the game and how to operate each train we are presented with a lovely training area set in a Bavarian-esque backdrop along with an actual building to help familiarise yourself with some more of the basics including little side missions.
On launch the game comes with a trio of routes that you can get hands on with; the heavily freight-based Cajon Pass, the impressively huge Schnellfahrstrecke Kassel-Würzburg, and extended southeast high strata. These routes are much bigger than has ever been released before and you can tell, especially when playing the later and operating a train at over 200 KPH watching the beautiful scenery fly by. Yes, I am aware that as an Englishman the idea of using KPH as a unit is a bit strange; most other trains that you use are in MPH but the train you operate is actually sent by the manufacturers reading in those units.
Train Sim World 3 PS5 Review – Timetables
The Schnellfahrstrecke Kassel-Würzburg (believe me, typing that is as hard as trying to pronounce it) packs a whopping 186 kilometres of stunning German scenery. The route takes you from the top of the country all the way down to the bottom at fast speeds. The route offers everything you would want to experience passing over viaducts and through tunnels a plenty.
It is worth noting that you actually feel like you are on and have completed a journey with the distances involved. Something that seemed to be lacking in previous releases due to them being more about completing short tasks and not really going anywhere. The highly upgraded graphics do help with this though. The start of the journey can look and feel completely different to the end.
A major contribution to this is the new cloud system. By saying this I’m not referring to online saves, I am in fact referring to the dynamic weather system that Dovetail have worked on. It has a massive effect on the games lighting but also means that clouds can form and dissolve at random meaning that every journey is different. It is definitely a contributing factor on the longer rail journeys that can take up to an hour so that they don’t feel stale after a few minutes.
With the cloud system this means that it can have a profound impact on the journey. You can start on a nice clear day but end in the middle of a snowstorm during the night. This also impacts on how the train reacts and handles. We all know that trains can’t run if there are leaves on the track, well it is also harder to slow down and get moving again on a snowy track. You need to ease between both throttle and break; apply the brakes too hard and the train will just skid along the frozen tracks.
Train Sim World 3 PS5 Review – Change of departure
Back again is the option to customise your trains with a pretty impressive host of options to use. One of my colleagues whilst playing on his Xbox via game pass got a little too carried away in here and came up with this…
It’s safe to say that AIR Entertainment will be getting advertised to the masses along the route!
Each train that is used within the game also feels vastly different from each other. his is even more noticeable on the Cajon Pass. Driving a freight train a mile long pulling thousands of tonnes of cargo will see you struggling up steep gradients trying to gain traction with the wheels and then struggling on the brakes when you are descending with all the weight behind you trying to push you faster and faster.
For a more relaxed journey the age of steam is great for everyone but certainly not as easy to get the train going as modern ones. This took me some time to get to grips with and I still kept ending up leaving those routes and returning more and more to the modern ones.
Once you get the trains moving after flicking a load of switches in specific orders life is made easier by being able to use the R1 and R2 buttons to slow and speed up, but I did find myself accidently braking too hard and hitting the emergency brake which means you will have to completely reset the modern trains which can be a pain in the backside. I couldn’t remember how to do it on a few occasions and pressed every button within the trains cab that I could. Blind luck would allow me to reset the train and get it going again. The days luck was against me I would quit out of the game and start again.
The authenticity of the trains is immense but can get a little annoying if you mess up and other than little prompts in the top left of the screen it can feel like the game has left you alone a little too much. I would like the option of on-screen prompts when I need. Despite the robust tutorials across the board, there are still moments when you need to reach out to google for advice and this has been the case for some time with the games.
This for me is an area that Dovetail need to work on. I get that they think they know their audience and as I mentioned above, it will be a niche of gamers that will want to spend their time and money here. Unfortunately, as I was told by my colleague, he didn’t have a clue what he was doing most of the time as he had never played before. I feel that this is going to be a major factor for a lot of people. It’s not very user friendly at the best of times and even I still struggle after playing for a few years now.
Train Sim World 3 PS5 Review – End of the line
It is plain to see that Train Sim World 3 is by far the most immersive title released to date. There are however some issues with the game which include the LOD (Level of detail) not running at a decent rate. Scenery does tend to pop in to shot and load at the last minute on PS5. It’s certainly noticeable in a game where you are travelling at speed for the most part.
I feel the difficulty level could be lowered a little for first timers to the series. As i have already mentioned, I class myself as a seasoned veteran to the games and I still struggle with some aspects of the game.
That being said, the routes that are on offer already are huge and impressive. The game is a vast improvement on the series titles from before and this shouldn’t be taken lightly but it will always be a niche group of players that rush out to buy this game.
If it is like previous titles as well, you won’t be able to expand your routes that you get with the game. Dovetail have always released more content to go with the games but at a cost and to keep your game as expansive as the creators intend it is going to cost a fair chunk of money. Once in a while I would hope for a few free add ons, but they haven’t arrived in the past.