There are a few companies with games I always look forward to playing, the usual suspects we all do. But there are a couple that sometimes people don’t expect. About a week ago I woke up to an e-mail from one such company, Kalypso Media. They made Tropico 5 and Grand Ages:Medieval Review along with others of course. Most recently they release Railway Empire,so when they offered to let me review the Xbox One version with its Xbox One X support in 4K, I was on at the next station. However, did this play as beautifully as it look? And make no mistake, this game looks beautiful.
The first thing I noticed was the campaign isn’t truly your typical campaign. It mostly operates as a way to slowly introduce you to different aspects of the game, sort of like an extended tutorial. Don’t be fooled by this, you will still be challenged. The first mission will show you how to build tracks and add locomotives and show you the fundamentals of how to add stations and such. The second mission will show you something a little more intricate with how each city and place has different needs and will interact with different connections. The game truly has its own economy set up and you can, and most likely will at times, set things up in such a bad way that entire train lines will be worthless, or make you a ton of money.
Money however is not the only thing you will need to manage. You will also be researching new technology and new trains, managing employees, the stock market, sabotaging competitors and even managing smaller businesses. Each competitor has its own personality, one is a sort of southern belle,while another is a shady mob boss wannabe and we even get a scientist sort and a general. They all have their own perks as well such as the mod boss getting closer ties to the underworld and making it easier for him to sabotage people.
The game isn’t perfect, no game is. I wish there were some more options on the competitors as it seems like there isn’t a big variety. Don’t get me wrong there is enough, I would have just liked more. Building tracks while simple and easy isn’t always very precise and a couple of times I found myself wishing I could have moved things just a little more in one direction or another. None of this is enough to ruin the experience, it is just worth mentioning.
Now it is time for why you are all here, is the game worth buying at the $60 price tag? If you are a fan of the sim genre, absolutely buy this game. Solid 8.5/10 It is beautiful, controls well even on console, and is in no way short on things to do or challenges. I am not even a fan of trains, but this one will be in my rotation for a while. Best wishes and may the gaming gods bring you glory.