Oct 21, 2006, 10:49 AM
2K Games and Firaxis Games announced on Wednesday that Sid Meier's Railroads! for PC is available now in stores across North America and will be available at European retail stores on October 27th.
"Since we pioneered the empire-building strategy genre, we are excited to have the opportunity to create the next great game," said Sid Meier, Firaxis Creative Director. "With the advances in technology we've managed to create an experience that is accessible to gamers of all ages, yet challenging to master."
Sid Meier's Railroads! is rated E for Everyone and the suggested retail price is $39.99.
>> Order Railroads! from Amazon.com
EDIT: We have created a forum for Raildroads!. Happy posting! :)
Oct 21, 2006, 02:27 PM
I've played it until the wee hours of the morning - and it's both incredibly addictive and fun and yet at the same time a classic Sid/Firaxis exercise in frustration: yet again I fool myself into thinking that they'll release a title like "Pirates!" where everything works out of the box.
Instead, the game is more like any of the recent Civ titles in terms of stability: crashes (and not the fun "train" type of crashes) abound. :(
I'm finding crashing happen when you try and re-route trains that are already stuck behind other trains - it all becomes a huge exercise in frustration and I've concluded that until some serious patches come out, FORGET about using "hard" routing mode, unless you don't want to run more than 2 or 3 trains through a single city - yeah, once I get better at building track layouts I imagine "hard" won't be as difficult - but as it stands, there's no way of saying "skip this stop and go in another direction". Instead, you basically have to delete all a train's stops and create a new route - hopefully the game will decide it's impossible to get there without "picking up" the train and shipping it to the new destination - so you pay a ~$40k fee and the game fixes it for you.
I'm glad that works at least some of the time - my first game almost led to bankruptcy when 3 trains on a poorly laid out stretch of triple track got stuck staring at each other! Thank goodness for auto-saves, which led me backtrack to a moment before the chaos struck. Of course, that's when the game started to crash, which was no fun - I just upgraded to an E6400 dual core chip with 2 gigs of ram, so I can only imagine how bad it can be for anyone with an average/older computer! :(
What I miss most from RRT, given the coolness of the new game's system (yay triple track!), is that while you could actually control the signals and force trains to switch directions, here the trains are almost like "self-propelled toys" which will just run merrily along until they hit an obstacle.
While in RRT you got to watch a cool train crash automation when you screwed up, in SMR they just get stuck.
There's one other fix - you can try and manually create a siding to let the 'stuck' trains pass each other, and this would be fine, if only it worked more consistently.
Add a third of fourth train in the mix and you end up with an incredibly unholy mess.
The difficulty in "controlling" your trains simply exemplifies a fundamental shift in the game philosophy of SMR: whereas the RRT games were all about lots of depth and detail, SMR goes "back to basics", making it feel like more of a model train simulator with an economy thrown in to make things interesting, rather than a full blown "Tycoon" game (which shouldn't be surprising, given the title doesn't include "Tycoon" in it - although if you know the history of the matter, that's simply whoever owned the rights to the RRT "brand" sold it years back to allow RRT2 to be created).
In terms of "stay up all night" fun factor, this game definitely has it - and my jaw dropped repeatedly when I saw the cool little animations - trains unloading by opening their doors, coal falling down chutes into the coal cars.
This game will be a solid classic as virtually all of Sid's games are - but unless you're a sucker for punishment, make sure you have a top of the line system and wait at least for the first patch to be released!
Oct 22, 2006, 11:55 AM
I just created a forum for railroads under OTHER GAMES.
Here is the link: http://forums.civfanatics.com/forumdisplay.php?f=220