Transport Fever 2 Review

The first part of the economic strategy of Transport Fever from the Swiss Studio Urban Games was released in 2016 and has earned popularity in narrow circles due to the wide variety of transport, realistic models of urban development, high detail models — in short, everything that fans are looking for in this genre. But still, it did not win such fame as the SimCity or Anno series, and the project had enough problems with the economy and micromanagement. Therefore, no one expected anything special from the second part.

Who would have thought that by the end of 2019, the Swiss will give us one of the best video game meditation tools in years?

The basis of Transport Fever 2 gameplay is passenger and cargo transportation. We build roads, buy transport, build, demolish, repair, and do hundreds of other similar activities. However, it will be difficult to get pleasure from this process from a rush: the game has a fairly high threshold of entry. If you are not a long-time fan of economic simulators, you will need to master it for a long time and sometimes even painfully. The training here is not bad, but some of the mechanics still remain outside of it, and at first it seems that you need at least ten hands to manage all this chaos.

But for those who are not new to the genre — well, or at least spent a couple of hours to really understand the local mechanics — this game will be the perfect killer of free time. Just the process of laying roads is a lot of fun: it is convenient and variable — no one forces you to pull a straight line from point A to point B. therefore, you can play enough with the landscape, laying intricate zigzags through picturesque canyons, so that passengers do not just go to their destination, but also admire the scenery. By the way, you can join them: Transport Fever 2 has a wonderful view function from the cab.

However, the initial complexity of development is probably the biggest challenge that developers are ready to offer. Then the passage goes like clockwork: the budget is always in abundance, and time can be paused at any time, so for success you only need care and accuracy. But this is exactly what Transport Fever 2 is good for: it does not put you under stress, but on the contrary, it sets you up for a leisurely, contemplative rest.

Another strong feature of Transport Fever 2 was the wide coverage of the time and place of action. There are three campaigns to choose from — American, European, and Asian — and each has ten missions inspired by real historical events. The player is «put behind the wheel» in the middle of the XIX century, and each subsequent Chapter brings him a little closer to our days.

It shows industrialisation, the gradual development of technology, and progress through the ages. When you finish the next stage, you already anticipate in advance what area and time period the developers will throw you after. There are even quite interesting side missions: for example, in one I was searching for a Yeti.

The fleet of vehicles in the second part is extensive: everything from horse-drawn carts to aircraft will give you a chance to try it out. But the real decoration of the game is still locomotives and trains. All railway equipment is drawn in great detail, including the drivers. Animated parts of the mechanisms, there is smoke from the chimney, the wheels are knocking… Moreover, each iron horse has a set of characteristics that sometimes differ significantly. And meticulous players will probably spend a lot of pleasant minutes studying the draft effort of a particular composition, adjusted for the mountainous terrain, for example. Well, aesthetes will just repaint the locomotives to suit the mood — the visual editor here is also not bad.

In addition, the game is full of interesting historical references, because absolutely all the presented equipment has real analogues. For example, you will learn that one of the railway companies of the XIX century was called nothing else than»the road of Spanish rolls». All because the locomotives of this company carried rich people from Zurich to buy fashionable foreign muffins.

Oscar for best cinematography. Despite the presence of passenger mode, most of the game objects are clearly not designed to be viewed with a magnifying glass up close, so you will not find advanced graphics here — and, in General, it is not necessary. It is enough that the image is bright, rich in color and light, clear and not too demanding on the hardware. After a long session in Transport Fever 2, a set of flashy tourist postcards seems to be imprinted on the retina.

Much more impressive is the game camera: it is even difficult to find an analog in similar projects. The closest competitor is the Total War series, but even there the camerawork is at least a little more modest. And this comparison is worth a lot!

Point of view management is very responsive, and you need a minimum of keys, so you can easily take any, even the most intricate angle. But the main trump card of the game was the scale: here we are floating somewhere almost in the stratosphere, viewing the wide prairies and riverbeds. But with a single swipe of your finger, we lower the camera to rest your nose on the flowers on one particular cactus! You need to see this and try it: I have probably never been given such a feeling by strategy and economic simulators.

To understand the extent of the excitement, imagine that you are playing your favorite part of Civilization, where entire countries and cities are also spread out in front of you. But if you bring the camera close to them, you will not see cardboard figures of houses and palaces, but a detailed street with signs and flower beds, where citizens dressed in the fashion of the time walk along the sidewalk, and the sun is reflected in the Windows of the nearest pharmacy. This is very cool — even for such features, the game can be forgiven a lot.

In general, Transport Fever 2 is a good economic simulator of building your own kingdom of railway tracks and airliners. By and large, a person who does not tolerate all sorts of tycoons, play this game is not worth it. However, all fans and connoisseurs of the genre can safely recommend Transport Fever 2 for familiarization. I really hope that the developers of Urban Games will support the life cycle of the game with small pleasant DLC. And be attentive and careful, because sitting down to play a couple of hours before going to bed, it is quite possible to find yourself meeting the first rays of the sun. Extremely exciting and entertaining game!

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21.7.2020