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gaming since 1997

Railroad Tycoon 3

Tsjoek tsjoek tsjoek tsjoek, IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIP (squeeking breaks), TOET TOET, tsjoek tsjoek tsjoek tsjoek, ….
For those that didn’t get it yet, this is supposed to portray a train arriving in a station and leaving it again. And for the slow-minded: it’s miniature trains time as in Railroad Tycoon 3 you play the big boss of them.Does RRT3 offer enough challenges or can the trains crash at any time ? Time to look under the steam engine of this train.
TOET TOET, tsjoek tsjoek tsjoek …

Ok, so far for the train sounds, time to get to the real deal. The idea of the game is still the same as in the last edition. You take on the role of a railroad tycoon and have to bring your company to the top. This you can do by making as much money as possible and compete with the others to death.

Something which is immediately noticed when launching the game is the magnificent intro movie (very impressive and funny when watching it for the first time) which shows the power of the 3D engine. I’ll go deeper in on this later on.

Let’s first take a look at the single player part. Here you can choose between playing a Sandbox game or campaigns. In the first you don’t have any money, everything is for free and there’s no competition. Can life be any sweeter ? You can lay tracks, choose trains and enjoy your building. By clicking an option that gives you all possible trains, you get access to about 48 of them which is more than enough, I think. Each one has its own characteristics which you have to take into account; pulling speed, steam, diesel or electricity, … an important factor is for instance the appeal at the general public; if the public can choose between an ugly train on a direct line or a beautiful one which takes a small detour, you can bet they’ll choose the latter.

Another new thing in Railroad Tycoon 3 (or should I say improvement) is the way how the cargo is being dealt with. While in the previous game you had to point where everything needed to be loaded, the computer will arrange that for you now although you can still choose to do it yourself. A big improvement if you ask me.

In the Campaign mode you play 16 missions all over the world which have an increasing difficulty as you progress in them. The only difference here with Sandbox mode is the fact that you have to take into account your stock holder and need to make sure you’re making money and pay your depths. In short: keep your company healthy.

Next to single player there’s also a multiplayer mode which is in fact the same as a single player scenario but instead of having the pc as opposite, you’ll be playing someone of flesh and blood. Instead of crushing a computer you’ll be digging a grave for a real human being by expanding your train empire.

The graphics are as I stated before excellent. When zooming in onto the trains up to the highest level you’ll see them swiftly going through the landscape. Really all details have been taken care of; you can see the wheels spin, smoke coming out of the chimney, etc. Absolutely maginificent. The first time I saw this one has to quickly get a napkin to clean up the drool on my keyboard.

Also the sound is sublime, only too pitty the music has been recorded a bit too silent. Your speakers need to have the volume turned on really hard if you want to hear it, while the sound effects have been recorded too hard which can really frustrate when looking for the perfect balance between both music and effects.

Railroad Tycoon 3 is a great game with lots of possibilities and extreme graphic power. The music makes you urge to build and let trains ride. The whole game shines class.
You’ll start longing again for taking your uncle’s collection of real miniature Marklin trains but you’ve got this now and this is a lot better. If you will excuse me now, my train is waiting…
TUUT TUUT, tsjoek tsjoek tsjoek (Watcher steaming off).

Our Score:
9.0
related game: Railroad Tycoon 3
posted in: 2K Games, PC, Reviews
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