If you've wanted to play Railway Empire but were waiting for some sort of substantial incentive to finally dive in then now's the time to work on the railroad because the Complete Collection is finally here and it's fantastic.
Welcome to the Empire
I've been a huge fan of Railway Empire since I reviewed it back at the beginning of 2018. For starters, I love trains so that aspect immediately clicked with me. However, I wasn't expecting to enjoy its gameplay as much as I have over the past couple of years. There's something about connecting cities together with stops at farms and such along the way that's incredibly satisfying. Throw in a competitive element via opposing railway companies that are headed by distinct and often humorous characters and you're left with a formula that's impressively enjoyable. Also, the aspect that still blows me away is how the developers created nearly everything to be adaptable for less skilled players so if you prefer a relaxing or challenging time planning your railroads then you can set up each game accordingly. Anyway, if you'd like to learn more about the core game then read my full review and check out my review of the Switch version if you'd like to know how it handles on Nintendo's hybrid console.Railway Empire Review Railway Empire - Nintendo Switch Edition Review
Of course, Railway Empire - Complete Collection contains tons of DLC add-ons which take the form of 8 unique real-world locations. Specifically, you can build rail networks in Mexico, The Great Lakes, South America, Great Britain & Ireland, Germany, France, Northern Europe, and Australia. These areas feature their own challenging scenarios to complete and you can also enjoy them via free and sandbox modes. Considering the scenarios offer unique challenges and the locations are impressively large, you can spend hours upon hours with the DLC alone. I've been playing them as they've released over the past couple years and can attest to their value.
Along with copious amounts of DLC, the core game has received a ton of updates since I initially reviewed it. For starters, I find that it runs incredibly well and it looks downright lovely in HDR mode. Then again, I did upgrade to a PS4 Pro last year so perhaps that has something to do with it. Anyway, many elements have been retooled, balanced, and added such as additional UI aspects, scenarios, options, buildings, and even holiday decorations and costumes. Obviously, there have been a load of bugs ironed out as well and now the overall experience is much more comprehensive and streamlined. The developers clearly put a lot into refining Railway Empire.
Even though Railway Empire - Complete Collection offers a huge and amazing real-time strategy simulation experience, it still has some issues. For starters, if you're the kind of person who gets overwhelmed with complex UI and options then it'll initially put you off as getting used to how to play and what information is actually meaningful can be a substantial hurdle to overcome. Last but not least, I'm the kind of gamer who enjoys jumping between modes and areas but doing so in Railway Empire can become tedious because starting a new game requires a lot of time before it starts getting interesting. This is especially the case with this Complete Collection as you may be tempted to dive in to each piece of DLC one after the other so make sure you're in a patient mood when starting a new game.
It really is amazing how well Railway Empire works as a real-time railroad-building sim for console. So, if its concept appeals to you and you don't yet own it, picking up this Complete Collection with its oodles of DLC is a must.
- + Same incredible strategy gameplay that's as relaxing or challenging as you'd like
- + Contains loads of DLC locales
- + Features plenty of improvements
- - Interface and info screens can still be a little cumbersome at times
- - Regularly starting new areas and modes might become rather tedious