Reviews by JaghatarGMG
I would hate to pay full price for this.JaghatarGMG | Dec. 12, 2013 | Review of West Coast Main Line North Add-On
If you want a quick summary of my thoughts, skip straight to the bottom. If you want to be taken on a journey, read the whole thing.
I've owned this DLC for a while. I've played with a bit, a lot actually, and I've gotten some enjoyment out of it - and some frustration. It works, and it doesn't crash your computer. Don't worry about that. Instead, worry about the lack of scenarios. Sure there's a few, enough to keep you going for a few hours no doubt, but it's not really enough. The DLC costs money, a heap of money actually, I'd really like to see enough scenarios (note scenarios, not free roams) to keep me going for several days of 12 hour play, preferably a week. Sure, a lot of us don't have that much time, but it's not about that. It's about knowing there's something else there, something else to complete. Not having to worry that once you do this activity the "game" (so to speak) is complete. Then there's another thing. All the time in the activities you see High Speed Trains (as in the HST) rushing past, yet there's only one activity where you drive the HST - and this isn't even in the famed career mode.
Get over the lack of activities and you'll probably love the detail in the route. There's different types of overhead wiring structures to watch rush towards you. Indeed, most of them even appear to be placed similar to how they would be in real life. Even doubled up when the contact wire changes from one run to another (though you never see the wires veering off to meet their terminations). You'll see reflections on water, the odd plane flying overhead (at least I think it was a plane). But then, then you start to look a bit closer. What was that at the last station? Oh that's right, only the heads of the passengers were visible because they were walking along the ground, not along the platform face. You look outside the rail corridor and notice that there's a disturbing lack of detail. If you can stand getting deafed at level crossings (how did they make a buzzer that's as loud in the cab as it is out of the cab?) you start noticing other things. Well actually, you start noticing things that aren't there - are but shouldn't be. The turnouts in this part of the world quite clearly don't need motors to drive them. and a lot of the crossings have a rail in them that shouldn't be there (if it was there in real life the train would be derailing very quickly). Random sagging in the overhead wiring, and then there's Law Junction. You're approaching Law Junction, looking for the signal to tell if you're got a run through to the main. Looking closely you see... nothing at all. The signal's failed and isn't displaying any lights. After making an emergency brake application the train comes to a stand just before the signal. You try contacting the signaller to get permission to pass it, but nothing happens. In reality, the game thinks the signal is working, despite it not displaying any lights. And it's not just Law Junction, it happens over and over. Let's not even talk about the times the game decides to randomly restore signals in your face and then ends the scenario because of your SPAD. Let's instead talk about Law Junction, where there's a block of concrete blocking the Down Holytown. Come on guys, didn't you see this when you were testing the scenarios... or didn't you test the scenarios?
It also seems in this part of the world they have road traffic which mysteriously vanishes into thin air... and even more alarmingly, pops up out of no where. I wish I could drive my double decker bus down the motorway and simply vanish.
And of course, the manual is a joke. It doesn't even tell you what all the signs beside the track mean. Why did they even bother putting in trackside signs and not explaining their meaning? If you wanted to confuse us, the people forking out a stupid amount of money for a product which is at best 75 percent finished, then congratulations, job done!
Summary: Overall: This DLC has been out for ages. The problems should've been fixed. No excuses. This explains a large part of why the rating falls far below 50. I've never actually been to the real WCML, so can't attest to its accuracy, but it feels accurate 'enough'. It is fun, even though there's a lack of scenarios. And there should be more detail. Railworks, send me a message when you've gotten rid of the bugs, enhanced the detail, and rewritten the manual. Then I might just move my rating up into the green range.