While I can moan on many minor details overall, there are two big issues I feel with the game. The UI is foremost here in terms of gameplay and the graphical fidelity in terms of visuals.
UI wise the game has too many buttons, clicks and menus popping up at any time, I felt like I was playing a Trader in EVE more than I was setting tracks for a train. Even doing the most repetitive and mundane tasks, that need to be done several times over, require half a dozen mouse clicks to get to… and this counts for the vast majority of actions.
And while you can set up hotkeys for this, the defaults are both sub-par and mostly unset.
This means that learning the game, even with the tutorial is quite frustrating… .and this bleeds through in the visuals. The various menu’s, icons, units and whatnot you need to select and click and pan to view often end up being more fiddle than fun to get them to do what you want. Not because they don’t obey – but because you cant find them properly.
The visual fidelity here is also a issue – with massive pop-in and rendering while the screen is moving, at both the cost of visuals as well as FPS. It’s not a BAD looking game, don’t get me wrong – but It’s not great either, and most of that is due to the weak geometry and rendering.
BUT…. the game is transport fever and it does raise a fever on that. With many a nuance in your management of your empire. From building your first train track and needing to weight Distance, Vs construction cost, Vs Landscaping, Vs goods and maintenance and so on. You need to form proper logistical chains and provide goods, production and means to various locations and towns to foster growth.
While I have no complaints on this aspect in any form – they have truly nailed the tycoon experience, I do have one minor bugbear, that I have with most games like this. Why doesn’t the game give me more tools ? I cant manually turn on or off a factory. I cant manually force a product to be delivered to X instead of Y and I have little control of over the stockpiling and movement of goods if I try creating a node where many products come together.
Every chain needs to be specialized, and while that is great from a gameplay / tycoon experience – It’s not my personal preference.
Lastly, I’d like to note that the game has an interesting tutorial that explains it quite decently as well as two campaigns that are both interesting in their challenges , but the meat of the game is free form play and there you are in full control of your various shipping, flying and chugging lines. Be it Machine or man.
Transport fever is a solid evolution on the previous title from the same developers, not perfect – but providing depth and complexity without losing itself in detail… to much.