Transport Fever 2 has just hit the Steam and GOG storefronts. It’s clear that TF2 has its roots in the stellar SIM City series launched a few decades ago. As you would expect though, it revolves around the transport side of things.
What I really enjoyed about the game is the fact that it has a campaign mode as well as a more open free roam attached to it.
In the campaign mode, it takes you through three different timelines across the world and allows you to experience how transport changed over these time periods. It’s an interesting addition and a welcome one at that.
With respect to the free play mode, a curious addition is that there aren’t any competing companies for you to go ‘toe to toe’ with. At first I was actually a bit disappointed about this given that you don’t appear to be fighting tooth and nail to keep your business afloat.
However, on closer inspection, this isn’t actually a bad thing. Another simulation game that is a favourite of mine is Euro Truck Simulator 2. In that game, you can build up your own trucking empire without competition from other vendors, and it doesn’t impact the game in a negative way at all.
In fact, in TF2, the ability to have a monopoly on the infrastructure is a huge plus point. With the massive influx of funds that you end up getting, it allows for some really spectacular transport management.
Since the free play mode is so open ended, you can do anything to expand your empire and make the towns prosper, but also run the risk of completely messing up the infrastructure. You might have a brilliant idea on paper that doesn’t cost a lot of money to implement initially. However, the costs involved can quickly add up meaning that the once great idea is now bleeding money left, right and centre. It’s this attention to detail that makes the game so playable, and also open ended.
Depending on how much carnage you want to create, you can actively disrupt the system if you feel that you’d like to see the fall out from this. Not unlike removing the bathrooms from a house in the Sims…
So in that regards, there’s a huge challenge there, and yet no challenge at all. It’s a game that you can setup and quite happily watch tick over nicely, tweaking things here and there. In that sense, it’s actually a really relaxing setup to the whole thing. It’s highly rewarding watching carefully managed routes take on their true form.
One thing I found interesting though is that there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of variety in terms of transporting cargo and what not. I.e. there doesn’t seem to be any need for people in the towns to have livestock at all. It’s not a big thing, but some different variety to the cargo would have been nice. It would have meant that they would need to be transported differently depending on how fragile they are.
Graphically, the game is rather nice actually. The UI isn’t overly cluttered which is a big bonus, but there is enough on show to let you feel that you’re really in control of the proceedings.
Likewise, the collection of vehicles on show is really rather impressive. Ranging from buses, to train and planes, there’s enough variety here to keep all transport fans happy. Added to this is how impressive it looks when cities and settlements start to expand in relation to how well (or not) your transport plans go.
For those that want to donate a bit of money to charity when buying the game, it is also available on the Humble Store for those that want to play it on the Steam platform. For those that prefer GOG, the game is also available on the GOG Storefront.
Transport Fever 2 is a curious one. It’s a great, open ended game that you can literally spend hundreds of hours on. It really is the case that the more you put into it, the more you’ll get it out of it. If management simulation games are your thing, this will be right up your street.
Open ended gameplay
Nice campaign mode
The ability to wreck total carnage (if that’s your style)
No competition in the game may put some people off
Lack of cargo carrying options is a bit of an oversight.