Hands-on Preview – Railroad Corporation

Railroad Corporation (Corbie Games – PC) Release: November 18th 2019

“C’mon baby, do the locomotion”

After spending five months in Early Access on Steam, Railroad Corporation finally released this week, paving the way for players to create their very own 19th century railroad empire. Set in North America, this game gives you all the tools to build a thriving railway network, while balancing your finances and making technological advancements to benefit your towns. As you attempt to bring multiple settlements together by transporting valuable resources and providing a solid train service for inhabitants, you’ll unlock new responsibilities that will require closer attention to detail. Featuring a challenging campaign spread across two chapters and a sandbox mode, Railroad Corporation has a substantial amount of content for both hardcore and casual players.

As you’d expect from a game entitled ‘Railroad Corporation’, you’ll be managing an ever growing railway system, spreading through multiple towns. While this may sound a bit daunting at first, developer, Corbie Games, has done a good job of easing players into the campaign with a relatively detailed tutorial. It’s here that you’ll quickly familiarise yourself with the game’s menus and mechanics as you learn how to construct tracks between settlements, purchase locomotives and plan out the routes for deliveries. Players looking for a challenge can play with time limits on the mission objectives, although these can be deactivated to decrease the difficulty and ease the pressure off. Early objectives include building simple networks between areas such as Baltimore and Cumberland, setting up grain deliveries to keep food rolling in, and diverting raw resources to towns that can process them. Before you know it you’ll be juggling multiple objectives at once, while investing your experience points in researching how to make your activities more efficient.

One thing that you may not consider when constructing a giant digital train set is balancing the books. When placing tracks you’ll have to note the costs of soil excavation and the tracks themselves. It’s easy to overspend early on as you try to complete all of your objectives as quickly as possible and as time goes on, you’ll have to make decisions about which types of industrial real estate to acquire. When you first begin the campaign, you’ll have to choose between three different jobs to apply for, each with a specific benefit covering aspects such as additional funds at the start of each mission, extra locomotives, or a 10% discount on building railways. You’ll also have to be mindful of costs such as repairs to your existing locomotives and will have to make a call on whether you’re better off purchasing new ones.

No ticket

Those of you with powerful PCs will be pleased to know that Railroad Corporation features native support for both ultrawide aspect ratios and high refresh rates. Ultrawide support in a game like this is especially helpful when it comes to keeping an eye on everything all at once. Early on in Railroad Corporation you are expected to manage multiple objectives at once, and while this is certainly achievable on typical aspect ratios, being able to utilise an ultrawide monitor without having to mess around with mods is great. This does come at the cost of performance, and even on a machine like ours (Ryzen 3900X with an RTX 2080), we found our frame rate varying between 40-80FPS at 3440×1440 on high graphics settings. You can tone down the graphics to ensure a smoother experience, but for Railroad Corporation we will happily take the visual fidelity over a higher framerate.

Railroad Corporation is the type of game that makes us happy to be fans of video games as it reminds us that there truly is something out there for everyone. Managing trains isn’t as simple as laying down a track and having a train go from A to B, there are so many factors involved that the player needs to be aware of, otherwise everything can suddenly get derailed out of nowhere. If you enjoy the financial side of railroad management, in addition to a general love of trains, then you will be pleased to know Railroad Corporation has been made specifically for a person like you. People that don’t like to get too bogged down over the costs of railway tracks may be disappointed in Railroad Corporation, but this game was never made for people that aren’t concerned about these things. For all you hardcore train fans out there, Corbie Games has brought out a game with you in mind and its available to play now.