Arosaline (Chur-Aroza) – Route DLC
Publisher: Dovetail Games
Developer: Rivet Games
Release date: 25th March 2021
Approximate size: 3.9 GB
Age Rating: PEGI 3
Reviewed on: Xbox Series X
Screenshots: Xbox Series X / Xbox.com
Releasing 7 weeks after the fantastic Southeastern High Speed route, Arosaline takes us to the Swiss Alps covering the line between Chur and Arosa.
Arosaline is very much a different package with more similarities to the Isle of Wight route which like Arosaline was also developed by Rivet Games.
With only a single locomotive, covering a shorter route Arosaline is a slow experience, but thanks to the scenery it’s a little easier to recommend.
Content starts off quite strong, there’s only a single Tutorial, but at the half-hour mark, this runs you through the starting, running, coupling and loading aspects of the RhB Ge 4/4 II locomotive.
On to the scenario’s, there’s 5 in total, ranging from 2/4 to 4/5 on the in-game difficulty meter, each taking 50-90 minutes to complete, this gives a slightly higher average than many of the much longer routes, but this is mostly down to the slower speeds you’ll be travelling at, with large portions of the route limited to 30kmph.
The slower pace works for and against the route, as the locomotive idles neatly at the different speed limits meaning there’s not always much to do mid-journey, but thankfully Arosaline (which is renowned for its sightseeing opportunities) has some of the best scenery we’ve seen in TSW2.
Graphically it’s mostly hit, with only a few misses. Considering the density of the surroundings, everything moves along smoothly, with no major framerate drops, mostly the texture and asset pop-in which is all too common on many routes, are few and far between, however, there’s a few noticeable instances of large assets, such the occasional distant tree and one time, even a mountain, very noticeably popping into the distance. The other negative has to be the overall quality of some textures, especially in built-up areas, some of the buildings look like they’ve been ripped from an early Xbox 360 game, which isn’t usually much of an issue, but when these assets are right up to the stations and main playable area, it lowers the overall impression of some of the main areas in this route.
Overall though it’s very positive, there’s plenty to look at and the locomotive looks great in the deep red livery.
The audio is a little tough to judge… It’s problem-free, sounds good and while I’ve never been to Switzerland, it sounds like the engine sounds are realistic and I can only presume accurately, however, the reverberation of the engine running presents quite a loud and constantly obnoxious knocking sound, which is distracting and somewhat annoying.
Fortunately, this can be adjusted in the game options, however, it’s the first route that I’ve opted to do this as the engine sounds aren’t usually as noticeable or annoying.
Overall there’s the full route between Arosa and Chur, which will take around 40 minutes to travel in full, on route there’s a variety of locations, with 13 in total, a few of these are mere sightseeing points which will only need a little exploration, but there’s a total of 8 main stations, with 4 on the smaller side, and 4 closer to medium in size. This presents plenty of opportunity for exploration, and while you’ll likely find around 45 of the collectables pretty quickly, with a few areas housing multiple close together.
However, with 70 in total, it will take quite a bit of exploring to find all of them, whether this is placing route maps, triggering cameras or collectable snowglobes and ibex toys.
The value of Arosaline sits in the middle of the park, It’s certainly one of the most intriguing journeys packed with scenery, and while the quality of the scenery isn’t always the best, the constantly winding route always leaves you wondering what’s around the next corner. With a tutorial and 5 scenarios all on the longer side, this balances the fact that there’s only a single locomotive.
Likewise, the RhB Ge 4/4, is slow and relatively easy to control for an older unit. Arosaline isn’t going to please everybody, especially those wanting a faster more action-packed experience, but if you appreciate older services and want something a little more unique Arosaline and the almost tram-like RhB locomotive is well worth adding to your collection.