The range of downloadable content for Train Sim World 2 is ever-expanding, and while there’s always a question mark over the cost of the DLC, there’s no denying that some offer great value and are easier to recommend than others.
Today we’re taking a look at the Isle of Wight route add-on which covers the Ryde Rail service along the Island Line between Ryde Pier and Shanklin.
To cut straight to the chase, sadly the Isle of Wight route isn’t the most feature-packed, firstly there’s just the one train, a 1938 Class 483 locomotive, which at the time of release was the oldest operational rolling stock, which, after almost 5 decades on the London underground was renovated and used on the Island line from 1989 until the start of January 2021, where it will soon be replaced by a more modern train.
Being former Tube stock, the Class 483 shares similarities to the modern MkII Tube stock found in the base game, so sadly with it being the sole locomotive in this DLC, it just doesn’t feel like a major addition,
Onto the route itself, the full stretch of the Island Line is only 7 miles, and with 8 stops from start to finish, it’s certainly not the longest experience, most of the stations are understandably small, but this means there are also not many collectables dotted around, with only 40 in total. Whether you’re collecting ice-creams, validating tickets, setting off cameras or placing route maps, you’ll probably find you’ve covered the majority of them within a few journeys.
Jumping off the train and having a quick run around while passengers where boarding was enough for me to find 36 in my first two journeys, and after another few trips, I’d only got a single camera left to find.
There’s a total of 5 primary scenarios, after the sole training segment for the class 483, beyond the 40 collectables, there’s the full timetable of 68 routes, this sadly pales in comparison to some of the DLC which often add 2-3 tutorials, 100 collectables and sometimes over 200 timetable routes to master.
The line itself offers a few challenges, with a few sidings you’ll occasionally have to switch to, a single track section which might require waiting for another train to pass, and a decent length tunnel which will test your speed management as it dips in the middle, I found the overall gradient of the track the only real challenge, as stopping distances in the Class 483 are pretty easy to master due to it only hitting a top speed of about 45mph with a few sections limited to just 15-20mph.
But maintaining the right speeds as the track gradually dips and rises was the main challenge to keeping on time.
Scenery is a mixed bag, one large section is mostly surrounded by trees, and the 20mph journey beside the road leading down the pier is surrounded by water, which unfortunately isn’t the most realistic view due to the repeated textures causing a distracting pattern in the distance.
The Isle of Wight DLC certainly isn’t bad, but it is a much more of a specialist add-on rather than those which will have a more mainstream appeal.
Anyone with an interest in the Isle of Wight Island Line, or the Class 483 stock will find a better value, but for players outside of those two areas, there’s various other additional content that adds a larger, more varied route, more locomotives with some even covering both freight and passenger services.
This leaves the Isle of Wight DLC a little tough to recommend to the mainstream TSW2 players.