While I don't play Train Simulator 2015, I've been keenly awaiting the release of a certain DLC pack so I could post about it. The Story of Forest Rail, you see, is a semi-fictional route winding through beautiful and colourful Japanese countryside, partially inspired by Hayao Miyazaki's Spirited Away. I am always in favour of such things existing, and am glad to see it in the world, and am happy to be writing these here words about it.
Forest Rail is based on the now-closed Furusato Ginga Line in Hokkaido, a logging line that added passenger services, but with new places and stops. It winds through gorgeous countryside, past villages, and over gentle hills, looking to present a very quiet and relaxing route. Developers Union Workshop have made new flora, props, and buildings like temples and hot springs to complete the rural Japanese look. One spot has floating paper lanterns at night and gosh it just looks so nice.
Along with a multi-part story about a new employee joining the line, it has regular missions and free roaming too.
Perhap's its lucky the Ghibli influence is mostly felt in its lush scenery, as an actually magical route would be too lovely for me too handle. That reminds me of a magical train game I forgot to post about wait hold on I'll rectify this in a bit.
The Story of Forest Rail will run you £17.99 on Steam
and if you bought Train Simulator after TS2012 you'll also need to buy the European Loco & Asset Pack for £11.99 (though it's on sale at £7.19 for the next week). [Not with the version Steam sell, you won't.] That's on top of £24.99 for Train Simulator 2015 in the first place, so I don't think I'll pick this one up on a whim. Shame. I do half-fancy getting into train simulators as some routes look more like scenery simulators with a spot of gentle challenge, which sounds nice.
Look, here's 'SimulatedHeaven' trundling along the start of the route: