Transport Fever 2 has just passed its three-year anniversary, and the developers at Urban Games have fittingly bestowed it with a new expansion: the Deluxe Edition/Upgrade. With this new content drop for the tycoon sim, players have access to three new “exclusive scenarios,” six new historical vehicles, and some other small, fun additions to add to the experience. But, with it being just over three years since release, is this “Deluxe Edition” of Transport Fever 2 worth it?
The wheels of time
The new Deluxe content for Transport Fever 2 doesn’t add a whole new massive layer of gameplay — let’s establish that first. This is “more of the same,” but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. After all, Transport Fever 2 was already well received since launch, in addition to there having been consistent updates throughout its lifecycle thus far. So, this DLC pack is worth some merit, since it’s adding to an already decent package.
The three new scenarios will transport you to different landscapes at different time periods. There’s the tropical Boundless Bay of 1930, the beautiful temperate of Vast Valley in 1900, and the dusty, arid rockfaces and coarse sand of Curvy Canyon that’s based in 1870.
With these three scenarios all starting in different eras, you’ll approach them all differently, as different kinds of machinery will be available at the very beginning. For example, with Boundless Bay taking place in 1930, you’ll have access to moderately powerful automobiles, trucks, and just the outright benefit of planes having already been invented by this time.
The other two scenarios, however, take place at a much earlier point in the age of industrial revolution.
All things considered, the perceived limitations imposed by the time period of these scenarios can be nullified by simply changing the parameters to your liking. This is due to the fact that these three DLC scenarios are not a part of the main campaign, as you may have perhaps assumed. Urban Games’ choice of phrasing them as “exclusive scenarios” is a bit odd and a tad confusing — at least to me.
I mistakenly thought they’d be extra missions in the campaign mode. But it turns out they’re just maps in the Free Game mode, very meekly tucked away in the ‘Play Map’ sub-section. As a result, you’re free to adjust different factors, even to the point of going full-on Sandbox mode. That said, unlike generating an entirely new map seed, you can’t adjust major aspects of the terrain.
These three scenarios simply being pre-built Free Game maps can be seen as a bit of a bummer depending on who you are; especially since the landscapes they’re based in are already included in the main game. It would’ve been nice to have different regions; it would’ve made these maps feel more impactful. And the fact that they seem to be even tucked away (I wasn’t even sure if I had the DLC installed correctly) is an odd choice.
That said, playing on these new maps is still good fun like the rest of the sim. You’re given a large sum of starting cash, and it’s your job to carefully piece together a new transportation network around every sector of each map. All three have numerous towns and industries to connect via rail, road, and sea.
As a result, if you’re someone who’s never played Transport Fever 2 or any of its predecessors, then it’s best to first play at least a few missions in the aforementioned Campaign mode to get a good handle as to how the sim works.
There’s a lot of little unique quirks about Transport Fever 2 that will only make sense once you’ve spent time in the campaign. For example, you’ll learn how goods are not properly generated until you have a functioning transportation and distribution network. Thus, these new scenarios assume that you already understand the fundamentals of the experience; if you don’t, you’ll likely be rather lost.
Tracks and trials
Beyond these three new scenarios, the list of additions is moderately exciting. The six new vehicles that are included all range from different time periods, so you won’t be able to use them all at once until the calendar hits the late ’90s (or if you move the date on your own in Free Play mode).
All six are iconic industrial marvels that have cemented their place in history, such as the beautiful MD-11 airliner, and the mighty Kenworth K100E semi truck. These machines are accompanied by the near 100 models from the base game that have been refreshed thanks to a free update that released at the same time as this Deluxe DLC. All in all, each model looks and sounds quite nice, with smooth animation and solid texture work.
On that note, the overall game still looks impressive despite it being a few years old. It even sports some new quality-of-life improvements such as faster load times.
The final minor inclusions that come bundled in with the Deluxe Edition of Transport Fever 2 are three new animal types that roam the maps, and the inclusion of the soundtracks from the sim’s predecessors — Transport Fever 1 and Train Fever.
Admiral T. James composed all three soundtracks, and so hearing his more “classic” tracks in this latest iteration of the Fever franchise is quite nice. You can select between hearing music from one individual soundtrack or all three — but this only applies to Free Play maps. The campaign still retains only the Transport Fever 2 arrangements.
One small step
Let’s backtrack to an idea that I brought up at the onset of this piece: is this content package really befitting of being called “Deluxe”? It’s a popular term that’s added to various game releases these days, and each has varying degrees of quality. In my eyes, this upgrade for Transport Fever 2 is notably lightweight.
As mentioned before, the three scenarios are just new maps that retain the same visual themes and elements as what’s found in the base game. And the six new vehicles, while nicely modeled, are just a drop in the bucket compared to all of the other choices that are already available.
In so many words, the Deluxe Edition doesn’t do anything particularly special for Transport Fever 2. But, that said, it is only going for $9.99 USD. When looked through this particular lens, its lightweight nature isn’t as “disappointing.” But, even still, I believe such a term is a little too heavy-handed for this release.
Transport Fever 2 has been and continues to be a great entry in the overall tycoon sim sub-genre. Urban Games has done a good job at supporting it over these last few years, and now the content of the Deluxe Edition adds just a little more depth to otherwise well-rounded package.
While it doesn’t do anything groundbreaking, its minor nature is still good for those who want an excuse to get back into the game, veterans looking for a new challenge, and even newcomers who will now have more content to enjoy right out of the gate.
Hopefully it’s only a matter of time before we see what’s next in the Fever franchise. But, until then, Transport Fever 2 will keep its pistons pumping.