Ever since it’s launch in late 2018, the Epic Games Store has regularly offered (as one of its main features) free games that users could claim, own, and keep forever. Despite the clear (and vocal) reservations some people have about the platform, however, it has hard to deny that in it’s near 2-year history it has released, for free, a lot of really bloody good games! So, with Railway Empire now available to grab, I admit that on the surface, this doesn’t sound that thrilling. As someone who spent money to buy it, however, I absolutely love this game!
So much so, that unlike prior free releases on the EGS, I’m going to try and convince you, with 5 reasons, why you should (at the very least) grab your copy and give this game a bash!
Despite the name of the game, Railway Empire hasn’t been created as an ode to yellow anorak wearers who primarily enjoy standing by railway platforms hoping to catch a glimpse of a rare engine in action! First and foremost, Railway Empire is about management and (borderline) real-time strategy.
It isn’t particularly in-depth, but similar to the Tropico series which, like this, was developed by Kalypso Media, attempting the make the most out of your money is, in a nutshell, how this game works!
So, I’ve called it a management game, but does that mean it’s complicated? Well, yes and no, and I’ll get more into that later. In terms of actually diving in and playing it, however, the interface used is remarkably straight forward and, if you absolutely detest scrolling through countless menus containing masses of information, the good news is that Railway Empire keeps it neat, tidy, and concise! Something that makes actually playing it really straight forward!
Yes, there is a learning curve in getting to understand how to play it, but I daresay that within 20-30 minutes (thanks to some excellent in-mission tutorials/hints) you’ll very quickly be laying your tracks down with confidence. Albeit, probably while making a few errors.
Coming with a decent length campaign mode, Railway Empire happily holds your hand where you want it to, but by and large, you are free to meet your objectives by any means you see fit.
Admittedly, the vast majority of missions largely boil down to one (or more) of the same 4 factors:
So, is it easy? Well, coming from my 100ish hours, I can tell you hand on heart, no! Some missions provide you with real difficulty and, as strange as it sounds, while initially learning this game you are guaranteed (even with the hints) to make mistakes or, perhaps more accurately, build really terrible railway systems! You learn, you progress, you improve, and even then you notice you’re still not being as efficient as you could be. It’s a constant learning curve making you better at the game while never making your mistakes frustrating! Well, not beyond the fact that it was you who made the error!
It sounds like I’m overstating it, but playing this game over a length of time really rewards you for making mistakes, learning, improving and getting better because, quite frankly, you’re going to need all of those abilities in the later levels!
The main base game comes with around 10 missions that, as we noted above, generally tend to moderately increase in difficulty as you get towards the end of the game. Given the chance that you’ll almost certainly fail missions at one point or another, however, there is at least probably 50 hours of gameplay on offer here just from this free ‘base’ version.
Better still, if you really love it, there are about 7 different DLC mission packs available and while they do vary in quality, if you’ve become absolutely hooked on this game, you’re going to want to try at least one or two of them out!
As I noted above, I know and appreciate that some of you absolutely detest the Epic Games Store. Albeit, I’m still yet to hear a particularly convincing reason why. Costing you literally nothing though, if Railway Empire isn’t for you, then that’s fair enough. For a significant portion of gamers, however, I can’t help but describe this as a potentially huge hidden gem that you haven’t encountered yet!
So, with it costing you absolutely nothing, you honestly can’t lose here! I absolutely love it and, as such, I see no reason why some of you wont too!
Railway Empire will be free to own, claim, and keep forever on the Epic Games Store from September 10th until the 17th. If you do, therefore, want to learn more, you can check out its official website via the link here!
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