Review: PlusPak - CargoWaggon IWB for Rail Simulator|
Developer: JustTrains, Publisher: Just Trains
Reviewed By Matthew Peddlesden
Date: 19 April 2009
JustTrains have become the foremost name in publishing commercial add-ons for Rail Simulator. This review looks at one of the releases under their "Plus Pak" label which are geared to be smaller (as in this case, a single wagon) releases, as opposed to the usual trend in Microsoft Train Sim where most add-ons were large and contained routes and numerous bits of stock.
This review focuses on the Cargowaggon IWB release, which is essentially a modern box van. It comes presented in this release in 8 livery and weathering variations including:
- Blue Circle Cement (Yellow)
- CargoWaggon Heavily Weathered (dark brown)
- Cargowaggon Lightly Weathered (silver/blue)
- Paquexpress Renfe (red)
- Perrier (brown)
- Tiphook FerryWagon (silver blue)
Also included are four scenarios to get you going, plus a free roam scenario that will let you explore a route with plenty of these wagons dotted around plus lots of other default stock.
As these are modern wagons you're mostly going to be using them on the Oxford to Paddington route however you could also probably get away with them on the Newcastle to York route and as they are an international wagon you could also look at the Hagen Siegen default German route as well.
There is a 21 page PDF manual installed as part of the setup process that gives you an overview of the wagons installed and also gives you a bit more insight in to how to run scenarios, use the various controls and just generally give you a quick start guide if you're not 100% sure how to do things. Even if you think you know what you're doing it's probably worth a quick read just to make sure there's nothing new in there that you hadn't figured out for yourself.
The pack costs £5.88 directly from JustTrains and is a 17 megabyte download. It is protected by JustTrains unlocking DRM system that imposes limits on how many times and where you can install it; I strongly recommend you read their FAQ's first so that you purchase the product knowing what the limits are. They are not unreasonable limits and compare with what most other online vendors are starting to do but I just can't help thinking that once again the genuine purchaser is being treated like a (potential) criminal, while the actual criminal can walk off with the installed and unlocked content and repackage it for themselves with ease. Views for or against DRM aside, the process is pretty straight forward but you must have an internet connection on your machine at the time you do the installation as it will pop up a web screen to activate it online as part of the install process.
Overall I have to say that I'm very pleased with the quality of the wagons, they're very sharp and have nice clear high resolution textures. They have managed to keep long relatively flat sided wagons interesting with weathering effects that are quite effective. If you have the Class 66 and 08 for your Rail Simulator as well (see the Official Expansion Packs 1 and 2 for these items) then obviously these wagons will add to your modern image rolling stock nicely.
In conclusion, very nice looking wagons at a relatively low cost; it will be up to you to judge if that cost is worthwhile against how much you feel you'll use them.