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Review: Hma (full)

Discussion in 'PlayStation Discussion' started by matjamca, Oct 24, 2020.

  1. matjamca

    matjamca Well-Known Member

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    Having now played all of the scenarios and ran most of the route a couple of times, I think I can give my full verdict on Haupstrecke München-Augsburg.

    Wow!

    This is without doubt the best route on TSW 2 by a long way. DTG has achieved something really special here and they’ve set a very high bar for future routes to meet. This can only be a good thing for us players.

    The Route

    The route is exceptionally fun and challenging to drive. The level of detail is incredible and the graphics, as always, are pretty gorgeous.

    There are times when playing on the PS4 Pro that the route stutters and judders. The stutters and judders can last for anywhere up to a few seconds (in particular parts of the route such as München Hbf and München-Pasing), but it’s really unsurprising given the level of detail in these locations. Whilst somewhat immersion breaking, they really don’t render the route unplayable as some players have claimed, although this may well be the case on the standard PS4. Further optimisation, which DTG promises is underway could improve these areas and hopefully, whole buildings popping into view will be fixed. Only time will tell if the optimisation DTG is working on can achieve this.

    When driving the route, I particularly like the ICE 3 trains overtaking the S-Bahn trains. Given consoles only have the two standard layers, the route feels well populated and alive. If DTG manage to resolve the layering issues for the additional services, this route can only become more realistic.

    The new PIS screens on the station and the DB BR 423 are super cool and take us one step closer to having these on all routes. We just need station announcements now.

    The coloured accelerometer on the HUD is a subtle but major improvement. Whilst the ball is still kind of ugly, seeing the colour change is a much easier way to see if you are gaining, maintaining or losing speed and I hope it comes to other routes ASAP.

    The Trains

    The sounds from both the DB BR 423 and the DB BR 403 ICE 3 are nothing short of music to the ears and demonstrate what DTG can realistically achieve. Again, the sounds set a high bar for future routes and the reworking of the preserved collection. And again, this can only be a good thing for us players. Whether DTG chooses to maintain or even improve on this level of sound quality is a decision for them, but I know it would hugely welcomed by the community.

    Driving the DB BR 423 is a real pleasure, especially trying to drive her aggressively in order to meet the rather unforgiving S-Bahn timetable. Chucking the throttle to position 10 as you leave the station and chucking it to negative 10 when coming to a stop is really fun and makes for a really immersive challenge.

    The DB BR 403 ICE 3 differs very little from the DB BR 406 ICE 3M in the Schnellfahrstrecke Köln-Aachen route and that’s a good thing. The ICE 3 is fun to drive at speed.

    My only complaint is that there are no dedicated AFB buttons on the PS4 controller, which means you have to manipulate the Multi-Function Display (MFD) when turning AFB on/off. For me this breaks immersion too much as the zoom function doesn’t zoom in far enough and when zoomed, the control stick movement is far too sensitive. An increased level of zoom would be good, especially for when setting the destination in both trains on the route and for other trains in TSW 2 that make use of the MFD screens. Having dedicated AFB buttons to turn on/off the system and then to increase/decrease the target speed would be hugely welcome as 100% attention can be maintained on the track in front of you.

    There are still bugs in the system, such as a gold medal being impossible to gain during the S-Bahn Shutdown tutorial and being able to earn the Thawed Out Trophy by driving the ICE 3 200km instead of the 300km required, so the route is not perfect, but it’s definitely worth your hard earned money.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2020
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  2. forteanjo

    forteanjo Member

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    Hard to disagree with this. A really good route, and some of the short spacing between stops do keep you on your toes if you're trying to stick to the timetable.

    There just isn't enough buttons on a standard PS4 joypad to map all the functions but I've heard a bluetooth keyboard can be used. Might invest after a bit of investigation to see if it's worth it.
     
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  3. breblimator

    breblimator Well-Known Member

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    Full agreement, buddy. The progress that has been made on the German virtual tracks is visible to the naked eye, and this route is the crowning glory.
     
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  4. Lenwigg

    Lenwigg Active Member

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    I only have a standard PS4 and I am still enjoying playing this route.

    If I didn't enjoy it because of the lack of layers I certainly would not be making myself seem a fool on here for buying it as we all knew what we were going to get, because they told us. It is a Great Route for a Great Game.
     
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  5. 2-4-1

    2-4-1 New Member

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    I also have the standard PS4 (500GB) & I would mirror what matjamca says about this route.

    I've not played as much yet, only really having time to scratch the surface so far, doing the introduction, a scenario in the ICE & searching a couple of stations for collectibles. However, despite there being a few pauses/stutters, some a couple of seconds longer than I've experienced on other routes, I'm really enjoying & am impressed with what I've seen so far on this very detailed & exciting route.
     
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  6. davidbarber

    davidbarber Active Member

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    Really good review, and I 100% agree with this.

    I was also particularly impressed with the sounds on the 423. I would imagine, based off how realistic the sounds are, that microphones were mounted in the trains in real life for this one. If not, someone on the dev team has worked some serious magic here :)

    I'm looking forward to the performance fixes, additional layers and bug fixes to make this route as good as it can be.
     
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  7. Luke8899

    Luke8899 Well-Known Member

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    I took the plunge and have been enjoying HMA for the past 2 days, I fully agree with this review.

    It is a fantastic achievement, the devs have aimed high, and in some cases perhaps they have fallen a bit short with scenery popping up late, and some frame rate drops, but for me those barely even register when playing this route, it feels as close to complete as any other route, if not moreso and does really immerse you in the complexity of the railway they have recreated in spectacular detail. For me what I enjoy are the numerous flyovers and underpasses, track changes, noise barriers along the HS sections, and the joy of arriving to and departing a terminus station. It does feel like one end of the route is really the end of the route. It's also so much more fun stopping a train just short of the buffer at a terminus platform!

    The DB BR 423 is probably one of the best trains DTG have created so far, it feels difficult enough to be like the real thing, you really have to drive it hard to keep up with the timetable, and it isn't easy, but it is do-able so long as you set off bang on time, and it rewards you with the most amazing sounds, for example the sound when you set acceleration to max is like a blowtorch, it literally sounds scorching xD. 10/10. I say this as someone who was put off this route because I thought the locos were not interesting or different enough from what we already have, but it goes to show how impressive content can be when the attention to detail is there, even if they look similar to others.

    For 24.99 you really are getting something pretty phenomenal, best German route yet I would say, and potentially even better if DTG successfully optimise performance and find a way to bring the extra services to the route on console.
     
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  8. matjamca

    matjamca Well-Known Member

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    I have noticed that the stuttering gets better or worse depending on time of day. On an early S3 run to Mammendorf (around 5am) there was a lot more stuttering, but I think this is because there were a lot more trains in the sidings along the route, which obviously add to the load demand at these locations. Still playable though, but any possible optimisation of the route to eradicate this would not be frowned upon.
     
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  9. Ischollum

    Ischollum Member

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    Nope for consoles absolutely not.
    But if you love over 100 Services for a S-Bahn, which uses the same the path like S3 and it is not primary, than it is really worth it. But for some one who loves Regionalexpress and Freightservices, this is definitely not good for consoles.

    Just count the S4 Services.
     
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  10. matjamca

    matjamca Well-Known Member

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    We will have to agree to disagree.
     
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  11. Lenwigg

    Lenwigg Active Member

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    I agree with you. It is worth the money.
     
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  12. davidbarber

    davidbarber Active Member

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    Definitely subjective!

    If you like high speed journeys with only 1 or 2 stops, and quick start stop local services, it's probably worth your money.If you like freight and regional services, then it won't be (at least until the layers are sorted, and even then, it will depend on DLC) :)
     

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