America!!!!! Truck Yeah! Okay, now that I’ve got that out of the way let’s take a look at the latest offering from SCS Software.
American Truck Simulator follows in the footsteps of the largely successful Euro Truck Simulator. If you do not recall the painstaking hours of moving freight from one side of Europe to the other, you have missed on quite an experience. It sounds simple when you think about it however American Truck Simulator shows you otherwise. Once past the generic profile creator screens, the first thing that I noticed was the lack of places to start your road trip where the two states you have are Nevada and California. “What kind of America simulator is this with only two states?” I hear you yelling. Well SCS has promised more states will be included with the wide open spaces of Arizona to follow this year. Not a a bad offering as the two starting states are beautifully crafted to the same standard I remember from Euro Truck, however if this game is to survive and be more successful than its predecessor the developers really need to put their foot on the gas to provide more content for players as unlike reality, exploring two states can be measured in hours rather than days.
Let us explore the actually gameplay having discussed the locale. It’s pretty straightforward in terms of controls though I would suggest you play with a gamepad or a driving wheel if you can afford one. I used my Logitech F710 gamepad and managed to map all the keys to all the buttons without issue, with room to add gear shifting if I were to drive my truck manually. I started out in Fresno taking lumber to the Los Angeles. When you first start out, you act as a contracted driver for companies, they’ll give you a truck and pay your expenses as long as you deliver the goods on time. Being a European, the first thing I had to get used to was driving on the right hand side of the road, almost killing two fellow road users leaving the car park. The trucks as far as I could tell handled just like I expected, big and lumbering behemoths which can not turn on a dime. Having lived in North America for a few years and got used to the idea of turning right on red lights, it was nice to see that implemented in the game, though I only discovered this after a hatchback decided to bury itself in the side of my trailer. I was a little disappointed that police cars didn’t try and pull me over to check my cargo but that’s a minor detail.
The landscapes I saw were breathtaking, lush forests in California and dry dusty terrain in Nevada, though I still couldn’t ignore the feeling that there should be more. The more I drove the more I passed the same scenes, sped through the same towns. The other issue I had was that after selling my drivers soul to various corporations, I went to buy my own vehicle to find I only had a choice of three. They’re very nice trucks, but the lack of variety makes the game feel rather empty. SCS has assured players that there will be more trucks to come once licencing issues have been resolved. At the time of writing Arizona is now in a Steam beta update so content is coming. However the question is how many of the original players on launch day will return to investigate the new content.
As with it’s predecessor, American Truck Simulator is compatible with mods and recently it and Euro Truck Simulator 2 received Steam Workshop to facilitate this. Perhaps the modding community will help keep the game active while the developers continue to add content to the game. What is there is brilliant and enjoyable, we just need more.
Sold at: Steam, Amazon, GMG
Price: $19.99/£ 14.99
Minimum PC System Requirements
OS: 64-bit Windows 7 or later
Processor (Intel): Dual core CPU 2.4 GHz
Memory: 4 GB RAM
Hard Drive: 3GB of Storage
Graphics card (NVIDIA): GeForce GTS 450-class (Intel HD 4000)
Recommended PC System Requirements
OS: 64-bit Windows 10 or later
Processor (Intel): Quad core CPU 3.0 GHz
Memory: 6GB RAM
Hard Drive: 3GB of Storage
Graphics card (NVIDIA): GeForce GTX 760-class (2 GB)