On the road again
American Truck Simulator bears numerous resemblances to its predecessor Euro Truck Simulator 2. The game designers stitched them both together in a way that surprises gamers who have not experienced the thrills of cruising down the open road. American Truck Simulator holds true to the old formula: You start as a freelance truck driver, buy your own truck, earn money and build a prosperous trucking company.
Refreshment: The Setting Changes
In some ways, the old formula added to American Truck Simulator does not hurt the series. While you won't find much innovation since the last game, the setting change could be enough to reel you in. You start your tour in a coast-to-coast fashion while the internet radio plays country music. Sure, you haven't seen groundbreaking changes from the driving model or the successful physics, but hauling cargo the entire length of Route 66 still offers enough to kindle your interest.
American Truck Simulator: Nevada and California
You can only explore the roads of two American states, but the level of depth and detail leaves you feeling excited, rather than short-changed. SCS Software chose quality over quantity, and truck driving both states means traversing ginormous landmass. The game developers did shrink the world but only to where it takes a couple hours to cross from one side to the next. Unfortunately, because the world has been shrunk, you will be barred from some more iconic trucking journeys in the US.
What's cool about American Truck Simulator is SCS's commitment to release new states as downloadable content. It explains the low-budget price of the game. To top off the experience, you have a plethora of community mods.
Diverse and Distinct Environments
Whether you're hauling freight through the natural environment or across an urban sprawl, American Truck Simulator varies their content throughout the game. Everything looks and feels different, and as you truck down the night streets of Sin City, neon signs and streets will immerse you in the world. In contrast, when you visit Bakersfield, you will see a sand-scrubbed area that maintains much of the same personality as the actual city with wide open spaces.
Traffic: Good or Bad?
The diverse landscapes become the top highlight of this game. The traffic, on the other hand, feels a little less impressive, but, to be fair, the game designers added great detail to the trucking interior. It grounds you in this immersive open-world game. SCS Software also took great pains to make it feel more realistic. For example, you might find yourself surveying the cab to look at the mirrors and get feedback. The American Truck Simulator tutorial also holds your hand until you grok the game mechanics. However, you can also stick with the basics until you learn the GPS and how to deal with the trailer.