The last few weeks I’ve been playing through some Euro Truck Simulator (mainly because I didn’t want to pay full price for ETS2). I figured it would more or less give me an idea if I wanted to play ETS2 anyway. Plus as an added bonus starting at the beginning of the series would make me a ‘true fan’ would it not?
Euro Truck Simulator pretty much does what the name implies, nothing more and nothing less. At the start of the game, the player is given 100k euro to buy a semi trailer. Of course the ‘better’ semis are out of reach for the time being, so its only possible to buy Class C. Then you get to choose your starting country (choose carefully!) and then its off to work. You can choose between a variety of goods to deliver, but it doesn’t impact on the gameplay at all. Delivering wood is the same as delivering apples. Making the trip with as little damage to the cargo and the truck itself nets you larger profits.
The game is frustrating but addictive. There are games that are nothing but grinding yet you always come back for more and this is definitely one of those games. Sure you can drive around and just enjoy the country side, but you’ll end up running out of countryside to gawk at. I must have racked up about 10 trips from Brussels to Lyon and back before I could ‘afford’ to unlock another country. The problem is the start of the game where short distance contracts don’t pay very much, then you add on the costs of petrol, damage to cargo if you hit things, damage to the truck itself and any other penalties for breaking road rules like running red lights and speeding offences (its a simulation remember) that you end up with a very small pay packet at the end of it all (i guess all tycoons start out as small fish!).
But that’s probably the appeal of the game, to keep playing and unlocking countries so you can open up the map and drive around Europe, because when you are in the truck at max speed whizzing around the country side, it feels great. All the countries have their own style. Of course they are heavily truncated versions as it takes 5 minutes to drive from Brussels to Paris, but later in the game it takes a fairly hefty amount of time to travel across one side of the map to the other. Also its worth mentioning that there’s only a couple of streets in each of the cities and between 1 to 4 cities in each country. Hopefully that’s expanded upon in ETS2.
So in summary, is it good? Yes in its own unique way. It’s not for everyone. It’s a simulator, so driving the trucks are like driving tanks in other games. They turn awkwardly, they take forever to accelerate and you need to watch your butt with lots of traffic around you. It’s not something I would pay full price for, but for a few dollars on steam (can be found heavily discounted occasionally), there’s a few hours of fun here.
Score: 6 barrels of oil out of 10