Star Trucking: American Truck Simulator - HighrezGaming

Go to content

Main menu:

Reviews > PC

Star Trucking: American Truck Simulator / 7th of February 2016

Trucking, and truckers, are the life blood of the world, providing me with my much needed amiibos, electronic fantasies and of course, food for the masses. This game, well, it came out of nowhere for me, I was just minding my own business watching the prophet Jim Sterling on the YouTubes to see how far gaming has fallen, and then American Truck Simulator just came rolling along…HONK, HONK! This was not some rubbish that carries the simulator name just for attention, this was the real deal, a sequel to Euro Truck Simulator 2 from SCS Software and Excalibur publishing which I played back when it was all new and simulator games were real. So with much excitement I went off to Steam to find her, and there she was, curves of chrome, glistening like a freshly showered southern lady on a summer day. She wants to sell me lemonade and I am going to drink it. Once inside her cab there’s plenty of room and this lady has really had some work done since I met her European sister all them winters ago. So let’s grab your rubber ducky and join the convoy, ‘cause I got explosives to deliver.

American Truck Simulator, ah, you like trucks, boy? You like the open roads? Well, hell, then this is the game for you! What you get here is a real simulator that takes itself mighty serious. So Sega fans, I should point out that this is not like the great, but arcadey experience of 18 Wheeler: American Pro Trucker. If you have played Euro Truck Simulator 2 you will be right at home as the game follows the same designs and content ideas as its predecessors but changes the location to the USA, so with new locations, there are different road rules and speed limits in force. So whilst the challenge of roundabouts is gone, four-way intersections and long straight desert style roads are in. So far the game has 2 states which provide enough variety to make this worth the low entry price of £14.99, with many hours of content in a career mode comprised of working for others, then buying your own truck and working for yourself. This leads on to hiring drivers, expanding your company and hopefully doing a better job than Yodel, not that that would be hard. The developers have said that more content is on the way and that it will be free to those who own the game already. More content is definitely a good idea as the game only has a few trucks to start with, and only two states currently playable, but then this not a full priced title, and it shows.

Like the previous releases, sadly, the game does have its fair share of problems. For those looking for a relaxed, casual experience, take note that it has so many options from adjusting your seat to customizing every aspect of the controls which can be a bit confusing and overwhelming. It supports expensive steering wheels, mouse and keyboard and gamepads with the keyboard. After lots of fiddling in the controls it really becomes apparent that the Xbox One pad simply doesn’t have enoug buttons to support all the actions you are required to carry out. So after some trial and error I had it set up best as I could do for myself and went and switched on some trucker radio - a great feature here is the ability to stream live internet radio into the game from the menus. This will either make a long road trip in a truck a bit of cliché or an unbearable, torturous experience, still there’s plenty of variety in the music for you to bounce along too, as you worry not about the stacks of TNT in the back.

Additional issues include the AI of the other road users who will sideswipe you even after indicating and having plenty of space to change lane, this, as you might expect, can end up trashing your delivery. Leaving space for trucks to turn into a road with you on it can be interesting as the AI will just carry on till it touches you and stops. You then have to move out of the way for the AI to follow its pre-scripted path and drive off so that you can continue on your merry way. Speeding is also an issue, when you approach a town there may not be a sign telling you the limit, and soon as you cross the town boundary the sat nav will update, giving a fine immediately rather than first providing a warning to adjust your speed. Still after getting hit with a ticket three times, I made sure that on my fourth attempt I was ready, so perhaps it’s just the way she goes. Sometimes you can get yourself stuck with the pinpoint turns and small, rather narrow gaps you are expected to take your rig through, which sometimes sees you getting stuck and needing rescued.

Graphically it looks better than previous games and the trucks have had an overhaul, but the scenery is still reparative and not very unique. So although it has some legacy issues, along with wholly new ones, it’s still a great game with lots to do, so expect it to eat up many hours of your time. You can upgrade your skills such as fuel economy and your ability to carry high risk loads, and the game also makes you rest and fill up the tanks, so to make money you need to think smart and not borrow too much from the bank. If you like hot hamburger sandwiches, but just aren’t really into piss jugs or friends of the road, this game is for you. American Truck Simulator is only going to get bigger and better, and at £14.99 it should not be sniffed at. So, till next time friends, y’all come back, you hear.
Marc Morrison
Back to content | Back to main menu