In the extremely niche market of simulators, no simulator has yet to find a balance between making a simulator accessible to the average consumer and enjoyable to hardcore simulator fans. With the release of Euro Truck Simulator 2, SCSoftware has found a sweet spot that satisfies hardcore simulator fans while also making the game enjoyable and playable to newbies. With only a few problems to the Euro Truck Formula, SCSoftware has created the best simulator to come out on PCs in over a decade.
The game starts out as the player being a newbie to the trucking world. Players must complete freelance jobs in your starting area of Europe. Starting areas of Europe include multiple cities in Germany, France, England, Luxembourg, The Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Austria, The Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, and Switzerland. When you have saved up enough money to buy your very own truck, the beauty of the game really shines. You can build up your business from just an old shack to the biggest trucking empire in Europe. To become the biggest trucking enterprise in Europe is no walk in the park though. You must constantly keep track of your finances, drivers, cargo, trucks.
The game is playable on your choice of steering wheel, keyboard and mouse, controller or joystick. I personally used a Xbox 360 controller most of the time. The game makes setting up these peripherals extremely easy with the built in wizard. While the game still functions on a keyboard and mouse it is not recommended and takes away from the overall experience. The game functions great when the peripherals are set up correctly. I had zero complaints about the controls while playing Euro Truck Simulator 2, when I would occasionally crash it was 100% my fault.
The game looks and sounds average at best, but the lack of some features in the game is just a mystery. I found that the extra graphical features such as bloom and other options actually make the game look worse than it does without the options on. The featured cities in the game are extremely small and lack substance. The exclusion of any damage to trucks or other cars will also remain somewhat a mystery. The other vehicles on the road are at times horribly bad. When trying to merge into another lane or turn the AI will at times slow down to almost a halt. Half the time this happened I would crash into them causing me time and money. While the lack of AI and damage can be frustrating at times, it can easily be overlooked. The game boasts an impressive system of having an in game radio that can play your MP3’s and also play various internet radio stations. To implement a radio station the player must simply paste the radio link into the game’s file. The system works well, but I had trouble getting the custom radio stations to work at times.
The strong point of Euro Truck Simulator 2 is the game’s incredible sense of realism. Whether driving in the middle of the night through pouring rain in Germany or driving through the incredible beauty that is the Alps, The game just feels fresh. The game also has its occasional moments of hilarity, like truck crashes that stem from your complete disregard of the rules. When playing Euro Truck Simulator 2, you are not just playing a simulator, you are actually trucking across Europe in 16 wheel truck. The game is an absolute treat to play and I do not see myself putting down the controller anytime soon.
Euro Truck Simulator is a great game that most players with a functional PC should check out. I am by no means a hardcore simulator junkie, but enjoyed Euro Truck Simulator 2 immensely. With mod support I can only see the game growing bigger and bigger in popularity over time. The game was just voted to appear on Steam via the Steam Greenlight feature. The game is currently available to buy on the official website. You can also download a demo that includes a good portion of the game.