Posted: April 12
First off, I highly recommend this game. Provided you also get he following DLC, High Power Cargo Pack and Going East Expansion. The first adds new cargo and trailers that are both more rewarding and heavier than the original cargo variety. The second adds a large new section of map to drive, and many more cities and countries. Both are well worth the added cost. The other DLC's available consists of custom paint jobs. They add nothing to the gameplay, but you can buy those if you like them.
About the game;
You are a truck driver in Europe. You select what city you want to base your future company in, and start out working for companies delivering cargo with their trucks. You gain experience with each load that is safely delivered without doing too much damage. You can choose to buy your own truck as soon as you save enough money, or by getting a loan from the bank. If you own your own truck, you can upgrade or customize it however you choose (once you obtain the experience levels to unlock the upgrades wanted). You earn more money if you own your truck vs. driving a company's truck. As you get more money and discover various cities, you can buy additional garages and hire drivers to work for you... increasing your income. You will have to buy a truck for each new driver, and upgrade your garages to gain space for more drivers. Garages come in 2 sizes. Small has space for 3 drivers and costs $180,000 A small garage can be upgraded to a large garage for an additional $100,000. A large garage also has a fuel pump for your benefit.
While the game is a good game, it is not without certain shortcomings.
First, There are many features that SCS had the code for from prior releases in the series that could have been included but were not. In Hard Trucks wipers had 2 speeds, now they only have 1. In Extreme Trucking, you had a variety of weather and road conditions, from ice and snow, to dirt roads and steep terrain. Here, the weather is very simple... it is either not raining, or its raining. Roads are all paved and quite uneventful. Hills are gradual, and the roads are formed from a set pattern of road sections that have been copied and repeated over and over.
Another omission is that much of the available upgrades do absolutely nothing. Most trucks offer 3 different truck cabs. A standard cab w/ no sleeper, a standard cab w/ sleeper, and a larger cab with a bigger sleeper. None of the cabs affect the trucks fuel economy, handling, or performance. The addition of a sleeper does not enable you to rest anywhere that a non-sleeper truck can. It's all purely cosmetic. Same for the transmissions. Al trucks come with a 12 speed transmission regardless of engine. Upgrading to the other 12 speed transmission does nothing for the performance or fuel economy. Tires are another thing, no matter what tires you choose, the handling, performance, fuel economy and wear are the same. All pure cosmetics. Adding a front bumper or guard does nothing to increase the durability of the truck. the AI traffic pays no attention to the existance of the roof mounted safety strobe lamps, nor is there and aerodynamic penalty for the wind drag from a roof mounted light bar full of lights and horns. Horns are ignored by traffic as well. Both horns and roof safety strobe lamps are purely there for cosmetics.
The AI traffic has it's own issues. They will change lanes suddenly, stop suddenly, crash into you, and cause traffic jams lasting over an hour. They also are prone to hauling ♥♥♥... I've been running 102 mph and been passed and couldn't keep up with traffic cars before in 50 mph zones.
A big issue relates to the drivers you hire and the trucks they drive. It does not make one bit of difference if you buy the cheapest truck you can get (a $97,000 Man for example), or buy the most tricked out, most powerful, most expensive truck (A fully decked out Scania or Volvo costing $275,000+)... you earn the same. Upgrading their trucks does not speed them up, enable them to haul heavier loads, or make them happy... It doesn't do anything. Save your money and give each driver hte cheapest basic truck you can buy. You also cannot see the other trucks on the road, nor in the garages, ever. They only exist as a small thumbnail picture in the manager section.
Things I'd like to see in future updates:
More weather types... Snow and Ice, hail, fog, etc...
More variety in roads, Steep hills and switchbacks, narrow roads with high dropoffs and no guardrails. Dirt, gravel and pothole filled bumpy roads. Roads with deep ruts.
Functional tires that have varying grip depending on terrain and weather. Make better tires last longer or have better traction than cheap tires.
Adjust the engine outputs and trailer load weights so that pulling a 55,000lb trailer with the entry level engine is nearly impossible... making having a more powerful engine something you both need and desire. Adjust fuel economy so that the more powerful the engine, the worse your mileage (currently, there is no difference)
Make upgrading trucks for your driver have a benefit.
Make traffic AI react to safety hazard strobes (stay back a safe distance, give way when turning, etc...) as well as move over when possible if you blow the horn at them.
Make truck cab differences matter. If no sleeper, you stay only in a Hotel or at your upgraded garage. If a small sleeper, you can rest at gas stations and rest areas, but you have to rest longer to get a full 11 hrs driving time. If you have the large sleeper, you rest better, so you don't have to rest as long to get fully rested.
Add additional transmissions to different trucks. Some trucks have 10 speeds, some have 18 speeds..