Publicado: 25 de junio
Premise and gameplay
Euro Truck Simulator 2 casts you as an up-and-coming truck driver in Europe. You start out doing freelance jobs for other companies who provide you with a truck for each job, eventually amassing enough money to buy your own garage and truck, which is when the game truly begins. Of course, you can always take out a bank loan, but if you want to stay debt-free, you have to work for that money. You can always take a quick job if you feel like it, but to gain access to the most powerful trucks you need to buy and upgrade them yourself, both visually and performance-wise.
After each job you will gain money, experience and truck upgrades. Experience can be used to level up your driver in various ways. For instance, you can put points into certifications for dangerous cargo or long distance driving to unlock more job types or eco-driving to reduce fuel consumption and the resulting costs.
Once you've got your truck company off the ground you can start expanding by buying more trucks, hiring drivers and more garages across Europe. The game doesn't offer much in the way of micro-managing you employees, but you can upgrade their trucks in the same way you upgrade your own and decide what attribute they should focus on levelling up.
Do note that there's no win-state in this game. It just keeps going while you expand your freight empire and if you want a clear goal you need to set it yourself.
When you're ready to hit the road you either pick from a list of available quick jobs or go the the freight market to find cargo to haul with your own truck. Quick jobs are great if you just want a quick fix, as you don't have to drive all the way to pick up your cargo. If you want the pure experience you buy a truck, pick a job and drive to pick up the trailer before embarking on your journey. Along the way you will need to follow the rules of the road and watch out for traffic. Any and all traffic offences will result in a fine, which can severely bite into your profits if you're not careful. While you can get away with speeding, there are speed cameras along most roads that you need to be on the lookout for. You also need to keep an eye on your gas tank and your sleepiness levels and pull into a gas station or rest stop when needed. When you arrive at your destination you can choose to park your truck yourself, which can be a true challenge in certain locations, or relinquish a handful of experience points by using auto-park.
One immersion breaker is that there is no real in-game economy to speak of. Everything stays pretty much static no matter what happens in the game and there are no realistic cargo chains (i.e. raw materials to factory, products to store). This will hopefully likely in the near future as the developer has created tools for creating such chains and has implemented a few in the Scandinavia DLC.
Since I'm so late in writing this review, I'm lucky enough to write it after the 1.17 patch was released. This patch brought plenty of changes to the graphical presentation, most importantly the lighting. The game is definitely no Project CARS, but it has absolutely been serviceable and is now even more so with the improved rendering engine. Some scenes are made absolutely gorgeous by it. World textures could definitely use some upgrades to make the game a look bit more realistic and some models look a bit basic, but overall the visuals of the game are just fine. Not mind-blowing, but they do the job well.
The trucks themselves are modelled in stunning detail, and the Mercedes-Benz New Actros that was released in patch 1.18 takes this to a whole new level. It's clear that a lot of love and hard labour has gone into the trucks and they are definitely the highlight of the game's presentation. The only downside to the models is that the switches and knobs inside the cabin aren't adjustable. I may have been spoiled by other pure simulators, but it would be a nice touch if you could actually use the physical buttons instead of mapped keys on a keyboard or controller.
The physics simulation leave a little more to be desired. The truck cabins don't sway as much as they ought, which is especially noticeable during roundabouts or when decelerating. Trailers don't feel
heavy, but just slow you down, and there's very little feedback from the road surface.
The sound design as a whole is serviceable. The truck sounds are of course very good, but the rest of the sound scape doesn't feel as fleshed out. Not that it matters all that much when you spend most of your time inside the cabin (which is
the proper way to play), but it would be nice to have a some more prominent ambient sounds to instil a sense of place when you pull over and turn off the engine. If the truck sounds or road noise aren't to your liking, there are loads of mods available that remedy this.
The world design is generally pretty good. Areas like Great Britain and Switzerland feature some of the best roads and vistas the game has to offer, but some areas feel very bland, especially Germany, which unfortunately is the country you travel through the most because of its location. These areas have generic roads with generic intersections and generic city layouts. It all starts to feel very same-y when you pass the same copy-pasted intersection for the fifth time on a single haul. Some off/on-ramps are also very confusing, where one lane suddenly turns off the road without any heads-up. The signs don't always indicate correctly and these intersections are unrealistically common in the game.
The DLC that has been released is a lot better in this regard, but if you want to up the fidelity of the base game, there are a lot of map mods to try. ProMods is one of the bigger mods that add new areas to the game, but they are also currently in the process of redesigning a lot of the base game to get it up to scratch with the new areas.
The game also supports TrackIR and Oculus, but I haven't had any chance to try these features out.
The game supports keyboard & mouse, gamepads and steering wheels.
The controls for kb&m and gamepads are fairly straight-forward and work just fine. The wheels are way more interesting and you get a lot of settings to perfect your experience. Earlier, the trucks had some wonky wheel rotation properties, but a recent patch gave all trucks 900º rotation. I haven't found any settings I feel are missing, either. There are multiple sliders for different axes and FFB settings, all buttons are rebindable and there is a useful wizard for quick setup.
The force feedback feels a bit "grindy", though. I use a Logitech G27 and it feels like the engines struggle with providing resistance, almost like they're slipping on sand. This does not happen in other games, where the feedback is tight and grippy. I have no idea what causes this, and it doesn't seem like any of the settings fix it. It works
and can give you a juicy jolt if you crash, but it's not what I've come to expect from force feedback.
Despite some technical flaws this is one of my favorite games. It's a solid package and great for a relaxing evening of driving.
If you can stomach long drives, gradual progression and being responsible for your own fun in an open world
on the open road, this game comes highly recommended.
Steam review rating: Zen/10.