Posted: November 27, 2013
I originally purchased this game around the time that the sequel - Euro Truck Simulator 2 - was getting rave reviews. So why not buy the sequel? Because it was priced ten times more and - reviews aside - it seemed doubtful I would enjoy a game where I tediously drove a truck down highways avoiding traffic hauling cargo. At least, I thought, the first game would give me an idea if I could even stomach the genre. And if it did, well only then would I consider paying the price for the sequel.
I was surprised out how engaging this game was. Perhaps because it stood in such stark contrast to all my other driving games (the Need For Speed series, Burnout Paradise, and similar), but there was something very relaxing and enjoyable about driving between the lanes, making a point not to speed (much) and slam into other cars. It was almost zenlike. The graphics might not be particularly impressive but they got the point across, and the AI of the other cars was pleasantly non-aggressive. Figuring out the best routes to take and what cargos to deliver was not particularly challenging but it was relaxing, and a welcome change from the ordinary.
Sadly, that's not enough to sustain the game, at least not for me. Having advanced three tiers and played over twenty hours, the lack of variety is increasingly noticeable. All the highways and cities more or less look the same and the challenge is flat throughout. So while it was a wonderful ride up to this point, it wasn't enough to keep me playing until the nominal "end" of the simulation. However, it /was/ enough to get me interested in the sequel, which apparently adds extra content and gameplay. And since that was the whole point of my playing this game in the first place, I consider it time and money well spent.