Have You Played… Euro Truck Simulator 2?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game recommendations. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

Euro Truck Simulator 2 [official site] is one of my favourite games of the last few years. I think we’ve surpassed the point where I have to ensure that everyone understands that I’m not joking. I hope that people have started to realise that Euro Trucking is as valid and enjoyable a gaming habit as murdering, looting and doing a sport.

If you haven’t played Euro Truck Simulator 2, here are some reasons why you should:

1) You love the open road, right? The idea of driving and driving until the city lights vanish in your rear view mirror? YES.

2) Admit it. There’s something kind of romantic about coasting from city to city, Europe your playground, while the world sleeps. It’s ok to admit that.

3) You might be able to drive to the city you live in. That’s always fun. If not, Scandinavia is looking great.

4) You can listen to local radio stations as you drive. I heard some great Balearic trance while delivering tinned food to Berlin last week.

5) You might never get to drive a truck in real life but you probably see them all the time. You must have wondered what it’d be like to sit up there in the cabin, sealed off from the world below. A truck is basically the Olympus of the road.

The great shame of Euro Truck Simulator 2 is that it made me believe, briefly, that I might enjoy other SOMETHING Simulator games. So far, I’ve failed to get past the tutorials of almost every one I’ve tried. OMSI 2, the post-wall Berlin bus simulator, is the other diamond in the rough, but the ACTUAL THINGS YOU KNOW IN REAL LIFE Simulator genre is definitely rough.

Know what I really want? A taxi simulator. Crazy Taxi without the Crazy. Sane Taxi. Ordinary Taxi. Real cities, believable fares, the rules of the road. Radio stations and day/night cycles. Dynamic weather effects. Idling outside the Walford Astoria on Park Avenue, hoping to pick up a big tipper but knowing you’d probably need some upgrades to attract them. Resorting to the dive bars and your kind of clientele instead. Beautiful.


  1. Belsameth says:

    Really looking forward to their US based fare. Mostly because I hope the cities aren’t all so samey. Great game tho!

  2. rustybroomhandle says:

    “Know what I really want? A taxi simulator. Crazy Taxi without the Crazy. Sane Taxi. Ordinary Taxi.”

    The starting bits of Mafia was kind-of that. Did not last long though.

  3. cutterjohn says:

    I know that this isn’t a taxi simulator, but it’s kind of close, a bus simulator:
    link to store.steampowered.com

    Your article made me remember seeing the spate of sim this and sim thats that I ran across the past few months in various places. Most of them making me scratch my head, e.g. farm simulator, heavy equipment simlator, euro truck :D, container ship simulator, cruise ship simulator, etc.

    BUT I did break down and pick up rig n roll (truck simulator) last night as it was fairly cheap. Yet to try it although I suspect that it’s subpar v. euro truck 2.

    • Premium User Badge

      phuzz says:

      From TFA: “OMSI 2, the post-wall Berlin bus simulator, is the other diamond in the rough”

  4. welverin says:

    “1) You love the open road, right? The idea of driving and driving until the city lights vanish in your rear view mirror?”

    No, I hate driving and I only do it out of necessity. No good would come from me driving that much.

    • cutterjohn says:

      Oh, but you know I’m like you I don’t really like racing or driving games or train simulators or any of that crap, but in a pinch I will play them BUT I DON’T play them like I’m SUPPOSED to.

      i.e. I try to see how much mayhem and destruction I can cause.

      I remember one old racing game back in the day, I’d get my car turned around and go in the opposite direction on the track seeing how many other cars that I could take out. Great fun.

      • DelrueOfDetroit says:

        Any racing game that puts up an invisible barrier preventing you from driving the wrong way should automatically get the lowest review score possible.

      • Artiforg says:

        Indy 500 on the Amiga by any chance? I used to do that. Turn the car around in the start/finish straight then let everyone else whizz off round the track while I would align myself just right on the track so that I’d cause everyone to crash. Then watch the replay afterwards.

        • cutterjohn says:

          Was on some old 286s IIRC in one of the computer labs at the university, and someone had already put the game on there.

          All I can VAGUELY remember now was that it was wireframed, and IIRC it would tell you the number of cars involved in a pileup as that was what I would always really try to go for.

          It wasn’t much of game, but I guess if it were a late 1980s effort it would’ve been pretty good as I seem to vaguely remember a spectrum holobyte(?) racing game that was more colorful… might’ve been on a mac though…. Vette maybe? (the SH one, no idea at all what that DOS one was… just hella fun going backwards to kill some time…)

  5. Cinek says:

    ETS2 is like a better version of Elite: Dangerous. With a proper single player (no need to stay online!) and an actual modding community (endless possibilities!).

  6. Blackcompany says:

    Bloody fantastic game. Was just enjoying some long haul driving this weekend, and planning to do more before the weekend is out.

    Also eager for the American Truck version.

  7. prof_yaffle says:

    I’ve tried to get into this game a few times but never managed it. I keep seeing people saying they find the game relaxing, but for me it’s one of the most stressful games I own.
    This may be due to the fact I never got my drivers license and after my second failure it was pretty clear I was of too nervous a disposition to ever be able to drive.

    • Blackcompany says:

      If driving stresses you out, then I can see how this game would do the same. Perhaps its not the thing for you. On the other hand, it might be a way for you to become comfortable with the idea of driving in a safe virtual environment.

      Myself, I have always loved road trips. As I got older, my joints stiffer and gas/petrol more expensive, the idea of just…taking off down the road for a night or a weekend became ever more impractical. ETS2 isnt quite the same as a real road trip, but its a nice substitute, especially since I can pull over and refill my coffee or use the restroom any time.

  8. LionsPhil says:

    I had to avoid buying it to make sure I didn’t burn all my free time sat on my arse in a stupor doing a simulated menial job.

    It has a bizzarely high addictivness/actual-fun ratio.

  9. DelrueOfDetroit says:

    Cross Country Canada still remains the grandest trucking game ever made.


  10. Dudeist says:

    This is most aggressive boring game I know, and I like. However played demo only and I think this is enough.

  11. Ben B says:

    Love the game and always worth tuning into some local Euro Pop / Rock radio station in-game for added authenticity when driving through Sweden, Eastern Europe etc :)

  12. try2bcool69 says:

    I drive a truck for a living, and I was amazed at how familiar everything felt when playing. I could even drive a Volvo truck that was exactly the same interior as the one I drive irl…
    The only problem I have is that in the game, it seems like the trucks accelerate the same way whether you’re loaded or empty, and also if you’re bobtail.
    I understand the attempt at realism, but seriously, If you know what you’re doing, big rigs are surprisingly quick and nimble on corners, braking, and acceleration. Bobtail driving is nearly as fast at acceleration as a car. (Which, btw, GTAV finally got closer to figuring out)
    I wish the devs would spend a night with me, driving through Chicago area traffic…it would be a real eye-opener.
    Ultimately, though, I realized I was going home at the end of the day and doing pretty much the same thing I just got paid to do for the last 10 hours…I just couldn’t do it for two more…

    • LionsPhil says:

      (I take it “bobtail” means “with no trailer attached”?)

      I think it would also help if they paid more attention to the range of sounds engines make under load. IIRC it’s one of those games where getting bogged down climbing a hill doesn’t get enough growl out of the engine as the revs fall, instead making it sound the same as if you’re just off the throttle and coasting to a stop. That then makes them feel bizzarely underpowered for great big trucks.

  13. RegisteredUser says:

    Fair warning, this really IS just a driving simulator. And one where you have to stop at lights. Obey the speed limit. Any bump means repair costs. Acceleration is very, very, very low even with high horsepower if your cargo is heavy.
    And so forth.
    And the visuals, even if you try to mod it around, just aren’t going to give you much. Not pretty traffic, not pretty landscapes..

    Its really just you, driving around a bit.
    If that somehow makes you go wow, then by all means. Otherwise I cannot overemphasize that you should make use of the free trial/demo offers, first.
    The hiring of new employees and all that other fluff is really just window dressing, as is the later DLC(literally: windowdressing). You don’t really do any managing, you just drive stuff from A to B til you have enough to have someone also do it in the background. That’s the entirety of the “business simulation” part.

    TL;DR: Be aware that this is really a “Keep the steering wheel adjusted to the road and break and accelerate occassionally” simulator. That’s it.

    • RegisteredUser says:

      P.S. If you’re curious about some oldschool trucking gaming: Check out Trucking USA from 1983 on the C64.

  14. quietone says:

    Upgraded from my old 2010 desktop to a state of the art gaming laptop. Downloaded all the new games I thought I would play now that I can finally run games that are not just DX9 compatible and above ultra low settings: MGSV, GTAV, W3, FC4…
    I was playing ETS2 when I decided to come and check the site. I hate that game. I just can’t quit.

    • xyzzy frobozz says:

      You upgraded a an old desktop to a state of the art gaming laptop?

      You must be some sort of modding superhero. I dips me lid to ya!

  15. Synesthesia says:

    Yes! Great gateway drug to sims. OMSI 2 is a dream, though. I wish the engine wasn’t so butt ugly.

  16. Wisq says:

    I’m totally going back to ETS2 (or maybe the US one when it comes out), but I’m waiting for VR products to hit the market first. Same thing for flight sims and space fighter sims.

    Can’t wait to be able to ditch TrackIR and have proper 6DOF that really feels good.

  17. alms says:

    Know what I really want? A taxi simulator. Crazy Taxi without the Crazy. Sane Taxi. Ordinary Taxi. Real cities, believable fares

    If you had believeable fares in ETS2, you’d hand your computer to an exploited Eastern European driver and have him work for you on a dime, under threaten to dump him in favor of another slave who’s willing to accept even less to avoid starving.

    IOW it’s not nice.

  18. melnificent says:

    I’ve played many hours. But had to stop playing it in vr. After a long weekend of playing in the rift I was driving in real life and took a couple of corners like I had in ets2. The first and only time a game has affected me in real life.

    These simulators in vr create these weird bleeding effects into real life. Until that point I’d say that games were just that…. now, well I only play ets2 on a monitor.

  19. keefybabe says:

    I was really disappointed when they missed bits of the M62 out. I WANT MY BORING SIMULATORS TO BE ALL PROPER, LIKE!

  20. Catburd says:

    Simulator games like this make me scratch my head.
    I suffer from Aspergers, so I can be pretty pedantic about the kinds of things I’m interested in and the reasons why. So when I look at a game like, say, Train Simulator, and think to myself that you are paying for the experience of performing a job so boring that people have literally died because the person charged with performing that job either fell asleep or was busy on his cell phone.

    Euro Truck Simulator takes a step in the right direction, but in the end of the day, it’s like a slightly more boring version of my drive to work.
    So, I sat about thinking of all of the things that one could change to make it more interesting. The first was add an element of significant danger to it, like people on the road actively trying to murder you and take what’s in your trailer. Something to make it tense and exciting.
    Then, I thought, modern themes can be kind of boring, since, let’s face it. We live in today, 24/7. I don’t need *more* of today. Let’s push it into the future.
    Next on the agenda? Laws. Following them should be more… I dunnow… Optional. If I wanna carry illegal immigrants, or massive amounts of illegal drugs, or shipments of antitank weapons, wouldn’t that make the game much more fun to play…?
    While we’re on the subject of opening up possibilities, let’s give two-dimensional maps the middle finger. I want six degrees of freedom. Naturally this means outer space.

    So the logical conclusion is that you should really just play Elite: Dangerous instead.

  21. KastaRules says:

    This is one of those games that really shines when played with a steering wheel and an H shifter… hauling on the mountain route from Turin to Bern is simply amazing !!!