Hot dog: American Truck Sim, Albuquerque – next week


It’s the greatest gaming news of the year, and I promise you that I make this claim with zero irony whatsoever: the latest American Truck Simulator add-on comes out just seven days from now. It adds the state of New Mexico, which means the delights of Breaking Bad heartland Albuquerque, the tinfoil enthusiast-pleasing Roswell, colonial era-styled cities such as Santa Fe, monumental rock formations, scrappy farms, humongous oil derricks and what looks like a much-needed step up in the zen driving game’s flora.

Most of all, I get the sense that this is the Truck Sim expansion where the penny has finally dropped and the devs are openly embracing the fact that people like I don’t play these games for nerdy vehicular simulation, but because they are blissfully atmospheric, state-of-zen road trip experiences. New Mexico looks so much more beautiful and surprising than anything they’ve done to date. Next week! I’m so excited.

In terms of the penny dropping, just watch this trailer, and observe how little there is terms of highlighting specific trucks or cargo types or tricky intersections or anything like that. It is a celebration of great American scenery, with an American soundtrack that just about stays on the right size of cheese.

Here’s the official list of new stuff in the New Mexico DLC, which launches November 9 and at a cost of $11.99/€11.99/£8.99 (yep, unlike the last couple of new states, this one ain’t free, though from what I’m seeing here that’s only fair), but I think reducing it to FACTS like this somewhat misses the point.

  • Over 4 thousand miles of new in-game roads
  • 14 major cities, including Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and Roswell
  • 11 custom rest/truck stops for parking and refuelling
  • 600+ completely new graphic 3D assets
  • Complex and realistic custom-built junctions and Interstate interchanges
  • 8 new company docks and industries
  • Unique landmarks both natural and man-made

Good things, but they don’t really speak to the experiential side of things as the trailer somewhat does. Those silhouetted oil pumps on the horizon! Vastly improved vegetation (part of those 600 new 3D assets, I guess)! And, intriguingly, what seem to be setpiece road events, such as the police pulling over speeding NPC motorists or drivers having to navigate around a crashed light aircraft. For all their postcard sights, the Truck Simulator games can be a touch sterile, their worlds not terribly alive, and, presuming the contents of this trailer are not overly-fabricated, it appears first steps are being made to change that.

Perhaps my dream of one day being able to make my driver climb out of their cab to have a roadside wee will one day realised after all.

Out on Nov 9, and here’s the Steam store page if you go in for wishlisting or anything like that.


  1. Premium User Badge

    wsjudd says:

    Awesome — as a native New Mexican, it’ll be great to see my homeland rendered in videogame land. New Mexico usually appears in shooter / horror games (e.g. Half-Life, Wolfenstein 2, XCOM 2), so I’m thankful for a cheerier rendition!

    • BeardyHat says:

      Looking forward to this, myself! My sister in law lives in Santa Fe and as Denverites, we tend to drive down there several times a year; New Mexico is a beautiful state!

      • jonahcutter says:

        My folks semi-retired to Santa Fe several years back. It is beautiful.

        If you have not already, visit Meow Wolf there. An experiential, interactive, immersive art installation. It’s one of my favorite things, period. It’s akin to wandering through a collision of worlds from David Lynch, Stanley Kubrick, X-Files, Deadly Premonition, and you’re local park kids’ playground.

      • Cederic says:

        Hmm. From someone living in Colorado that’s very high praise indeed.

        Although I did adore Utah. Spent a day driving from the south-west corner to Green River (then drove into Colorado the next day) and it remains the finest day’s driving of my life. Unfeasible landscapes.

  2. Chaoslord AJ says:

    Hm, just bought Vive La France in the sale so ETS2 comes first but I’ll still get this when it comes out.

  3. Metalfish says:

    Great, now I have bits of this song in my head.

  4. Harrington says:

    Time for me to take a wrong turn at Albuquerque.

    But kidding aside, I’m excited for this. I’ve fallen into the ATS/ETS2 trap because it really is a blissful experience. Puttering along some windy two-lane road on a dark, rainy evening, listening to classical overnight on some Hungarian radio station you’ve never heard of….it’s really, really lovely.

  5. ironweasel80 says:

    Just watched the trailer and it looks like they did an excellent job. As an Albuquerque native and former truck driver, I recognize so many landmarks like the Gorge bridge near Taos, the St. Francis / Cerrillos Rd. Rail Runner crossing, the General Mills loading docks off of Paseo & Jefferson and the Big-I of course (which looks awesome, BTW).

  6. nonemo says:

    Prefab Sprout reference in the title?

  7. unclellama says:

    hot dog jumping frog I WANT COOKIE

  8. canis39 says:

    “…the devs are openly embracing the fact that people like I don’t play these games for nerdy vehicular simulation…”

    Um…not to be a bother…but…

    “people like I”?!

  9. Neutrino says:

    Are there any people in this game, pedestrians etc?

  10. elvirais says:

    Simply fantastic news. But the best news is in an update in their blog, where they mention the next state is already well under development!