Truck Driver wants to be a truck sim without quite so much sim

truck-driver

On the one hand, I do like the sound of a truck-driving game that, so we’re told, focuses more on the aesthetic appeal of a multi-tonne road trip than it does the simulatory side of hauling a big rig around. On the other, pretty much my favourite thing to do in American Truck Simulator is to flick the wipers on it when it rains and dip the headlights when there’s oncoming traffic.

I just hope that upcoming rival Truck Driver, whatever poppier take on long-distance haulage it has planned, doesn’t throw too many dashboard babies out with the suspension calibration and trailer manufacturer bathwater.

Truck Driver’s announcement nakedly tries to appeal to people who dig driving games but don’t particularly care about vehicles, which very much includes me. “By valuing the ‘game’ aspects over the ‘simulation’ aspects, SOEDESCO aspires to bring the fun-factor back into the trucking genre” is a phrase from its press release which initially appeals because I really don’t want to have to think about carburettors, before I remember that none of the simulation aspects of American Truck Simulator every really got in my way anyway.

I guess I worry that an active pursuit of “fun” as opposed to “unpressured driving” could backfire, but maybe I’m simply being conservative and holding too fast to what I know.

What does sound interesting is the promise of a campaign mode that isn’t simply about hauling goods from A to B, but rather about building relationships within the local community and your own truck-driving career. I do think that there’s a bit of a gap, in the SCS Truck Simulator games, between going on journeys yourself and hiring a bunch of AI drivers to automatically accrue cash for you, and I’m curious to discover how this realises the space in between newbie driver and boss.

Truck Driver hails from Triangle Studios, who last year attempted to do something similar with farming sims – i.e. strip away the coldly simulatory complexities in favour of ‘immersion’. It doesn’t look like that went down too well, according to the ‘mostly negative’ review average on Steam.

They claim that Truck Driver, the second game they’re publishing with Sodesco, will learn from the lessons of that game, but clearly they’re going to have knock a lot of socks off if I’m going to even consider uninstalling American Truck Sim. It does look prettier than the stark lighting and boxy trees of SCS’ game, but atmosphere is about so much more than mere graphics.

Truck Driver has no specified release date beyond ‘coming soon’, and it’ll start off in early access. There’s a Steam page for wish-listing here.

12 Comments

  1. rustybroomhandle says:

    What sold me on ETS2 many moons ago was this trailer:
    link to youtube.com

    It just oozes joy. (ew)

    But yeah, I’m sorted for truck simming. Even bought a wheel specifically for it. I guess good for Xbox and PS4 players that they’re getting a truck sim.

  2. Wisq says:

    Wait … why is that truck honking on an empty road in the middle of nowhere?

  3. Vinraith says:

    Personally I’d rather get a Truck Sim with a more robust company/economic simulation.

  4. kemo says:

    SOEDESCO has a bit of a track record for publishing mediocre titles, I don’t expect this to be any different. The game also looks even uglier than SCS’ games (which I do love) so I’m not too sure what’s meant by “aestethic appeal”. Curious to see what a campaign mode would bring but I’ve never really thought to myself that making relationships was what SCS missed in their games.

  5. Jabberwock says:

    If they are not so bent on the ‘simulation’ part, maybe they will add guns and missiles? Do not get me wrong, I love ETS/ATS on my training-bike-racing-wheel combo, but always felt they are somewhat lacking in that respect.

  6. King_Rocket says:

    It might be an unpopular opinion but the fact that Euro/US Truck are not “fun” is sort of a big part of the appeal to me.
    “Fun” games tend to have all these dopamine triggers that wind you up, where as the Truck Sim games are a meditative experience.

    • JaminBob says:

      I absolutely agree.

      Also I’d love someone to do this to rail sims. I like the thought of driving trains through lovely landscapes but I’m not fussed about the realism side or what class it is really. There’s a big gap for a casual zen train sim.

  7. April March says:

    I can’t help but thinking this will be a Tony Hawk take on truck drivin’.

    “Hey bro… nice rig! Can you help me collect the TRUCKING letters that fell all over this highway?”

  8. fish99 says:

    To be fair you really don’t need to worry about the simulation side in ATS/ETS either, they’re very configurable.

    • KastaRules says:

      This. You can play ATS/ETS2 in VR, or Triple screen with a steering wheel, pedals and custom shifters like those you’d find on real trucks and make every turn a challenge or just chill and play with the keyboard in front of your monitor or with a joypad in front of your TV set. I love the way you can go from sim to game and vice-versa.

  9. Kurshuk says:

    I skimmed the steam reviews for that other game “Real Farm” and it looks like the bulk of the negative ones take issue with the state the game shipped in. Excessive bugs, poor development response. I’ll buy a copy and see how it is, but hopefully if they did have a bad time last game they’ll try to polish this one a little more.

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