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.