Posts Tagged ‘American Truck Simulator’

Rhythm-action fish-gutting to a Blade Runner soundtrack

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I’ve been playing the newly released Fishing: Barents Sea in the hope that it was water-bound cousin to American/Euro Truck Simulator, those bastions of road-tripping relaxation. What I found was something very different. Something remarkable in its own way.

Chilly Norwegian seas, the lonely put-put of a solo fishing boat engine, the methodical laying and collecting of lines – and a sublimely-synthy, ever-so-Vangelis soundtrack as I coolly slice open fish bellies. Read the rest of this entry »

American Truck Simulator heads up north to Oregon

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Ah, the American North, where the trees are tall, the roads are winding, and everyone feels just that little bit more relaxed, being closer to Canada’s soothing influence. It’s just a scientific fact; look it up.

After teasing it for a time, SCS Software have announced the next expansion for American Truck Simulator, latest in their freight-driving sim series. This time, you’re headed to the Beaver state, up to Oregon, in search of the fortune that the logging industry of such a green and lustrous land might bring.

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The 20 best non-violent games on PC

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My nerves have been sufficiently jangled and my trigger-finger sufficiently itched by the glut of action games which landed in the closing months of last year. I crave an altogether more sedate beginning to 2018, and so my mind turns to games in which violence, reflex or any other kind of unblinking attentiveness takes a back seat.

Primarily we’re talking violence-free games here, but I wanted to drill a little deeper than that – so nothing that generally requires a competitive streak. I’m chasing a certain feel rather than a certain category. Flying, walking, puzzling, driving, building, dreaming, climbing, stretching, swinging (not like that), swimming, wondering: these are just a few of the ways in which flashing pixels can make you feel a very different sort of accomplishment.

And, of course, these are not even slightly the be-all and end-all of non-violent games on PC – please do nominate more in comments below. Read the rest of this entry »

Cel-shaded PUBG, ’70s Truck Sim and zinester Assassin’s Creed with new Nvidia tool

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Post-processing tools for games aren’t new – hello Reshade and SweetFX – but the world of dramatically altering a PC game’s appearance with what could loosely be described as real-time Instragram filters has always been a scrappy wild west. Nvidia have this week built themselves a governor’s mansion on this new frontier, introducing a feature called ‘Freestyle‘ to the GeForce Experience suite of game optimisation, streaming and screenshotting tools. It might lack the open source and community-driven scope of ReShade, but it’s easier and slicker to use on the games that support it – and the results can be dramatic. Gimmicky, sure, but making a game you’re otherwise tiring of into a neon fever-dream can be a real shot in the arm.

Presenting for your wide-eyed delectation and howling disapproval – Plunkbat: The Animated Series, Assassin’s Creed Oranges: Vice City and American Truck Simulator: Grindhouse Edition.
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The truck of nightmares

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I want you to do three things before you watch the below. First, I want you to reassure anyone else in your household or workplace that they are perfectly safe, no matter what they might hear. Then I want you to turn your volume up very loud indeed. Finally, I want you to imagine yourself not as the driver of the truck you will see, but as the driver of the small, cream-coloured car in front of it.

A lonely freeway, late at night. No sound but the thrum of your engine. And then.
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The most exciting games of 2018

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As we lay 2017 to rest, let us remember all of the wonderful games that flickered across our screens and occupied our hearts and minds. But now we must promise never to think of them again because times have changed. This is 2018 and if we’ve learned one thing from the few hours we’ve spent in it it’s that there are games everywhere. Every firework that exploded in the many midnights of New Year’s celebrations was stuffed with games and they were still raining down across the world this morning. We cannot stop them, we cannot contain them, but we can attempt to understand them.

Hundreds of them will be worth our time and attention, but we’ve selected a few of the ones that excite us most as we prepare for another year of splendid PC gaming. There’s something for everyone, from Aunt Maude, the military genius, to merry Ian Rogue, the man who hates permadeath and procedural generation with a passion.

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Help Santa deliver Christmas gifts in Truck Simulator

How can Father Christmas deliver presents to all the children of the world in only one night? Magic. However, Sinterklaas has been caning the peppermint schnapps and wouldn’t say no to a bit of help from truckers. American Truck Simulator and Euro Truck Simulator 2 have launched festive events challenging virtuatruckers to haul gifts across Europe and Americky. That’s a great act of kindness, and Father Christmas of course loves that stuff, so in return the games offer honking helpers gifts such as truck paint jobs and cabin decorations including a real uncle-lookin’ snowman. Read the rest of this entry »

Italia is Euro Truck Sim 2 at its most beautiful – but it is time for something more

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I’ve spent a lot more with American Truck Simulator than I have with its by-now much larger predecessor Euro Truck Simulator 2, mostly because a more distant land seemed more romantic than one I am already part of. But ATS, in its current South-Westerly configuration, is a game with a heavy reliance on rock and sand landscapes – evocative for sure, but while we await a hoped-for move to greener states such as Oregon, ETS2 is there to fill the verdant gap. This Mediterranean allure of this week’s massively-expanded Italy DLC proved especially irresistible.

Three things: 1) it’s remarkable how different ETS2 feels from ATS, despite broadly being the same game 2) Italia is the prettiest Truck Sim module yet 3) even so, the Truck Sim games now badly need a big visual overhaul.
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Best PC games of all time

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There are more wonderful games being released on PC each month than ever before. In such a time of plenty, it’s important that you spend your time as wisely as possible. Thankfully, we’re here to help. What follows are our picks for the best PC games ever made. Read the rest of this entry »

Land of enchantment: an American Truck Sim – New Mexico photo diary

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Recently, I ran our review of American Truck Simulator: New Mexico, the first paid DLC for my all-time favourite driving game, and which adds the Union’s 47th state into the game, alongside the existing California, Arizona and Nevada. Though I consider it absolutely essential, in that it really makes ATS feel like a signficant part of a country, as opposed to simply that nation’s greatest hits, I found it left me feeling a little bleaker than the other states. I admired the scenery but found the settlements oppressively characterless: this was not a place I wanted to be, as much as I might have enjoyed driving through it at speed.

But I was left with a creeping sense that I hadn’t really seen the best of the place, and some of the comments on the review bore that out. Specific places were named, highlights in the mingled desert, forest and mountain landscape, and, perhaps, until I’d seen them, I could not claim to have had an accurate impression of ‘the land of enchantment.’ So here’s what I did. Each day this week, I visited one famous or otherwise revered location in New Mexico, documented it and then reconsidered how I felt about the state as a whole afterwards.

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An American truck driver at the end of the world

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My friends, today I achieved the dream of dreams. I boldly went where no-one has gone before. I went behind American Truck Simulator‘s invisible wall. I saw the world that lay beyond the road. I saw views to take my breath away. I saw the land torn asunder. I saw the laws of physics collapse and invert. And then I met my doom.

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American Truck Sim’s New Mexico DLC has hit the road

Do you know the way to Santa Fe? I do. I drove there this morning. Albuquerque too (I only just learned how to spell ‘Albuquerque’, so expect me to write it a lot), plus Roswell, Farmington, Socorro, and indeed the whole state of New Mexico, which has now made its much-awaited debut in American Truck Simulator.
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American Truck Simulator New Mexico pursues a real America, not a Hollywood America

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American Truck SimulatorNew Mexico is the latest and first paid expansion for SCS Software’s remarkable fusion of dreamlike roadtrip game and business simulation, which is one of my favourite videogames of all time despite my having almost no interest in motor vehicles. New Mexico adds one of the largest but least-populated states into the mix, with cities including Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and Roswell. I’ve been playing it ahead of its release tomorrow.

This New Mexico is not the America of the movies – at least not all those cowboy movies and 60s road movies that are evoked by American Truck Simulator’s initial California/Nevada/Arizona stomping grounds. New Mexico is more the America of modern television. There’s the Breaking Bad connection, of course, given that Albuquerque is one of the major cities in this latest, state-sized expansion, but it’s more than that. This is anyplace America, not a cinematographer’s America.
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Hot dog: American Truck Sim, Albuquerque – next week

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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.
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Podcast: Guilty pleasures and Opus Magnum

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It’s a simple theme this week with the Electronic Wireless Show. We’re talking about guilty pleasures – the games that make us feel a wee bit embarrassed but not so much that we won’t squirrel away at them while grinning  like idiots. Alec feels a bit sheepish bringing his toy steering wheel to work when planning to play American Truck Simulator. Meanwhile, Matt remembers how he enjoyed the passage of time while picking flax in a Runescape field, and Brendan attempts to explain the relaxing sea-based boredom of Sailaway.

We’ve also been tinkering with alchemical puzzler Opus Magnum from Zachtronics, fiddling with small machines to produce precious metals, hangover cures and the kinds of “stamina potions” you might find spamming up your junk folder. Come listen, guilt-free. Read the rest of this entry »

American Truck Simulator shows off New Mexico

Canyon crossin'

We still don’t have a release date for the upcoming New Mexico expansion for American Truck Simulator [official site] but developers SCS Software have said they are putting on the “finishing touches”. Eager to show off the sights of this map expansion, they’ve also released a trailer “to whet your appetite”. It’s got canyons, creeks and plane crashes. Read the rest of this entry »

The 23 best VR games for PC

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Here they are then – the best games to play in virtual reality…and those games are “watching football,” “drinking”, “a nice cup of tea”, “fleeting emotional connection to another human being” and all those other everyday activities you believe to be real, as opposed than a simulation you have been experiencing since you first plugged your frail, mollusc-like form into a headset 19 years ago. SPOOKS!

But, should you persist in maintaining this fantasy, let’s go one level deeper and talk about the entertaining, satisfying or otherwise nifty games available for what is the current VR state-of-the-art in your imagined world: the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift. The rival headsets are getting on for a couple of years old now, and in that time there’s been what can feel like a ceaseless storm of new games for them. How to choose, how to choose? Well, start here. These are not the only good’uns, please understand – but they are our favourite virtual realities right now.

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This American Truck Simulator road will play ‘America the Beautiful’ as you drive

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A stretch of the iconic Route 66 in American Truck Simulator [official site] will play the song ‘America the Beautiful’ as we drive our trucks over it. The DLC adding New Mexico will include a real stretch of road near Tijeras which really does play a song, a real thing I haven’t made up. ‘Musical roads’ are a clever idea, similar to the rumble strips that make cars buzz as a warning but tuning them (by varying the distance between grooves) to play music. My dream ATS is filled with Americana and oddities so this is a real treat. Read the rest of this entry »

American Truck Simulator closing Highway 1 due to real-world landslide

I like American Truck Simulator [official site] because it’s a dreamland version of the USA, one which looks a bit like the country does in movies but is quite separate from reality. This will soon change. Developers SCS Software have announced that ATS’s next update will soon close a section of its virtual Highway 1, reflecting the the real Californian landslide near Big Sur in May. If you want to haul cargo round that way in American Truck Simulator, you’ll need to take a detour. Read the rest of this entry »

13 recent games that run well on terrible laptops

‘Terrible’ only in the sense of their gaming capability. Honestly, I’m sure your laptop is lovely to look at and it was definitely a extremely sensible idea to spend all that money on it instead of buying a holiday or helping to save the pandas. Truth is, though, that playing recently-released games on the vast majority of laptops is about as effective as starting an online petition to uncancel your favourite television show.

A little discretion goes a long way, however. Sure, you may be denied the glossiest of exploding viscera, but it is entirely possible to keep up with the Joneses even on a Terrible Laptop that has no dedicated graphics card. Here are but twelve contemporary games – either recently released or still-evolving going concerns – that will indeed run on your glammed-up toaster. Additional suggestions below are entirely welcome.
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