Posts Tagged ‘American Truck Simulator’

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

ets-italia

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

best-pc-games-ever

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

america-truck-simulator-offroad

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

Machiiiines

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

best-vr-games

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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Have You Played… American Truck Simulator?

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

Still an ongoing concern – we really want to see those states, SCS – but I’m have-you-playeding it because I suspect many people moved on from it fairly soon after launch due to its somewhat small size. You know it’s huge these days, right? Read the rest of this entry »

Serious haulage: Truck Simulator adding double trailers

Bendy double trailers are coming to American Truck Simulator [official site] and Euro Truck Simulator 2 [official site] this summer, which sounds a treat for serious truckers and a nightmare for me, an idiot who sees Truck Sim as a walking simulator following routes. To virtuatruckers, double trailers are a feature requested for years. To me, double trailers will surely be a way to crash and wedge even more as I try to turn and reverse, like a rambler who forgets they’re wearing a huge backpack and falls flat on their face every time their megabag bumps on a stile. Read the rest of this entry »

American Truck Simulator honking to New Mexico next

American Truck Simulator

The next state being added to American Truck Simulator [official site] is New Mexico, developers SCS Software announced. The Land of Enchantment, locals call it. The Cactus State! Land of Sunshine! Mexico Plus! Mexico Gold! I Can’t Believe It’s Not Mexico! SCS’s recent update upscaling the continent “transforms a great game into a sublime one”, our Alec will tell you, and now they’re done embiggenning SCS have moved back to expanding. No word yet on when New Mexico will arrive but SCS do share a few pictures to peek at for now (hit the announcement for bigguns). Read the rest of this entry »

RPS 2016 Advent Calendar, Dec 17th: American Truck Simulator

Day seventeen of The RPS Advent Calendar, which highlights our favourite games of the year, takes us away from the red tides of murder and into absolute serenity. A driving game without races, a vehicle game more about what’s at the side of the road than what’s ahead of you. A state of mind as much as it is a videogame.

It’s American Truck Simulator!

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American Truck Simulator now gert big again

America is now bigger than ever as American Truck Simulator [official site] has officially launched its rescaling, going from 1:35 scale to 1:20. This means longer roads and grander landscapes, and developers SCS Software have rebuilt a lot to be more interesting and varied too, including new landmarks. The new scale “transforms a great game into a sublime one”, our Alec declared after playing a beta version, and I’ve certainly been impressed by it too. The update is now live so it should be waiting for you next time you slip on your “Keep on trucking” cap and crack open a Bud Light. Read the rest of this entry »

The American Truck Simulator landmass rescale transforms a great game into a sublime one

It has been quite the year, politically and personally. I bend no truth when I say that, were it possible to spend 16 hours a day pretending to be a lorry driver in a computer game, I would seize that opportunity gladly. The simplicity of having to get from point A to point B, the slow-motion pressure-and-release of needing to refuel, a view of the world that is landscape-led, not people-centric. American Truck Simulator [official site] is not, first and foremost, a motorised vehicle simulation game. It is pure escape, genuine freedom via a screen, as close as it comes to a real roadtrip without the expense and discomfort.

Unfortunately, ATS’ initial vision of America, as well as being thus far limited to California, Arizona and Nevada, was hyper-compressed. Journeys were measured in minutes, not hours, day/night flew by like nature documentary montages, and open land was but a quickly-drawn breath between suburbs and cities. I loved it, but it felt bite-size; America: The Trailer, not America: The Movie.

Things have changed, and beautifully so.

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Make America gert big again: Truck Simulator rescale now in open beta

The people have spoken, and they want America proper dirty gert big. Leading ideas in the office of President-elect Trump include switching to metric so distances sound greater, breeding miniature cows to mess with perspective, and raising the bedrock on pneumatic lifts so the ground is closer to everyone’s eyes. Good ideas, okay, very smart. The biggest. You’ll love them. But in American Truck Simulator [official site], developers SCS Software have simply made the whole dang land bigger. They’ve been working on rescaling the world of their haul ’em up, making it larger and more interesting, and players can see the results themselves now in an open beta. Read the rest of this entry »