Euro Truck Simulator 2

ETS2 is a vehicle simulation game developed by SCS Software and is presently available on Steam during their Autumn Sale for $8.49 USD (66% off regular price). The Gold Pack which contains the Going East DLC is selling for $11.89 USD. There is a third DLC available on Steam, that being the Halloween Paint Jobs Pack, however I declined to purchase that separately.

I had been watching the price point of this sim for some time, and although there is a PC demo available that is linked at the Steam store page I held off doing anything with it until the Autumn Sale came along when I picked up the Gold Bundle for $8.74 (when it was 75% off). If you have any interest at all in driving or life simulations, then I would suggest giving the demo a try.

The sim is fairly scalable and can be played easily with a game controller or (if need be, a keyboard and mouse). There are advanced options for those with wheel controllers featuring a variety of shifter options. For the casual novice gamer, automatic shifting and other truck control options are available. There is even an option in each “job” (think quest) to auto park the trailer at the destination (once you arrive); however it is at the cost of some experience points.

The main menu looks pretty busy as there is a lot of information and options available.

The Quick Job Offers screen is where a beginning player can earn money in the game to purchase their own truck and grow their virtual business.

Suspended reality: starting at my base of operations with the hiring companies truck and the trailer already attached with the product loaded. It would have been difficult for the developers to model multiple pickup locations to go with the multiple drop off locations that are in the game, so I understand why they went with this game mechanic.

Modeling frustration: not paying attention and getting off at the wrong exit sucks almost as much in game as it does in real life.

Getting to the unloading dock can sometimes be a dicey proposition as you have to obey traffic laws and of course, traffic.

For that full trucker experience (save the rest area hookers), the player can choose to dock the trailer themselves in the designated area for 45 extra experience points, however this is not as easy as it looks (even on reduced difficulty settings).

The after-action report is actually well done: it gives you all of the information that you would need to know in a straightforward presentation without overdoing it or making it hard to understand.

Completing jobs awards skill points which can be used to fill up a tree of abilities which unlocks more complex, higher paying jobs. Sort of like real life...

The game provides a number of menu options which present your status and progress in the game world. So far from what I have seen these are very well done and their design is something that I would like to see some war games follow.

Similar to state stickers on the side of an RV, the World Map keeps track of where you have gone.

On this haul I gave up in frustration of trying to dock the trailer and let the computer handle it (for a loss of 45 experience points).

Traffic holds you up in the game as it does in real life. In this situation, it was actually a bit stressful trying to pass this big rig at night with a turn coming up.

Weather effects are modeled in the game, but so far I have only seen rain (and sunshine).

Overall this is an impressive simulation for under $10.00 (presently) and I will be keeping it on the back burner. There is definitely some possibilities here with the aspect of creating your own trucking company and growing it, so I will see where this goes.

It is a pleasant change up from pushing infantry chits around a virtual battlefield.

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