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American Truck Simulator is a simulation of driving a truck across America, and while it can claim many successes in terms of mechanical authenticity, its most effective simulation is state of mind. That zen-like focus and calm of driving, when every other worry evaporates from your mind. Only the road. Only the music. The music and the road as one.
There aren't many games out there that I'd spend several hours creating a Spotify playlist for. But American Truck Simulator scratches the exact same itch that Elite: Dangerous does. While they're vastly different games, both evoke a sense of the wide open road, of the perfect road trip. Both give you freedom and put you in control of your own destiny and your own direction. Both are ridiculously compelling and they let you set your own pace.
American Truck Simulator, like the rest of the Truck Simulator series, is polished and entertaining. It's smaller than Euro Truck Simulator 2; it feels more like a foundation than a full game. No matter, the low price tag and addictive simulator gameplay make it a joy to go trucking through famous American cities like San Francisco and Las Vegas. American Truck Simulator is easy to recommend to series fans and newcomers alike, especially knowing that more content is on the way.
So, while it may not be possible to go from Phoenix, Arizona all the way to Tacoma, it is possible to go from Oakland to Sactown, the Bay Area and back down. And that's just fine.
American Truck Simulator is a great game for listening to podcasts while driving around a virtual simulacrum of Nevada and California. It has some flaws, but the overall presentation was fantastic and very enjoyable.
American Truck Simulator may seem a little bare right now, with just two states and three trucks, so it's hard to recommend to newcomers over the sublime Euro Truck Simulator 2. That said, those that enjoyed hauling in Europe will no doubt find enjoyment on the other side of the pond, with new cargo awaiting them and new cities to explore.
What's here I wholeheartedly admit is fantastic, but we find ourselves in a Street Fighter V-esque situation where we're waiting for the full package. The budget pricing for American Truck Simulator goes a long way to assuaging these fears, and there's still potential for dozens of hours of gameplaying for aspiring truckers. On a personal level I'd be tempted to wait and see how this shakes out - will you have to buy every state? What if I buy New Jersey, will I have to buy every state in between there and Nevada to do a long haul? What about Canada and Mexico? There's a lot of unanswered questions, but provided SCS Software remains true to its word, you're guaranteed to having a trucking good time.
Driving is inefficient, extortionate, and most people are garbage at it, including myself. I couldn't comprehend why anyone would endorse the lie of the open road. American Truck Simulator reflected the anxious reality, but also allowed me to appreciate the grandeur of it all.
The game has realism written all over it. You steer, accelerate, reverse, use headlights, set the headlights, rest when tired, pay fines from the police, and much more.