American Truck Simulator
Linux Format|November 2021
Management is firm: no new pay rises. So they’re terrified that Andy Kelly is planning to retrain as a highly paid truck driver.
Andy Kelly
SPECS

Minimum

OS: Ubuntu 14.04 64-bit, Steam 2.0

CPU: Dual-core 2.4GHz, 64-bit

Memory: 4GB

GPU: GeForce GTS 450 (Intel HD 4000) or equivalent

Recommended

CPU: Quad-core 3.0GHz

Memory: 6GB

GPU: GeForce GTX 760 (2GB) or equivalent

We’re driving down a long, remote desert road in the dead of night. There’s no other traffic and we can’t see anything except the glow of the headlights and the cracked, dusty asphalt ahead. Our attention drifts. In the Air Tonight by Phil Collins plays on the radio. Suddenly, something appears directly in front of us. A shape on the road.

We panic, heart racing. Is it a car? An animal? We slam on the brakes and skid to a lurching halt. Then we see it. A tumbleweed rolling lazily across the road in front of us, lit up by the glow of the lights. Laughing at ourselves and continuing towards Los Angeles. There’s 30 tons of fertiliser to deliver, and time’s running out.

This is what passes for an anecdote in American Truck Simulator, a game so slow and uneventful that the sudden appearance of tumbleweed is genuinely thrilling. These little moments – military jets streaking across the sky, strange sculptures by the side of the road, trains rumbling past – feel almost like rewards. A brief glimmer of excitement in a long drive across vast swathes of largely empty nothingness.

Like its predecessor, Euro Truck Simulator 2, it’s a game that’s compelling despite its mundane subject matter. It’s a fundamentally good game, with weighty, nuanced handling, a deep simulation, and higher production values than most sims. This results in something both very playable and oddly hypnotic. Driving from place to place, obeying the traffic laws, watching the scenery roll by, listening to the radio... it’s incredibly relaxing.

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