Would you believe, there is quite a lot of competition for truck simulator games? It’s actually quite a hotly contested market, with some very hardcore fans. But does the new entry, Truck Driver: The American Dream live up to the hopes of virtual truck drivers? Well, ten four good buddies. We’re going to find out.
The game starts in the middle of a hurricane. The weather is severe, and the lighting is striking in the distance – it’s really quite cool. You need to get to a shelter to help people, and it does a good job of conveying that you’re likely to be a hero trucker! Sadly, once you reach safety, the game fast forwards many years and you, the son of a famous trucker now need to learn the ropes of trucking.
Trucking pretty much consists of driving from A to B. The main challenge here is abiding by the rules of the road; not running red lights for example, or smashing other people off the road. In most cases, you’ll get a fine or a spot of damage to repair on your truck. But not everything happens the way you’d expect. I got harpooned by an especially bad crash when I hit a traffic cone, seemingly made out of hardened concrete. It didn’t budge, and my truck wrapped around it.
These little annoyances multiply quickly. Avoiding traffic sounds like an obvious rule, but it’s hard when the AI drivers pull some particularly crazy moves. Aside from looking out for bad drivers, there’s not a great deal else to do. The driving is a bit simulator-lite, so you’re resigned to looking around the world. Sadly, it’s a bit of an ugly baby (the intro, which I thought genuinely looked quite nice, seems to have got the top-dollar treatment, with the rest of the game playing catch up).
Confusingly, there’s a ‘free roam’ mode available, but this is coming later as DLC. It seems like a strange and odd omission, but perhaps it was cut in a rush to get the game out. Regardless, there is some potential here but it needs a passover I think to fix some glitches, crashes (game-breaking ones, not in-game ones), crashes (in-game ones!) and flesh out the mission variety.
Reviewed on PS5