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PC Game Review

Euro Truck Simulator


Format: PC
Excalibur Publishing
RRP: £29.99
5 060020 473227
Age Restrictions: 3+
Available 29 August 2008

Navigate your way around a realistic depiction of Europe travelling along major trunk routes and visiting famous places based on real roads and cities. Experience the life of a long distance truck driver as you face the challenge of varying road and traffic conditions and meeting the demands of a heavy schedule...

Euro Truck Simulator allows you to drive around Europe delivering cargo in order to make a profit. You start the game inside a truck dealer in the country of your choice. With a limited amount of money, you must chose your truck and then you can start working as a jobbing trucker.

There are three classifications of cargo you can agree to cart around Europe - from non-hazardous to hazardous materials. Each comes with their own risks and financial rewards. However, you'll have to be qualified to carry certain loads, which is something you'll learn to do as you play through the game. There are also "fragile" loads where you'll have to drive a bit more carefully.

Should you break any traffic laws, or hit any other vehicles or objects, the cost of the damage will be deducted from your earnings. You must also stop at garages to undertake repairs or fill up with petrol. There are also resting spots where you can pull over and take a break - you have to rest at least every 12 hours of game time or you'll start to experience side effects of sleep fatigue.

Based largely on the engine (no pun intended) that was used for the company's 2007 Bus Driver, Euro Truck Simulator irons out a lot of the issues that were wrong with the earlier game, as well as injecting a much welcomed improved gaming aspect. However it still suffers from some of the same problems that stopped Bus Driver becoming an essential purchase.

Bus Driver and Euro Truck Simulator are two very different games, but based on a similar idea - mainly lots of driving. With Euro Truck Simulator, everything feels a lot more polished (from the truck show rooms, to the interior of the truck and the improved graphics).

Thankfully Excalibur Publishing has added various camera angles (rather than have the camera positioned behind the vehicle for the entire game as it was in Bus Driver). So, now you have the option of eight camera angles - but the most important one is the cab interior, which lets you check your gauges and mirrors.

You'll need a decent spec machine to run this, unless you fancy a long delay between pressing a button and anything happening on screen - or if you like all the colours to be replaced by a monochrome blue tint. On all but the highest spec machine we found the action to lag noticeably, which is extremely annoying.

We also found that the sound effects are a little strange in places. Your horn effect is basically the same sound as used in Bus Driver and sounds odd used here. There's also no warning noise when you reverse your truck.

But by far the biggest problem is that you can't enter the UK with your truck. I'm assuming that this is because we drive on the left hand side of the road... but, come on. How hard would it have been to reverse the controls and road layouts?

At the end of the day, this is an entertaining and fun simulation game that will have you hooked for hours. Hopefully the next release will be the one that hits the nail on the head.


Nick Smithson

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