‘American Truck Simulator’ aka ‘the thing I do when I want to listen to a podcast, but I have already done the dishes’ is, depending on your needs, a deep Truck Driving Simulation with superficial economics, or a serious alternative to Zen meditation. I mainly care for the latter and I really appreciate that the game let’s me decide how much of a simulation I get. I don’t care for complex parking maneuvers and accurate fuel calculation. I just want to WASD myself on the highway, drive frozen vegetables from Show Low (AZ) to Sacramento (CA), stare into the golden sunset and listen to some questionable gaming podcast while my brain slowly drains itself. That is until I crash my truck into a police car at 75mph, because I didn’t realize that I already left the highway a few moments ago. It’s spectacular proof of why video games are so important for our society. I can live my truck driving fantasies, which I didn’t know I had until I played Euro Truck Simulator 2, right here in the comfort of my own home, and nobody has to die.
I already spent some time with ‘American Truck Simulator’ before, but as many others, I didn’t like that they changed the scale of the map from 1:20 in ‘Euro Truck Simulator 2’ to 1:35 in the new game. America felt too small. So, as many others, I was more than excited to hear that SCS Software decided to rescale the map back to 1:20. This is my first time revisiting ‘American Truck Simulator’ after the rescale, and I am happy to say that SCS did a fantastic job. It’s still just three states, but the scale feels right now. I can finally try to repay that generous bank loan I thought was a sensible investment when I first started the game. I don’t play often enough to ever build up that truck empire I dream of while running a red light in Reno at 80mph, but it’s always fun to come back and do another tour. It certainly beats washing the dishes.