American Truck Simulator
|American Truck Simulator|
An American Truck Simulator PC DVD ROM sample. A Peterbilt 579 carrying a trailer.
|Release||2 February 2016|
American Truck Simulator (ATS) is a 2016 business and vehicle simulation game developed by the Czech company SCS Software and is the parallel video game sequel to Euro Truck Simulator 2. It was first announced as being in development in September 2013 and unveiled at the Electronic Entertainment Expo 2015 (E3 2015). The game was released on 2 February 2016.
American Truck Simulator is a truck driving simulator with business management elements. In the game, players drive trucks and deliver trailer-moved goods to a designated location in order to be compensated with money and experience points. The payload must be delivered to the location speedily within a given amount of time, and with the least amount of damage to the goods as possible, in order to net the most money and experience points possible.
In-game money, after being earned, can be used to purchase more trucks and associated aesthetic, mechanical, and structural upgrades, purchase fuel and repairs for those trucks, take out and repay loans from a bank, as well as hire drivers and purchase garages to house and base them in. The amount of money and experience points earned is commensurate on the length of the delivery in distance traveled as well as the type of goods being transported. When delivering goods, players can use their own personally-purchased truck or use one provided by an in-game company. When delivering goods using a fleet-provided truck, repairs and other costs are paid for by the company rather than out of the player's in-game fund pool. Experience points can be accumulated and used to obtain perks, which improve the player's driving ability and what kinds of payloads they can deliver, such as chemicals and explosives, which net a bigger reward when completed successfully.
In addition to driving and delivering goods, the player can also manage a trucking business with hired drivers and owned properties. Hired drivers will perform deliveries on their own, netting the player money. The longer the drivers are hired, the more skillful they will become, thus increasing the amount of money they earn from each delivery. The player can train each driver to focus on a specific area of their driving that can be improved upon. Unlike in Euro Truck Simulator 2, the game features weigh stations, where players must stop at a designated weight station in order to determine the weight of the cargo before proceeding through (though the game will sometimes allow them to bypass the station but avoiding it deliberately will result in receiving a fine).
The game started off at launch with the U.S. states of California and Nevada, and expanded from there, with Arizona being added in June 2016 as a major update. The U.S. states of New Mexico and Oregon have been made available, as paid DLC, in November 2017, and October 2018, respectively. More U.S. states (and parts of Mexico and Canada) are expected to be added by SCS Software in the future.
On 11 April 2014, SCS Software announced that there will be 100+ cities in the game once completed (not initially), and SCS released screenshots of the game. Truck brands included on American Truck Simulator so far are Kenworth and Peterbilt, but more will follow; the only setback remains the licensing of trucks from their manufacturers.
SCS plans to eventually include the entire contiguous United States, as long as the game continues to do well. On 26 January 2015, SCS Software published a 1-hour video to YouTube of footage from early alpha of the game. On 18 December 2015, SCS Software announced the official release date for American Truck Simulator, 3 February 2016, on their blog. The game was released 1 day earlier instead.
On 23 June 2016, SCS Software announced that it will edit the size of the in-game environment to increase its size by 75%.
On 20 July 2017, SCS announced the 1.28 update, jumping from 1.6 in order to reflect that American Truck Simulator shares features with Euro Truck Simulator 2.
SCS Software confirmed in a blog post on 15 February 2016 that the Kenworth W900 has been launched and added to the game. SCS Software confirmed in a blog post that the Peterbilt 579 and the Kenworth T680 will ship with the sim on release day. They also confirmed the Peterbilt 389 on 3 November 2016.
The game is set in an abridged 1:20 scale version of the western contiguous United States, expanded periodically by the developer through downloadable content. It currently features depictions of the western U.S. states of California, Nevada, Arizona, with New Mexico and Oregon available as separate paid-for DLCs. The game features 61 visitable cities, including Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Albuquerque, and Portland, and many thousands of miles worth of in-game roads. Currently, the player may travel as far north as Astoria, Oregon, as far south as Nogales, Arizona, as far west as Eureka, California, and as far east as Hobbs, New Mexico, assuming the player has all the states available to them. SCS have stated that most future map expansions, if not all, will be at additional cost. The modding community for American Truck Simulator have also created their own map extensions. These extensions include cities in each state and even Mexico and Canada, though these maps are not dense as the base game nor as high quality.
California formed the base game for American Truck Simulator. As in real life, the posted speed limit for all trucks is 55 miles per hour (88 kilometers per hour). The state currently features the most cities in the game, with 22 visitable cities, such as San Francisco, San Diego and Sacramento. It was originally launched with 21 cities, but the city of Ukiah in Northwestern California was added at the same time as Arizona. It is currently the largest state (it is the third-largest state in the Union) featured in American Truck Simulator. The state has varied geography, with desert in most of the eastern portion, beaches along the coast and forest areas in the north. It is mostly bordered by Nevada along its eastern border, and is bordered by Arizona along the southeastern portion of the state. In Spring 2018, SCS Software added Yosemite National Park. This is the first national park featured in the game as commercial trucking is prohibited in national parks.
Nevada was added to the game for free immediately at launch. The vast majority of the state is desert and is the second smallest state by area in the game (though it is the seventh largest state in the Union). As such, it features the fewest cities, 10, including Reno, Carson City and, Elko and the fewest roads. The entirety of the state's western portion borders California, and is bordered by Arizona in the southeast.
The first state added as DLC after American Truck Simulator was launched was Arizona. It was released for free alongside the 1.3 update on 6 June 2016. It was released at the same scale as California and Nevada were in at the time, 1:35. All three states have since been rescaled to 1:20 and all future states will be done in this scale. The map introduced 15 new cities, including Tucson, Flagstaff, and Kingman, and the player may also visit the Grand Canyon. It is the only state bordered by three states currently, with California in the southwest, Nevada in the northwest and New Mexico in the east. The state is famously mostly desert, though there are some small forests in the north.
On 2 February 2017, the second DLC map expansion was announced on the SCS software blog, the state of New Mexico. They also released teaser images and a trailer. The state is the second-largest in the game (behind only California, though it is the fifth-largest in real life) and boasts over 4,000 miles of new in-game roads, 14 major cities, including Santa Fe, Roswell, and Las Cruces; 11 custom rest stops for parking and refueling, unique landmarks and intersections, additional in-game companies and industries, and over 600 custom assets which may also be utilised by the modding community. The expansion was released alongside the free game update 1.29 on 9 November 2017, which introduced dynamic events, including road works and road traffic incidents, into the game. The map itself was the first chargeable expansion state. It is currently the only state bordered by just one other accessible state; Arizona in the west. The state is much like Arizona in that it is mostly desert, though SCS Software noted that the land is much flatter.
On 1 February 2018, SCS Software confirmed in a blog post that Oregon would be the next state. This comes after the release of New Mexico, but two days before New Mexico was released, SCS Software released another blog post stating that the next state was well into development. The blog included screenshots that led many players to conclude that the next state was Oregon, three months before the actual confirmation, as they released a screenshot of an Interstate 5 exit leading to the neighboring cities of Eugene and Springfield. The state was released eight months later, on 4 October 2018.
Oregon is the smallest state rendered in the game thus far (beating the current smallest state, Nevada, though Oregon is still ninth-largest state in the United States), accessible via Californian and Nevadan roads. With it, SCS Software brought more than 5,000 miles of roads, 14 new cities, including Eugene, Salem, and The Dalles, and more than 700 brand new assests. In real life, the western and eastern portions of the state are divided by the Cascades. As such, the west is heavily forested and the east is very dry. SCS Software took note of this in a blog post, stating that players can look forward to localized industry, such as timber. Unlike with the release of New Mexico, SCS Software has not yet divulged any information about the next state in development. The DLC also includes a small portion of a highway in western Idaho, Washington (state)
James Cunningham of Hardcore Gamer gave the game a 4 out of 5 saying, "While a little more realism would make American Truck Simulator more fun, paradoxical as that may sound, there’s no escaping how fantastically playable it is." Laura Dale from Polygon rated the game a 8/10 saying, "As someone who sunk countless hours into Euro Truck Simulator 2, a fresh coat of paint, an unfamiliar set of sights and the challenge of driving on the wrong opposite side of the road left me confident that I'll be sinking just as many hours into American Truck Simulator."
Andy Kelly of PC Gamer commended the game and noted that it shared the strengths and shortcomings of its predecessor due to the two games' similarities, though advised that it was not finished on launch and urged more cautious gamers to wait until it was more completed before purchasing the game.
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