Chill Games Corner: American Truck Simulator.
(AfroGamers.com) My grandfather was a truck driver—as was my girl’s father. My mom would always tell me about Big John (my grandfather’s CB handle) driving here and driving there, parking his big rig in front of the house when he stopped by to visit. I’ve never had an interest in trucking or being a CDL—I’m not even a fan of racing games—but I love simulator games and American Truck Simulator is one that is on my chill list.
Discovering American Truck Simulator
I first found out about ATS after watching others play Euro Truck Simulator 2 on Twitch. What sold me on the franchise was how much fun the streamers were having in just driving from point A to point B with no actual competition, no combat, and seeing some of the same environments over and over again. In addition, some streamers were actually using steering wheels to play which adds to immersion.
Every game has a degree of repetitiveness in it but Euro Truck Simulator 2 worked off of it. There’s only so much you’re going to be able to do when “truck” and “simulator” are in the title, after all. When someone in chat mentioned that there was an American Truck Simulator, I sought that out to see who else was playing it.
There’s very little difference between the games outside of the brand of trucks available and locations. However, I figured I’d give ATS a good when was on sale on Steam—and I haven’t been disappointed.
The game seemed simple in execution. You operate a big rig, take on delivery jobs, and drive the distance to your cargo’s destination. Along the way, you’re to respect traffic laws and speed limits while also making sure not to damage your truck too much. You also have to fuel up when needed.
It all seems simple enough but you have deadlines, the maps show that every city’s road system can be confusing, there’s management of your own trucking business, and a few other things that add difficulty.
I’ve been playing American Truck Simulator for two years and driving in first-person view has its own difficulties. Meaning, I tend to forget to check my mirrors for cars and trucks rolling up on me. You’d think the solution is to drive in third-person but it’s just weird and a little unwieldy when it’s not a car you’re driving.
Now that I think of it, big rigs in most games are bother to drive in third-person. Doing the one mission in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas comes to mind. That and the flying school missions were the most annoying in that title. As for ATS, you get used to it if you keep in mind that there’s something connected to the back of your vehicle when turns come up.
Chill Factor: 8/10 (Crisp)
American Truck Simulator is a true chill game. I play this, Stardew Valley, or Starbound when I get too heated from playing more action-oriented games or when I’m stomped in business management sims. ATS really allows me to get my head straight by just traveling between cities, seeing the landscape, and listening to the in-game radio stations.
There is a very mild degree of anxiety when falling behind on a deadline but for the most part the game isn’t punishing if you fail. You have one main objective and when there’s not a ton of things going on, it’s easy to focus and take it easy in a game.
Staff Writer; M. Swift
This talented writer is also a podcast host, and comic book fan who loves all things old school. One may also find him on Twitter at; metalswift.