Do you know what sucks?
School, if you’re still working your way through the education system you have my sympathies.
Sure, it’s important, you need an education, if you couldn’t read you wouldn’t be here with me right now, but it does have a huge downside.
It’s dull; there are a hundred other things you’d rather be doing.
You’re forced to go there every day and you don’t get paid for it, they even test you to judge your intellect against your peers.
Then there are the cliques, the cool kids, the jocks, the nerds, it’s a social minefield of awkwardness.
As if being trapped there all day isn’t enough, they even give you work they expect you to do at home!
School was a pressure filled, judgemental nightmare and one which I was glad to survive.Do you know what else sucks?
Work, sure you’ve survived the “best days of your life” and now you’re out in the real world.
People are treating you like a grown up (not that you feel any older or wiser than you did at school).
Statistically you’ve probably found yourself in a “ground-hog day” of 9-5 soul destroying office mediocrity, you’ve got a boss you don’t like and a desk you can never leave.
Sure you’re being paid now, but the “bank of mom and dad” has closed.
You don’t think you’re being paid enough for what you do anyway and there’s always a relentless pile of bills demanding your hard earned money.
If you are lucky enough to have a little money left to buy a game or two at the end of the month, you almost certainly won’t have the free time to actually play them.
You know I miss school; they were the best days of my life....Greener Grass
I often sit at work, questioning my poor decision making skills which have bought me to my particular running lane in the rat race.
There must be plenty of jobs out there which don’t chain you to a desk all day whilst “the metaphorical man” breathes down your neck.
Surely there are people who aren’t trapped in the same “Yes sir, no sir, three bags full sir” tedium in which I’ve somehow managed to imprison myself.Zen Simulator
But I have managed to find a port in the storm that is my existence, a bubble of calm escapism which grants a little respite to my jaded soul.
This soul medicine comes in the form of what I like to call the “Zen Simulator”.
You know the sort of game where you can do something repetitive, something that doesn’t require too much thought but still rewards you for your efforts. Farming “Zen-ulator”
Farming Simulator 2015 is a great example of a “Zen Simulator”, you trundle around in a tractor ploughing your fields, planting your crops and generally reaping what you sow.
The “reward hook” is the money you get from selling your produce to buy better tractors to trundle around in and more fields to tend.
It’s a million miles away from the adrenalin fuelled FPS titles I find myself playing at the weekends,
The Zen simulator is the perfect genre to escape into after a hard day of work or school and now I’ve discovered that driving a truck can be just as therapeutic as chugging around the countryside in a tractor.Euro Truck “Zen-ulator” 2
Euro Truck Simulator 2 is another perfect example of a “Zen Sim”.
You start the game running delivery contracts for other people.
You can peruse a list jobs requesting cargo to be picked from and delivered to various locations around Europe.
You pick a job from the list, (your choice might not only be based on the payout of a job, I’ve found myself picking contracts just because I like the idea of driving to particular delivery destination. ) then you find yourself sitting in the rig provided by your employer, trailer all hooked up and ready to go. They’ve even already set the sat nav. for you!Drink and Drive
The core of Euro Truck Simulator 2 is spent driving along the highways and byways of Europe.
This is a driving simulator, not a racing game; you’ll want to take care of whatever Big-Rig you find yourself in.
Damage it and the repair costs will come out of your fee.
You’ll also want to drive responsibly; running red lights will cost you, as will getting caught by speed cameras.
Why would you want to rush anyway when you’ve got some beautiful European scenery to drink in as you drive?It’s about the Journey, Not the Destination
The scenery is where Euro Truck Simulator 2 shines, this is a game that understands it’s the journey that’s important, your destination is just another way point to pause at.
As you put your “pedal to the metal” and open your rig up on the motorways of Europe you’ll be treated to a lush and changing landscape racing passed your windscreen.
Don’t get too distracted looking at the pretty fields of sunflowers though or you might miss your exit (or worse hit another vehicle and damage your truck!)A Continent of Possibilities
There are 69 European cities present in the vanilla game spread across a dozen countries.
(You can add more via DLC too!)
Each city has its own unique real world land marks or iconic buildings present, you can often see them looming over other city buildings as you wind your way through the suburbs.
It’s a really nice touch to be able to recognise which city you’re approaching from the skyline without having to check the sat nav. or map.
Don’t go into this thinking it’s an exact recreation of Europe though or you’ll be disappointed.
Euro Truck Simulator 2 adopts the same stance to mapping the European Continent as “The Crew” does to mapping North America.
What you have here is a condensed version of Europe, which is probably just as well, I think driving from Southern Italy to Northern England in real time might take a little while longer than the normal hour or two I have spare in the evenings.Points on your License
It’s not just about driving around making money either (well it is, but there are extra game mechanics to keep things interesting).
There’s an experience based progression system here too.
As you drive around, completing deliveries, you’ll earn points which you can spend to unlock new capabilities.
You can invest points several different areas, for example, you could focus your experience points in haulage distant which will make longer distance contracts available to you or you could invest points in licences for various types of hazardous cargo if you like the idea of trucking some dangerous chemicals around Europe.The Boss of You
When you’ve amassed enough wealth from “working for the man” you can invest in your own truck (there are plenty of models and varieties to choose from) and start your own haulage company.
This not only gives you more freedom with regards to delivery contracts, but also gives you the chance to invest future earnings in upgrading your rig, whether that is an engine upgrade or go faster stripes, that’s up to you.
There are plenty of stylish paint jobs you can pick as DLC too, should you like a more personalised look to your truck of choice.Drive Safe
Being your own boss isn’t all parts and paint jobs either, it comes with an extra layer of responsibility too.
It’ll be up to you to pull in at the services and fill up the gas tank from time to time now; running out of gas whilst on a long haul is not a good idea.
It’s also not a good idea to keep driving without a rest too, everyone needs sleep and you’re no exception so remember to keep an eye on your fatigue levels and pull in for a nap when you need one!
You’re also going to have to pay for maintenance on your truck now, so it’s even more important ... <...snip...>
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