This is easily one of the best games I've got in 2013, and will probably remain in my Steam Favorites list for a long time. I never played a game like this before and now it has me hooked. It keeps getting better!
At first I was just enjoying the scenery, the gameplay of driving the trucks, taking different jobs, and leveling up my XP so I could make more money and buy my own truck (Volvo FH16 Globetrotter). Now I'm working to upgrade my truck and my business. The business part is pretty addictive too. You can take a loan, expand your first garage, start buying more trucks, and hire drivers to work for you. I'm anxious to get enough money to buy another garage somewhere else and start another fleet.
You can not only use your skill points from XP to strategically improve your abilities and rewards one step at a time to make more money, you can do the same with your drivers (or choose to have their skills auto-balanced).
The scenery is gorgeous and there are some nice little touches of different things to see on the road and in different cities.
The changing weather and day/night transformations are great. Rain storms are awesome.
Driving in Europe is really not that different than driving in North America. Although, for some reason driving in the UK made me a little nervous--maybe it's the little extra traffic; maybe it's just driving on the other side of the road; or maybe I was expecting The Stig to cross my path.
I play with a Driving Force GT wheel, and even though as a fan of racing games I at first had doubts about this game, I gotta say if you have a wheel you really should try this game. Everything about the game is pure pleasure, but the driving is not just enjoyable but challenging as well. Things like parking your trailer; traveling swiftly but balancing your trailer's loads around all kinds of bends, inclines and declines; driving at night; dealing with other drivers (watch out for the evil empire of busses!) and trying to overtake slow pokes who follow the speed limit; traveling as fast as you can and watching for speeding cameras and changing speed limits make this one of the best driving games I've ever played. Oh yeah, don't blow those red lights--all the tickets you could get for various things can really ad up on one trip.
It actually is becoming a racing game as I'm travelling longer distances. Right now in order to not interrupt my delivery with rest stops and not be late (which costs money) or get fined for driving while tired (happened to me four times at the end of one trip), I'm trying to make my trips even faster. So I'm balancing my loads at top speeds, taking the ever changing curves of the road as gracefully as possible, putting the pedal to the metal but watching for speed cameras and changing speed limits (watch out for those road hazard areas and be careful in town), and trying to overtake just like in a racing game--but it's more challenging with opposing traffic on busy highways!
It's also a great music game. Hit the road and use your in-game radio to tune into different internet stations or play your favorite music on a media player in the background (I recommend AIMP3, which has a great interface and features but is very low resource).
I highly recommend ETS2! I hope they make more expansions, and I am looking forward to American Truck Simulator.
Posted: December 23rd, 2013