THERE IS A TECH DEMO AVAILABLE FOR FREE, GET IT HERE; http://www.spintires.com/#!/demo
. I highly recommend that you download and try it before purchasing, purely because you may find that you don't get on with the game for one reason or another. The download file is only about 100 Mb, so there's really no excuse not to try it. That said, the tech demo is quite different from the actual release. However, if you like the concept of the demo enough to pay for the release, then, in all probability, you won't be dissapointed.
I think that Spintires could be accurately described as quite a devisive game, that is to say that you'll probably either really like it, or find it the most mind numbing tedium you've ever experienced in gaming. It's like Marmite, you'll either love it, or you'll hate it.
Personally, I love it. The games that I tend to enjoy most are those that afford you a great deal of freedom to choose what you want to do and how you want to do it. in short, I love sandbox games. I think that Spintires could be described as a sandbox, admittedly all you can do is drive around in some mud, but you're free to choose the vehicle you want to use, the modifications for that vehicle, the direction you drive said vehicle in, create challenges for yourself and so on. If, like me, you're into your sandbox games then I highly recommend that you try it. I find it a great game to finish an evening's gaming with. It helps to wind me down from explosions, guns, violence and high levels of intensity commonly found in games (at least the games I play) these days. Put your favourite album on, play half an hour of this game and you should be pretty chilled out.
In terms of actual content, there are seven different vehicles, ranging from a little jeep, to a massive eight-wheeled leviathan of a machine, each with customisable features, such as trailers and tyres, and five different maps. Each map is about 1 Km squared. This may not sound like an awful lot of space to play with, especially if you're into your sandbox games, but the nature of the landscape is such that the challenge is more or less constant and you're not often moving with a great deal of speed. For example, if you make a journey across one of the more challenging maps with a trailer full of the medium sized logs, without any hitches, then it'll probably take you about fifteen to twenty minutes. I have never felt like I wanted bigger maps. That said, dont expect much aesthetic variety between maps, they all look very similar, broadly speaking. However, as I have said, some maps are certainly harder to navigate than others. In terms of what there is to do, it really depends on how inventive and creative you are as a gamer. If you like to stick to the formal objectives of a game, that is, what the game is explicitly telling you to do, then you'll be sorely dissapointed. The objective on each of the five maps is the same, unlock all of the cloaked areas, discover and unlock all of the vehicles present on the map, discover and unlock all the garages on the map, and deliver timber from the lumber mill to the objective. That's it in terms of formal missions. That said, getting your first load of lumber to the mill is incredibly satisfying. On par with landing on the moon for the first time in Kerbal Space Programe (KSP players will know what I'm talking about). If you're more creative and create your own challenges then you'll get a lot more mileage out of this game, for example, driving across one of the maps without using all wheel drive in the UAZ. If you're an experienced sandbox gamer then you'll get far more mileage (literally) out of this game.
I have to put in a word for the aesthetic appeal of this game. In my opinion, Spintires is one of the most beautiful games I have in my library, although I'm aware that there are others who hold the contrary position (beauty is in the eye of the beholder, after all). The graphics are quite unique, they have an almost tilt-shift kind of thing going on (if you don't know what that is, google it, I guarantee you'll like what you see, no, it's not boobs). They're almost kind of stylised. The look of the vehicles and the environment do an incredible job of creating this wonderful Russian ambience.
The physics, on the whole (I'm looking at you, magical jumping rocks) are stellar. The ground deformation (in most cases) is reliable and beautiful to look at. I can safely say that I am not aware of any other game that has done it as well as Spintires has. The water is also amazing. It looks gorgeous driving through it, having it splash around your truck, rather than being this inert entity in the game world. The suspension on all the vehicles is awesome, as is the tyre deformation. It legitimately looks like your vehicle is driving over what it is supposed to be driving over (or through, on some particularly bad roads you'd be hard pressed to say that you were actually driving on the road). Trees shake as you bump into them, flex as you anchor you winch to them and pull, saplings bend and snap as you drive over them. If you like physics games, or games that do physics well, and can justify buying a game on those grounds then I'd recommend picking this up. If you like BeamNG Drive or Next Car Game for their physics, then you'll like Spintires (but not because of the soft body physics, I hasten to add. The soft body physics are perhaps the only aspect of the physics in Spintires which may be considered to be deficient).
On top of this the game runs (in my experience) very well indeed. I'm not particularly well versed in performance and optimisation, so I cant say much here, but what I can say is that this game runs considerbaly better than you might think. I do all my gaming on my Lenovo Z585 Ideapad, so I'm running it on an AMD Radeon 7660G + 76070M dual graphics card, 8GB of RAM, and a quad-core processor, running on Windows 8. It's a less than ideal gaming setup, but it's the best that I can justifiably afford. I can run Spintires with everything at maximum and get a (fairly) solid 30 frames per second, often higher. So for those of you like me out there with low-powered rigs, then spintires is probably a game you can enjoy in all it's glory. Again, if you're having reservations based upon doubts about how well it'll perform, get the tech demo (link at top of review, it's free).
Most of what I've said so far has been positive, however, there are a couple of negatives. Don't expect frequent updates. Even the updates that there have been really have not changed much. This is probably down to Oovee being such a small studio. Also (I can't verify this, since I've not played the multiplayer), apparently you can't save your progress in multiplayer, once you quit the game, all the work and cool stuff you are your friends pulled off is gone. On the subject of saving, there are no quicksaves. You can't roll up to a river and quicksave just in case you don't make it across. It's do or die. For some this may be incredibly frustrating. For me, however, I tend to find that the absense of a quicksave feature forces me to play much more carefully and methodically. It gives real weight to challenges, and provides a genuine sense of achivement when you overcome an obstacle. I can see why people may not like this, but personally, it's a feature who's ommission I am pleased with.
So overall, I'd say Spintires is a great, unique, solid game. But get the tech demo and decide for yourself. Oh, a word of warning, if you buy Spintires because you liked the tech demo and expect lots of new features and a good deal more 'game' then you're going to be dissapointed. If on the other hand you're infatuated with the tech demo and want some more trucks and maps to play with then you'll be delighted.
TL;DR, Get the tech demo and decide for yourself (link at top of review).
Thanks for reading, hope this helped :).