Getting bogged simulator 2014. 10/10.
TL;DR: Best offroad game ever. Has it's shortcomings but the dev seems to be on holiday.
Ok, seriously, I've been following this game a long time. I put +30 hours into the beta and about +100 into the dev/ tech demo, the one with all the mods. I downloaded about 20 vehicles and all the maps, even had a go at importing/ modding some vehicles myself and played with making a (♥♥♥♥ty) map. All on an AMD laptop around the minimum required spec and it ran pretty well.
So far I've only put a few hours into the main game, so this is more of a first impressions than a full review. I'm playing on an i5-4670k, 16gb of 2400 ram and a gtx 970 (g1), I can run anything on ultra no problem and this game is no different, it runs really well on ultra settings except for bad stuttering at the title animation, idk.
Theres 5 big, open world offroad maps but most of the map is hidden until you reveal it by visiting various locations on the map. Your objective is to haul timber from the logging locaions to the destination, on REALLY bad, muddy roads and trails, across rivers, up and down slippery hills. You start with basic vehicles that are almost useless against the terrain and have to explore to find more vehicles and reveal the map. A general strategey is to find your logging truck, unhook the trailer, equip it for exploring by fitting bigger tyres and taking off the crane etc and exploring the map, to find the vehicles and routes to complete the objective.
It's based in Russia, so expect really muddy forest logging trails and mostly Russian vehicles, from 4x4 to modern 6x6, ex-ww2 6x6 all the way up to massive 8x8 ex-missile carriers with a logging trailer attatched. Look up Russian truck trials on youtube to see the sorts of machines and terrain you might have to tackle.
It tries to be a simulator, with controls for enabling all wheel drive, diff locks and trying to manage the fuel use that goes with it, vehichle damage etc. You can easily get completly bogged or stall your engine in a river, or just smash up your truck so much it needs repairs and you need to find a way to recover. Most vehicles have winches to pull you out but you might need to bring in a fuel truck or repair vehicle to get the job done, there's lots of options for fitting out the vehicles with different gear. Wheel chains to big wheels, extended range fuel tanks to fuel carriers, vehicle protection and all sorts off logging options, you can have cranes and a trailer to haul long logs (hard) or just haul multiple loads of short logs on the tray. All the attachments and load weigh down the vehicle, so having a crane on the front might be a bad idea but then again, you might need it to try and recover. Yeah, you can control the cranes etc but it's not easy.
It's really well made, best offroad game ever but it has a few shortcomings. Lots of fun if you like that sort of thing.
I love it.
-Less vehicles than beta's, some are just missing in action. Maybe licencing related so it's ok..
-No mod support. Some of the work done by the modding community was awesome, it's a shame that's missing now. Some of the community maps and vehicles were really good and it would add a lot of value to the game if they were allowed to be implemented but I can understand the dev wanting to make a complete game that's not diluted by mods, so again, it's ok. The included vehicles are enough.
-Not very newb friendly, just basic explanation of the controls and objective, thats it. Even with +100hrs in the beta's I still had some trouble working it out, some more explanation and an in-game tutorial would be welcome.
-The camera is same as it always was and takes some getting used to. It's 3rd person, you use mouse to rotate around the vehicle. Sometimes you can get stuck and not be able to view the situation correctly (eg clip into cliffs or buildings and can't see.) Have to try and drive out blind. The community has been pleading for a first person/drivers seat view for years, it would make the game SO much better but nothing yet..
-Steering wheel suport was implemented but then broke in an update so that only really simple wheels can be used properly or the pedals don't work correctly. Lost multi axis support so you can't use seperate gas and brake pedals. I own a g27 and was looking forward to using it, I haven't tried yet but apparantly it won't be good, combined with the view it makes me sad. Better wheel support and 1st person view would make this game AWESOME.
-Dev seems to be on holiday, promisied a lot but updates are rare. This is a really good game but it could be so much better if the Dev did some work to adresss the long-standing concerns of the community and gave the game some bug-fixing polish. People are upset becase it's such a great game that could be made so much better with a bit more work, I'm pretty sure it would finacially benefit the dev in the long run but hey, the holiday is deserved, just hope they come back to work on this game some more.
-If I turn off the engine, the handbrake gets stuck on and the truck can't move. Maybe it's just me... Protip- don't turn off the engines.
-No proper saving, you can only continue your last game. I play some rogue-likes like ftl etc so it's ok but saving progress on each map would be good.
-Too much mud, I'd like some more variety in the terrain like deserts and rockclimbing but it's mostly LOTS of mud.
-Aparrantly multiplayer is a bit broken.
-I get bogged a lot.
-THE BEST OFF-ROAD GAME EVER. It is soooo good. Really, the best. Nothing comes close since an obscure game from the late 90's.
-That fully deformable terrain is awesome, the only other game that had anything even close to this was some ps2 motorcross game from over a decade ago.
-REALLY good vehicle physics, proper independant suspension, tyre deformation etc. The physics in this game are great.
-5 BIG open world maps, shame the're all mostly mud, needs more deserts, rocky hillclimbs, snow etc, but what's ther is enough for hunderds of hours of gameplay.
-It looks great. Like really great, sometimes you stop just to admire the view.
-Awesome water, both visuals and physics.
-All the trees, foliage and scenery reacts well, hit a big tree and it shakes, hit a small tree and it might snap and fall over. Hit a medium rock and it moves and stays in it's new position...
-It really is lots of fun to play.
-I get bogged a lot.
So my impressions are that this is a great game and lots of fun, most of the time playing you think it's a 10/10. But it could be so much better. So it's a 9/10 with the support from the devs but it could pretty easily be a 10 if they stopped their holiday. So the Final score, as the game is right now, is an 8.5/10. Great game but... Worth the money, especially if you like offroading. I waited and bought it at 40% off, very happy with my purchace even if it's never updated, there's lots of hours of fun to be had as it is.
As I see it, thre are 4 possible outcomes:
-The game is never updated. Very sad but what's here really is good enough, the massive potential just makes this possibility hard to accept. It won't do well as a result.
-A few small updates and bugfixes, it will be and will do better.
-Dev implement's community concerns like 1st person, proper steering wheel support, varied terrain etc, the game will do well.
-Dev finishes holiday and goes all out. Fixes all the little things, adds lots of varied maps and vehicles, different game-modes, mod support. Maybe even some dlc. ♥♥♥♥ing motorbikes and quads, tracked vehicles... Best off-road game ever, will be played for years and do really well, dev will be rich.