Well, after long years of being a huge fan of this game, I finally finished it (I had an original Russian actual version released by Buka company).
My feelings are mixed. I'd like to point out some pros and cons for the game, and you guys will judge for yourself.
I solemnly swear to keep it spoiler-free for those who still hasn't finished it.
* A pseudo open world to explore. Due to some scripted restrictions you cannot simly go to, say, Vaterland from Krai. But it doens't mean that actual exploration is not fun and to some extent rewarding.
* A variety of trucks to choose from with a great deal of customization. I love all of them, except for maybe Belaz since I didin't touch it at all.
* A wide variety of weapons to satisfy anyone's taste, from machine guns to plasma cannons.
* Lovely soundtrack and visuals. A bit outdated, but the game is almost a decade old! Explosions and energy particles tho.
* The narrative in terms of lore. Just read the in-game books.
* Extremely poor narrative. Both from the point of telling a story and the story itself. I dunno, maybe it's just those Masks that make every character to look the same way? Or voice acting? Or the final which is a HUGE DISAPPOINTMENT?
* A dumb AI. More in a matter of path-finding than fighting. Extremely stupid! Sometimes a bunch of trucks cannot make it through a hill because instead of driving around they try to come over it.
* Not really much stuff to do aside from some interesting side quests now and then.
* The final boss battle. A huge disappointment also. No spoilers!
* Dialogue is just a stub. I understand that in such a mission there need to be less talk and more action but damn! I felt sorry for coming to Ben's place and leaving the same instance without even saying good bye. No love for the old guy.
* Restrictions on where to go and what to do. Try to cross that river in Vaterland. Just go and do it.
* Some things are just unnecessary. For example, some inter-regional shortcuts. I never used them and have a feeling that never will. Sad but true.
CONLUSION: This game has it's flaws, and narrative leaves a nasty touch on my tongue. But I still love this game. For the sense of freedom that it managed to give to me despite all those restrictions to go where I want. For the atmosphere of post-apocalyptic road to nowhere. You just go where the wind blows. I just wish I could dive into this world a bit more, leaving all that main storyline somewhere on the side. Actually, a sandbox open-world RPG in HTA setting would be much appreciated and would become a must-have in my collection. Maybe with some neat multiplayer like it was, say, in Freelancer? I don't know, and probably will never know.
Anyway, that's my review. Still love this game and recommend it to everyone interested. Give this game a try.