It has been quite the year, politically and personally. I bend no truth when I say that, were it possible to spend 16 hours a day pretending to be a lorry driver in a computer game, I would seize that opportunity gladly. The simplicity of having to get from point A to point B, the slow-motion pressure-and-release of needing to refuel, a view of the world that is landscape-led, not people-centric. American Truck Simulator [official site] is not, first and foremost, a motorised vehicle simulation game. It is pure escape, genuine freedom via a screen, as close as it comes to a real roadtrip without the expense and discomfort. Unfortunately, ATS’ initial vision of America, as well as being thus far limited to California, Arizona and Nevada, was hyper-compressed. Journeys were measured in minutes, not hours, day/night flew by like nature documentary montages, and open land was but a quickly-drawn breath between suburbs and cities. I loved it, but it felt bite-size; America: The Trailer, not America: The Movie. Things have changed, and beautifully so. The facts are these: for some time now, the developers, aware of grumbles that they seemed to have made usa rather than USA, have been diligently re-scaling the in-game landmass. This is not simply a matter of making roads longer and plains wider, but of manually adding more roads, more intersections, more gas stations and even more towns and cities. It’s not simply blown up: the new space has been diligently filled-in too. The effect…more detail
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