Spintires: MudRunner – American Wilds DLC
Saber Interactive/Focus Home Interactive
Back in the Fall of 2017, I witnessed some gameplay videos of Spintires: MudRunner. At first I thought that it seemed rather boring—big Russian trucks hauling logs across mud-laden wilderness maps within the vast environs of Siberia.
Then I noticed the game’s complex off-road physics and challenging handling and took a chance in trying it out. A gaming buddy and I gave our first go at Spintires: MudRunner one morning and before we knew it the sun was setting; it’s just that immersive of a gaming experience.
Personally, while I loved the ultra-isolated backwoods of Siberia I always wondered how MudRunner would fare if it were set in North America. The game’s developer, Saber Interactive, must have heard me telepathically because they’ve just released a DLC specifically set in the lonely woods of Montana and North Dakota, USA with their new American Wilds expansion. So how does the first new paid DLC for MudRunner play out? First you must ask yourself a few questions:
- Do you like trucking simulators?
- Do you like off-roading?
- Does the thought of using a winch to get unstuck excite you?
If you answered “yes” to any of these, then brother this game’s for you.
When I first checked loaded up American Wilds and saw the selection of nine new ‘Murkin vehicles for the two new maps I said to my gaming buddy: “Yee haw! Spin them tires brother, we goin’ muddin’,” in my best over-the-top, faux Southern accent. My friend was mildly amused (I didn’t repeat that whole thing).
The two new maps are called Grizzly Creek and Mount Logmore, and we’d figured that they’d be similar to the original game’s Russian maps. Initially, we dove into Mount Logmore and noticed that there was a whole lot more asphalt than there was on the Siberian maps. We thought that meant we’d have an easier go of things until we jumped off-road—and were in for a nice surprise.
The two new maps are pretty large, and just as with the original game let you determine different paths to the various log mills (for those not in the know, this game is all about log deliveries). Once we began playing American Wilds for a while we found the same level of grit and challenge present, as well as the same oddly hypnotic gameplay that you get from trying to navigate big trucks through mud and water (and muddy water).
We immediately got a kick out of the magnificent transport rigs: The Ford LTL9000, Freightliner FLD120, Western Star 6900XD, and Chevrolet Bison. They looked like they were straight out of another trucking game that we love dearly, American Truck Simulator. We noticed that the LTL9000 and the Bison in particular were designated as “not being suitable for off-roading,” so of course that’s exactly what we tried to do anyway.
These giant rigs are just not designed to handle the rough and tumble environs of off-roading. We soon discovered that as our massive metal beasts got bogged down in the backwoods. But that just gave us a chance to try out the new towing vehicles, specifically the K-8400 Skidder tractor along with the Western Star 6900XD. These two powerful behemoths have the requisite horsepower to haul any of American Wilds’ vehicles out of danger and then some.
The main difference between the original MudRunner game is that Russian trucks are generally built to withstand more difficult terrain while their American counterparts are made for both asphalt and rough patches. Which makes sense since Siberia is one of the most inhospitable and dangerous places you’d ever want to try to navigate through. We quickly realized this when we took some of the American trucks onto the Russian maps and spent more time hauling each other out of sticky situations than we did delivering logs.
Thankfully, there are three new scouting vehicles that you can jump into: The classic Ford F150, the Chevrolet K5 Blazer, and the Hummer H1. They’re all a blast to drive and having driven all of them in real life, I’d say that their handling properties are pretty much spot-on. These trucks are much smaller in size than their larger brethren and so are able to navigate through many off-road terrain types more efficiently. This makes them ideal recon vehicles for charting safer paths for the big rigs to follow.
The Spintires: MudRunner – American Wilds DLC gave me the same nail-biting, high-tension feelings that made the original game one of my favorite trucking games out there. This expansion adds a whole new slew on content on an already highly fun game and brings it up to a new level.
Spintires: MudRunner – American Wilds DLC features pretty great graphics that make its off-roading gameplay truly shine. However, you want to have a pretty beefy gaming PC or gaming laptop in order to play it at a decent framerate. So, you may just want to invest in a decent gaming rig:
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