Mud and Thunder.
I played Spintires many moons ago back in a very early beta version. I found a locked truck, got it stuck on the way back, got another truck to rescue it and quit out when the game crashed when I was almost home with the truck. I sort of just forgot about it then, only remembering it when Steam annoys me about its presence when it goes on sale.
But now we have Mudrunner, touted as the biggest best GOTY ultimate turbo deluxe edition. While this doesn’t do much on PC, Mudrunner finally allows PS4 and XBO owners to finally join in on the offroad fun. This game isn’t easy but that is its entire pleasure and it makes crossing even simple bumps in the road feel satisfying.
So for those of you who never indulged originally Spintires is an offroad simulator. But this isn’t tracking some Chelsea tractor around a desert; you are taking soviet-era beasts through the muddiest tundra sinkholes you can think of. Herein lies the difficulty as travelling through these regions requires a strong understanding of the controls of your truck: Where the weight lies, whether differential lock is or isn’t useful and how to sit on your gears to crawl up hills.
Now the tutorial alone is not enough to give you an understanding of the controls and physics. For that you’ll wanna jump on challenge mode first. This presents 9 challenges with three sub-goals in each. These aren’t too difficult but they’re pretty necessary to allow you to jump into the sandbox mode without reaching knowledge barriers. This comes across less as a way of fully understanding the game and more as a way of keeping the basic tutorial short.
But once you sit through them you jump into the main body of the game with the sandbox mode. Here you ride around various landscapes delivering logs and collecting vehicles lost around the world. In this mode you can really see the additions added to Mudrunner over the original. Graphics and physics overhauls make the game look a lot better with new vegetation and day-and-night cycles but also adds new obstacles such as mud locking up wheels.
The vehicles themselves have been given another 13 to the roster. Each have their own unique strengths and weaknesses. Some have differential lock and 4×4 capabilities, some have cranes which can be used to collect logs and some can survive being submerged further than other vehicles. Transferring between them once they’re unlocked is easy enough so you’ll have plenty of time to find which vehicle you enjoy. Getting stuck is usually quite an impressive feat and will be because you cannot climb a hill or drive into deep waters and get swept by the flow.
My one real problem for the whole experience is the camera angles. You get an internal camera which you will use rarely thanks to lacking viewing angles. But the outside camera focuses on the vehicle two-thirds of the way down the body and takes a deft hand to get to look where you want. I get as to why – it’s so you can see the floor in front of the vehicle better; but having the option of some normal elevated viewing angles like nearly all other driving games would be helpful.
If you haven’t given Spintires a chance then this is the time to do so. It’s nice to see them shovel more content in rather than just plugging the game on to consoles. You’ll have a good experience regardless of which format you grab it. Sim fans and casual players should find several good hours of fun in this.