The Open Road: EuroTruck Simulator 2 in 2019
Whether you have a small library of games you turn to for fun, or a massive backlog from various internet sales, you probably have a game or two that you play when you want to relax. No ultimate goal, no dire situations, just something you can sit down and burn a few hours until you feel refreshed. For me, one of the games I’ve turned to for times of decompression is EuroTruck Simulator 2.
In 2014, I picked up EuroTruck Simulator 2 along with several other games during a sale on Steam. At the time, it was just an impulse purchase, with no real intent to play it; the price was just too good to pass up. Little did I know what I had my hands on, as I booted up the game and messed around with the options.
The first thing I did was turn off the in-game music because it was laughably generic, and booted up my own music. I read through the control lists and saw the incredible intricacies and that nearly every button on the keyboard had a use and purpose. Where some ‘simulators’ bait and switch the players and aren’t sims at all, EuroTruck Simulator 2 is one of the most fleshed out sim experiences. Speed limits, weather conditions, road work and radar zones, each of these and more will affect how you handle your rig as you traverse the European countrysides and cityscapes.
After the initial hour of trial and error, once I got into my comfort zone, I found myself enthralled by these simple cargo runs. The more I played, the more I’d not only find myself immersed, but also relaxed by the experience.
Fast forward to 2019, and the game has continuously expanded. The developers, SCS Software, have diligently taken care of the game even years later, releasing new region expansions that make the already large map opened further with more diverse locations across the continent. The most recent addition to the game, Beyond The Baltic Sea brings us to regions in five new countries with 24 more new locations within them and some of the most beautiful sightlines on the roadways yet in the game. Whether it’s maneuvering my massive rig through a cramped small town, admiring the Eastern European architecture, or finding myself in a traffic jam and moving forward at a snail’s pace, Beyond The Baltic is just another piece of content that’s kept me coming back (and that’s without even mentioning the new ridiculously massive HCT that’s two large trailers connecting end on end. Good luck handling that one).
So, what is it that makes EuroTruck Simulator 2 such a relaxing experience?
It’s the open road itself. You get your contract, you collect your load, and you find yourself driving to locations. Then from anywhere to a few minutes, to upwards of an hour or more, you pass lush fields, dense forests, and many towns and cities that all have a unique flavor to them as you go from country to country. The low roar of the engine, the soft patter of raindrops on the windows, growing in intensity as a storm sets in, and whatever track you’ve decided to listen to, combine for the ultimate one-person road trip where your intention outside of the game is just to unwind and relax.
While the game does carry some aspects with it I don’t care for, like selling out paint jobs as DLC, for the most part SCS Studios has taken care of the title and continues to update it even after its 2016 release of the sequel: American Truck Simulator. When I need a break from it all, EuroTruck Simulator 2 can drag me back in and given the chance; I think it can do the same for you as well.
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