Released on February 2016, SCS software brought out their second truck simulator following the release of Ets2 in 2013. However, while Ets2 is obviously based in Europe, SCS has given the Southwestern USA some time in the spotlight with this simulator. We’re sure you’re all wondering whether this simulator comes close to the quality of the immensely popular Ets2, so read on for our verdict.
What we Like About Ats
Well, we’ll tell you right away that we think that SCS have done another fantastic job with Ats. They’ve clearly put a huge amount of thought and effort into many aspects of the simulator, as they did with Ets2. In many ways, both simulators are incredibly similar. The homepage for example has an identical layout to Ets2 and the settings are virtually the same too. Well, we suppose this isn’t a bad thing as the objectives of both simulators are the same!
As a result of this, the positive aspects of Ats will be inevitably similar to the positive aspects of Ets2. Let’s start by talking about the scenery. Like it is on Ets2, the scenery on Ats is varied and has really brought each state to life. This part of the USA is home to some incredibly gorgeous areas – just visit practically any state park in Arizona for example if you don’t believe us! Therefore, SCS Software would’ve had a rather hard job making everywhere look realistic, but we think they’ve done a very good job. They’ve even impressively encapsulated some well known landmarks onto the map, such as the Grand Canyon, the Hoover Dam, Death Valley and even the Las Vegas strip (no gambling allowed when trucking though!).
One area where Ats hands down beats Ets2 is with the towns and cities where you make your deliveries. The cities on Ats are simply much larger than their Ets2 counterparts, which means more to explore for you lot! The newer Ets2 cities are an improvement but still not up to Ats standards. On Ats, you can drive your truck down the Las Vegas Strip and spot famous hotels and buildings (such as the MGM Grand Hotel). We wish you could do similar on Ets2, such as driving down the Champs Elysees or up to Brandenburg Gate.
When looking at the quality of the trucks, we can see how realistic they are compared to the real Kenworths and Peterbilts out in the good old USA. The exteriors of the trucks are very detailed. The reflections are also very realistic – not like the big blurry shadows which would be all too easy for SCS Software to create. When customizing the trucks exterior, there are a variety of paint jobs, wheels, bull bars and accessories (we could rabbit on about this!). The interiors are equally good. There is a detailed dash board with a good set of functional buttons on the console.
Lastly, Ats has a wide range of DLCs. The DLCs found for Ats are similar to the impressive range available for Ets2. Examples of the DLCs available include different themed paint jobs, various map extensions and the heavy haul cargo pack.
What We Don’t Like So Much About Ats
We believe that Ats hasn’t got enough states available without map extensions. When you first buy the simulator, only Arizona, California and Nevada will be available. Now, we accept that these states cover quite a substantial area, but after all the simulator is called American Truck Simulator, so wouldn’t you expect a bit more of America to be available from the start? Perhaps if they had named it Southwestern Truck Simulator or something then this wouldn’t be such a problem! There are map extension DLCs available though, which we’ll discuss later.
Also, there are only 2 truck brands to choose from(Peterbilt and Kenworth). This is rather poor compared to the 7 available on Ets2.
The Map and Map Extension DLCs
As we’ve mentioned above, without map extension DLCs only Arizona, California and Nevada will be available. This will obviously include major cities such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas and Phoenix, but there is also a good selection of smaller towns that we hadn’t even heard of before playing (is anyone here from Ehrenburg Arizona or Hornbrook California for example?). Places of similar size wouldn’t be included in Ets2, but when you consider the population density of Europe compared to these parts of America, it’s easy to see why. All the better for people living in these small towns who have their hometowns depicted on a popular simulator!
There are map extension DLCs currently available for New Mexico and Oregon, which provide a welcome extension and some great new scenery. Washington state will also soon be available as a DLC; this means that if you buy this DLC (you’ll need to have the Oregon DLC to buy the Washington one) you’ll be able to drive all the way from the Mexican border in San Diego to the Canadian border in Washington state!
This is another truck simulator that we can heartedly recommend! It’s great to see that SCS Software have done another cracking job developing Ats after the extreme success of Ets2 – 2 fantastic trucking simulators! The scenery, trucks and sheer realism within this simulator are all immensely impressive and in certain cases (like the cities, as we’ve mentioned) Ats could even be considered an improvement to Ets2! We just wish that there were more states available without DLCS and that there was a greater choice of truck brands – if SCS Software took these ideas on board, then we’d struggle to come up with any more ideas as to how they could improve the simulator!
Taster Video by Squirrel:
Click here to look at game on steam