Road Studio S.A. takes on the challenge of creating a unique driving simulator with RPG elements in Alaskan Road Truckers. With a sandbox Alaskan setting, extensive missions to tackle, and a focus on role-playing game mechanics, the game sets out to offer a different trucking experience.
While the concept is promising, Alaskan Road Truckers falls short in different areas, from lackluster AI and driving mechanics to rough edges that need polishing. Despite its flaws, the game manages to scratch that trucking itch and offers a glimpse of immersive potential.
The game, set in a vast Alaskan sandbox, offers a plethora of missions to tackle and locations to explore. Players can embark on lengthy missions that can take up to three hours to complete, immersing themselves in the rugged Alaskan wilderness. The introductory video sets the stage for “the last job” and players are left to navigate the mechanics and gameplay, including trailer hook-ups and driving controls.
Alaskan Road Truckers distinguishes itself from other trucking games by incorporating RPG elements. Players can choose from a variety of characters and are tasked with managing their health, hunger, and energy levels. Inside the truck’s cab, features such as a microwave for food, storage space for items, and a bed for fatigue restoration add depth to the gameplay.
Repairing and maintaining the truck is another critical aspect, with skill-check mechanics reminiscent of Dead by Daylight. The game offers a skill-tree system with different paths to explore, focusing on character attributes, trucking, and mechanics. Experience is earned by operating within these paths, incentivizing players to engage in specific activities to unlock new abilities and customization options.
Headquarters and Reputation System
Alaskan Road Truckers introduces a headquarters where players can manage their business, including workshops for truck repairs and customization, as well as an office. By completing missions, players earn reputation points, allowing them to take on more challenging jobs and unlock additional areas on the map. This reputation system provides a sense of progression and a goal to work towards.
While Alaskan Road Truckers offers intriguing RPG elements, certain aspects fall flat, hindering the overall experience. The AI vehicles tend to impede progress, driving slowly and braking sharply, leading to frustrating encounters on the road. Moreover, the game’s world feels empty, with a lack of pedestrians and static NPCs displaying limited animations. Such shortcomings detract from the otherwise immersive experience.
Driving Mechanics and Polishing
Compared to leading simulation titles in the genre, the driving mechanics in Alaskan Road Truckers are subpar. The steering lacks precision, with a fixed speed that automatically centers the wheel, making sharp turns cumbersome. Switching between drive and reverse causes the truck to lurch in the opposite direction, and aligning the truck with the trailer’s front lacks precision. Furthermore, the lack of penalization for traffic violations and absence of impactful laws diminishes the realism and immersion.
Lack of Polish and Bugs
Alaskan Road Truckers suffers from a lack of polish, evident in various aspects of the game. For example, when refueling, the fuel nozzle is inserted without undoing the fuel cap, displaying a lack of attention to detail. Hooking up cables to the trailer results in the character’s hands clipping through it, further highlighting the need for refinement. Additionally, disappearing waypoints upon arrival at destinations and unreliable controller support contribute to a less-than-ideal experience.
The Developer’s Efforts
Despite its flaws, the development team has shown dedication and responsiveness to player feedback. Within the first 48 hours of release, two patches were already released, addressing critical issues. The commitment to fixing bugs and improving the game is commendable, setting a positive precedent for future updates.
Alaskan Road Truckers presents an innovative blend of truck simulation and RPG elements, offering a unique trucking experience. With its immersive Alaskan setting and RPG mechanics, the game has the potential to captivate players on an immersive journey. However, the lackluster AI, subpar driving mechanics, and rough edges that need polishing hinder the overall experience. Despite these shortcomings, the development team’s dedication to addressing issues and quick patch releases showcase their commitment to improving the game. With upcoming releases for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S, Alaskan Road Truckers has the potential to become a compelling contender in the genre.