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Offroad Truck Simulator: Heavy Duty Challenge®: Review

Let me tell you, starting up Heavy Duty Challenge was like trying to get an old lawn mower going – it took a lot of pulling and effort just to get into the game. I was pretty excited to sit behind the wheel of an off-road truck and tackle some tough terrain. The game is all about taking these beefy trucks and driving through courses full of rocks and dirt, trying to beat the clock.

Now, I’m the kind of guy that doesn’t back down from a challenge. You know, the guy at the party who, when told he can’t flip a burger with a spatula from 10 feet away, just has to prove everyone wrong. So, naturally, the idea of maneuvering a giant truck through obstacles sounded like a good time.

But it wasn’t all fun and games. From the start, things were a bit rocky. I’m talking about settings that wouldn’t save, controls that felt like they had a mind of their own, and crashes – a lot of crashes. It wasn’t just the usual “oh, it’s not perfect” kind of deal; this was a full-on “pulling my hair out” situation.

In the Driver’s Seat: When It Works, It Works

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Once the technical hiccups were out of the way, and I was actually driving, things started to look up. The core of the game, the driving part, could be a blast. Picture an old school driving game from the early 2000s – it’s not super pretty, but there’s charm in the challenge. You’ve got to shift gears, mess with the differentials, and really work to conquer the rocky hills.

The good part? When I could focus on just driving, it was a hoot. I felt like a kid again, trying to beat my own best score at an arcade game. And for a brief, shining moment, I could almost forget the headaches that came with getting the game to run properly.

Performance: Sputtering Along

The sad truth is, even with a decent gaming setup, the game ran like an old dog that’s seen better winters. It should have been smooth sailing, but it was more like riding a bike with square wheels. The game settings told me I was on “low,” but everything looked too much like a blast from the past, and not in a good way.

Playing in 1080p should have been a piece of cake, but nope, the game stumbled like it just couldn’t keep up. It was frustrating, because I could play much fancier games on my machine without a hitch, but Heavy Duty Challenge made it sweat bullets.

The Nitty-Gritty: A Game That Knows What It Wants

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Listen, Heavy Duty Challenge isn’t trying to be everything to everyone. It’s got its sights set on folks who love off-road trucking and making trucks do the impossible. The game features real trucks and tracks from the Europa Truck Trial, which is pretty neat. It definitely has its moments where it nails that gritty, in-the-cab truckin’ feeling.

But it’s like that one food you really want to love because it’s made with all the right ingredients, yet someone forgot how to cook. The game’s got potential, but it keeps tripping over its own feet.

What’s Missing: When You Need A Map

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My biggest gripe isn’t even the crashes or the performance issues, it’s the lack of a map. Who heads into the woods without a map? Unfortunately, in Heavy Duty Challenge, that’s exactly what you do. It’s like being told to find treasure without the X that marks the spot. You’ll spend more time feeling lost and frustrated than enjoying the ride.

And the camera angles didn’t do me any favors either. I mean, if the point is to see and plan your route through the wilderness, you gotta give me a view that doesn’t make me feel like I’m looking through a keyhole.

Is it better than MudRunner and SnowRunner?

If you’re into off-road games, you’ve probably heard of MudRunner and SnowRunner. They’re the big dogs in the yard, and Heavy Duty Challenge seems keen on competing. But it’s like bringing a knife to a gunfight – it’s just not on the same level just yet, partly because of its niche focus and partly because of all the technical hitches.

Final Thoughts

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Here’s the deal: Heavy Duty Challenge could be a diamond in the rough for some people. It’s got licensed trucks, some fun driving challenges, and it really does try to make you feel like you’re part of the off-road truck trial world. But for most gamers, it’s like that one time you thought driving in the mud would be fun, but then you got stuck and spent hours trying to get out.

So would I recommend it? Well, it’s got a long road ahead before it can stand tall with its competitors. If you’re a hardcore fan of off-road truck trials and you’ve got the patience of a saint, give it a shot. But for everyone else, you might find more joy and less hair-pulling elsewhere.

In the end, I really wanted to like Heavy Duty Challenge. I wanted to tell you it was worth overcoming its obstacles, but the truth is, it’s a lot like that off-road adventure gone wrong. You set out hoping for excitement, but you might just end up wishing someone would tow you back to solid ground.

About the author

Tom Henry

I worked as a PM in video games, now I'm trying some new things.