18 Wheels of Steel: Across America
Evolution comes in a truck!!!... and races at a dazzling 20mph!!!
If I'm not mistaken this must be the third episode in the Hard Truck series. Here we have a nice expansion of the playing map that was available in Hard Truck 18 Wheels of Steel (HT18WOS from now on), other enhancements include a better interface and handling of the extra drivers that your company occupies. The driving (or should I say hauling??) controls and feel remain the same as HT18WOS, but a few major improvements are present in this section aswell: for instance in this game you don't need to wait for half an hour till your truck reaches 10mph from a full stop. Once you push the pedal to the metal the truck flyes ahead. Ofcourse now your truck driver has more personality than the yawning guy that was the driver in HT18WOS. In this game you can communicate with other trucks that are in the near vincinity, a nice little addition that adds a bit of realism. Also you can play the game in 4 different modes, each in it's own difficulty. Finally the truck variety has increased a bit.
Apart from the minor additions and the expansion of the virtual road world the game remains in the same basic lines of HT18WOS. Once you've aqcuired enough money to buy and try every truck in the game, there's little to be expected from there on. In the graphics section there's no progress at all. All the same medium-quality 3D objects in HT18WOS can be found in this game aswell, it seems to me that apart from the trucks and layout no other effort was done to graphically enhance the game.
The Bottom Line
So basically the HT18WOS across America is simply an enhanced version of the HT18WOS and in my opinion it should have been released as an expansion pack or a major patch rather than a separate title. It seems to me that the developers of the Hard Truck series have done a good step in the right direction here, perhaps the developers have read my review (!!!! NOT!!!) in HT18WOS, but there's still more to be done. I'm afraid that this title won't avoid the small interest curve that it's predecessor had. It will keep you excited for some days but after a while gets a bit boring and predictable. There's little to be expected from there on. Now, unless you had great time with HT18WOS and was one of your most fave games of all time, I wouldn't recommend this one to most driving sim fans. Also check out the reviews in HT18WOS and you'll have a more clear direction to the game.
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