Let’s face it, in real life, Kansas is a pretty boring state. It is rectangular, and absolutely straight roads in Kansas run exclusively from south to north and east to west. The population of Kyiv is spread out over an area the size of a third of Ukraine. Fields, pastures, endless fields again… It’s a wonder how SCS Software managed to turn real Kansas into such an interesting virtual Kansas in the recently released American Truck Simulator – Kansas map expansion. But they did.
|American Truck Simulator – Kansas
Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re in Kansas now!
After last year’s huge but somewhat empty Texas, SCS Software has already released two map extensions this year: American Truck Simulator – Oklahoma in early August 2023 and American Truck Simulator – Kansas in late November 2023. And although I have bought and driven all of Oklahoma, it didn’t really stick with me. Kansas did.
There is something very, very American about driving heavy trucks on absolutely straight highways that run into the horizon. Endless fields of sunflowers (Kansas is nicknamed the Sunflower State), endless pastures with cowboys, completely flat land with almost no hills. A sense of space and tranquility. It is mesmerizing.
In addition, SCS Software has done a very good job on the cities of Kansas, and has also hidden a lot of interesting things on the map for meticulous researchers. In American Truck Simulator – Kansas, in addition to the hidden paths that have appeared in ATS for a long time, there are also hidden viewpoints that still need to be searched for.
And they are really interesting locations, such as the historic site of El Dorado, the chalk cliffs of Monument Rock, or the highest point in Kansas, Mount Sunflower, which is not a mountain, it is just the highest point on an almost flat plain. On the hidden paths, you can find a lot of interesting things, such as the farm of the Kents, the family that adopted Superman, in the fictional town of Smallville, Kansas. Or, on the contrary, the real town of Galina, where the authors of the Cars cartoon found their Cheesehead, and where Cars cars are now installed on the streets. Or the town of Goodland, which has a giant easel with a painting of Van Gogh’s Sunflowers (Sunflower State, remember?). And in the town of Selina, there is a real Masonic church, they don’t even hide here.
And, of course, there is a yellow brick road and many references to Lehman-Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, but Dorothy Gale is a girl from Kansas.
Well, new industries, new achievements, a new World of Truck event. In fact, there are three online events going on at the same time, which is unheard of! Two in honour of Euro Truck Simulator 2 – West Balkans, one in honour of American Truck Simulator – Kansas. And soon the traditional Christmas event will be here!
Of course, shortly before the release of American Truck Simulator – Kansas, the developers released another major update of the game, 1.49.
In 1.49, players got a new sky with HDR support and new weather types that became much more diverse. Finally, the moon appeared at night, and the stars began to twinkle. In general, the sky at night has become much more interesting and realistic, and nighttime travel is more enjoyable.
A huge technology center PACCAR with a very interesting track for testing trucks has appeared in Washington state. And not far from Salt Lake City (Utah), the mountains have been remade.
And most importantly, the patch added something that should have been in American Truck Simulator from the very beginning – used truck dealers. In different conditions, for different prices, exactly what a novice driver would need. Unfortunately, for those who have been playing ATS for many years, this is almost redundant content, they have enough money for new trucks, there is no point in buying used ones.
Update. As the comments suggest (thank you for your attention!), some older tractors, such as the Volvo VNL 2014 or the International 9900i, are now available only in used truck dealerships.
Since the beginning of 2023, two new trucks have already been added to American Truck Simulator: Western Star 5700XE and Volvo VNL. Plus, two DLCs were released along with Kansas. Farm Machinery with agricultural machinery (there is even a robotic tractor) and Michelin Fan Pack with tires and bonus content from Michelin.
But I, for one, am not interested in modern American Truck Simulator trucks, but in incredible brutal vehicles from the 60s and 90s. Modders satisfy this demand. The most interesting vintage trucks have to be bought on separate websites and can cost $15-20. Of course, you have to install them yourself and re-download them after each game update. But there are plenty of cool cars in the Steam Workshop. I advise you to try MACK CHU613, Scot A2HD, Mack R Series, Kenworth K100-E, Freightliner FLB and International 9800 i. Their outdated engines may not be very powerful, especially for heavy loads, and they accelerate a bit slowly, but they are so cool.
Alternatively, you can try the incredible modern diesel-electric Edison L Series, the first electric truck in the game. Electric motors are a completely different dynamic. Canada’s Edison Motors makes electric trucks from old Kenworth R500 and R750.
Ukrainian content in American Truck Simulator
Unfortunately, unlike Euro Truck Simulator 2, there is not much Ukrainian content in ATS. SCS Software didn’t even bother to release a set of skins in support of Ukraine for this game, as it did for ETS2. I wonder why?
We hope that the modders who make Ukrainian mods for Euro Truck Simulator 2 will still pay attention to American Truck Simulator, which is developing more dynamically now. Although yes, there are still much fewer players than in ETS2.
As for the dynamics. So far, ETS2 is preparing only one map extension, Greece, ATS is working on three at the same time! Nebraska, Arkansas and Missouri, which doesn’t have a Steam page yet. SCS Software is clearly accelerating, and that’s good.
As of now, American Truck Simulator already has 14 out of 50 states, but this is almost half of the US territory by area, the East Coast states are much smaller and it seems that they will be added in groups.
I wonder when SCS Software will start working on Canada, because it has to get to Alaska somehow. And meanwhile, competitors are not sleeping.
American Truck Simulator – Kansas unexpectedly turned out to be an interesting and not boring DLC. SCS Software has chosen an interesting direction of development and accelerated significantly, which is very pleasing. But the game desperately needs a new engine. With normal lighting, shadows, anti-aliasing, ray tracing, DLSS support, etc. Despite all the efforts of the developers, the game is getting old and it is already noticeable. We wish SCS Software every success.