Texas is a very large state, almost the size of California and Montana combined. To visit all 29 new cities presented in American Truck Simulator – Texas, it takes a lot of time, not to mention the time you need to spend looking for all the viewpoints and collecting photo trophies. Especially now, with almost unpredictable power outage schedules. So, sorry for the delay. But better late than never, so we decided to publish our review of the new DLC for American Truck Simulator anyway.
|Game||American Truck Simulator – Texas|
After the start of the heated phase of the ongoing Russian-Ukrainian war, the SCS Software studio found itself in a difficult position. More than 40% of Euro Truck Simulator 2 / American Truck Simulator users are Russian. This is a large and very toxic community with many modders. The next major expansion of the map was supposed to be Euro Truck Simulator 2 – Heart of Russia on which the studio worked for more than a year and hoped to earn good money.
Well, to the credit of the Czechs, SCS Software did not hesitate for long, and already on March 4, 2022, they released the add-on Ukrainian Paint Jobs Pack, all money from the sale of which went to support Ukraine. On March 14, 2022, the studio postponed the release of Heart of Russia indefinitely, and then decided not to release this expansion to the victory of Ukraine.
In the summer of 2022, the studio announced a new Euro Truck Simulator 2 – West Balkans DLC, but it was clear that it would not be coming soon, so ETS 2 did not receive any major update in 2022, and this was in jubilee year for the game.
American Truck Simulator had to compensate, which received two expansions of the map – standard and VERY large. American Truck Simulator – Montana came out August 4, 2022, and the long-awaited American Truck Simulator – Texas – November 15, 2022.
American Truck Simulator – Montana
We don’t really have much to say about American Truck Simulator – Montana, it’s a decent but pretty standard map expansion. There are interesting roads and scenic landscapes, unique industrial facilities, and vantage points, but in general, this is really an ordinary expansion that we just got used to buying every year, expanding the geography of the game. So let’s talk about other ATS updates.
First, on February 25, 2022 (yes…) with the release of Steam Deck ATS and ETS 2 now supports this console.
Secondly, on March 22, 2022, a new truck appeared in the game – the International 9900i Eagle. Free as always, with customization packs and unique skins. Quite brutal and interesting tractor.
Thirdly, on April 10, 2022, update 1.44 was released, which added to American Truck Simulator another redesigned part of California, the oldest part of the ATS map, which is already 8 years old. SCS Software has brought the detail up to the level of modern DLC and it’s really not bad. Among other features of update 1.44: new marking of secret paths, which have become much more in recent DLCs; new special delivery routes; update of Force Feedback for game steering wheels; adjusting the suspension of tractors; new trailers and updated Freightliner Cascadia interior.
Fourth, on May 31, 2022, a DLC was released (paid this time) with 15 high-quality and detailed Lode King and Prestige trailer companies.
Fifth, on July 26, 2022, update 1.45 appeared, which reworked part of the Wyoming map; gas stations and truck stops were rebranded; added new ownable trailers; made it possible to disable markers of closed paths, which is very important for better immersion in the game and getting cool photos.
Sixth, on August 2, 2022, that is, two days before the release of DLC American Truck Simulator – Montana, another truck was added to the game – Western Star 57X, so now ATS can no longer be accused of a small selection of tractors.
No, and finally, along with the release of the Montana map expansion, the developers held a traditional in-game event to explore the new DLC with interesting rewards.
It’s actually quite impressive how often ATS has received updates throughout 2022. Well done SCS Software!
American Truck Simulator – Texas
As usual, the American Truck Simulator and Euro Truck Simulator 2 maps received another update before the release of the expansion.
Update 1.46 was released on November 8, 2022 and contained very interesting new features, the main of which is a new gallery. In fact, the rather clunky ATS/ETS2 galleries have long been in need of attention from the developers. SCS Software fixed the photo mode back in 2021, adding the ability to change the time, that is, lighting and shadows, and choose the weather from 14 presets. This time, the gallery was organized by adding two sections to it – Viewpoints and Photo Trophies.
These are kind of albums of memories, where you can rewatch already opened videos of Viewpoints and photos taken by you of outstanding monuments of each of the states. That is, if you are a little tired of just moving cargo from one point to another, and you prefer to explore the map, look at the scenery, look for interesting buildings and find their counterparts in the real world – this photo hunt is just for you.
Other features of update 1.46 include: redesigned US-20 between Idaho and Montana; new chemical trailers ready for purchase; better gear shifting simulation; new integration of entertainment and information systems in truck cabins.
And so, finally, we got to Texas. Well, as we said, Texas is a VERY large state with very diverse landscapes. There are many large cities here, for example, Houston is the fourth most populous city in the USA, San Antonio is the seventh, Dallas – Fort Worth and Greater Houston are the fourth and fifth largest urban agglomerations in the USA, respectively.
Adequately showing such large cities in the game is quite difficult, so SCS Software decided to cheat a little, and for this they are rightly scolded. Because, for example, Austin in American Truck Simulator – Texas has become just one huge intersection. San Antonio is a ring of four major intersections that frame downtown. Houston – three intersections around downtown. Dallas is six interchanges and yes, an unreachable downtown.
You can say that in real life no one will let a truck go to the city center either, but small cozy streets and breathtaking turns, like in Euro Truck Simulator 2 or previous DLCs for ATS, are sorely lacking in the new addition. On the other hand, if you drive along the border with Mexico, from Del Rio to McAllen, you will find a bunch of very small cozy towns, the one-story America.
In fact, there is a lot more to American Truck Simulator – Texas than huge multi-level interchanges and big cities. There are 14 places of interest in this state that are must-photo spots, including the Space Center in Houston, the aircraft carrier museum USS Lexington, El Capitan Rock, and the Starship rocket at the SpaceX spaceport in Boca Chica. And as many as 30 (!) viewpoints where there are, for example, the incredibly interesting city of the Texas Germans Fredericksburg, the fantastic villas-palaces of Galviston or the cowboy town of Peikos. Well, and to finish with the numbers, the new DLC has as many as 29 large cities and 50 small settlements not noticed on the map. That is, there is really something to see here.
Along with the expansion of the map, the developers released a DLC with skins in the style of the Wild West, American Truck Simulator – Wild West Paint Jobs Pack and, of course, held a special event related to the exploration of a new state.
The appearance of Texas on the game map gave virtual truckers the opportunity to lay a route from one coast of the United States to another with a length of almost 2,500 miles, that is, more than 4,000 km. It’s a really big trip.
As you can tell, American Truck Simulator – Texas, despite some issues with the display of large cities, is a very cool DLC that we recommend you buy. If you only have the base game, which now costs only UAH 84, by the way, then in order to get to Texas, you need to purchase the New Mexico DLC (only UAH 59 now), because Arizona is a free DLC, and Nevada and California are included in the basic version. The Texas addition itself is a little more expensive than other new DLCs – UAH 299, compared to UAH 199 in American Truck Simulator – Montana, but, let’s not forget, it is almost twice as large.
If we are talking about American Truck Simulator, then Oklahoma and Kansas. In fact, after the teaser trailer with the large fields of sunflowers, I even thought for a second that this was finally Ukraine for Euro Truck Simulator 2, but no, SCS Software can’t make DLC until the development team drives around the country’s roads, taking pictures of key landmarks, solution and texture. It is clear that this is impossible before the liberation of Donbas and Crimea.
In addition, the studio is going to continue work on updating some outdated areas of the map, updating and adding new trucks, etc. But most importantly… SCS Software is preparing a new engine for ETS2/ATS! The thing is that the Prism3D engine, on which all the games of the studio are built, is already so to speak, “a little” outdated. SCS Software regularly updates it, but still, this engine was born in the last century, the studio has been using it since the game Hunting Unlimited, which was released… in 2001.
In fact, the new version of the engine was planned to be presented as early as 2022, but as Pavel Šebor, the head of the SCS Software studio, says, programmers are often too optimistic about the deadlines for the completion of work. Well, let’s hope that in 2023 we will still see a significant update to the game graphics of American Truck Simulator / Euro Truck Simulator 2. Because the competitors are awake, and while SCS is working with the US and Europe, they have already secured Australia. And the graphics in Truck World: Australia, which, by the way, was developed by a Polish studio, actually quite good. So, dear SCS Software, it must be added!