Alaskan Road Truckers Preview – Winter Is Coming

Put on your best beanie and gloves as it's a bit nippy outside. A hand-on preview of Alaskan Road Truckers, for you beautiful people.

I hope you’re keeping up with the name changes, as Alaskan Truck Simulator is now called Alaskan Road Truckers, yet it’s still the same truck driving simulator we’re familiar with. Wait – it’s not even out yet! The following is based on an early build, so hold your horses: nothing’s final.

It wasn’t the chill experience I was initially expecting. That’s a play on words as the promotional material does insinuate hyperthermia being the Sauron to your delivery driver, plus it’s in the name. Alaska is not a tropical destination.

However… the Alaskan Road Truckers’ experience here was chill in the sense of calm, zen-like – relaxed even. The seasonal cycle was on the tail end of winter but more of a pleasant spring climate. Why is this relevant? No frosting of the windscreen, slippery tyres, or retracted testicles. 

Alaskan Road Truckers release date
Source: Steam

Alaskan Road Truckers Preview

Movie Games are on board with the publishing, and this does have the feel of the most recent Brewpub Simulatoras it has a light-hearted, upbeat vibe. That stems from the music, which is initially fun but soon gets irritating. Music is subjective, of course. Overall, it’s accessible from the get-go without any faffing about with complicated controls. Yet.

The Alaskan Road Truckers preview build was time-limited, only offering an hour of gameplay (repeatable), and as a result, the difficulty was lowered and gameplay much easier than Euro Truck Simulator 2, which will be our benchmark. Within a minute or two, you affix a trailer, lowering its stand, then starting up the ol’ Porkchop Express and heading into the wilderness.

The cab interior is well-presented and not remotely complex. While truck driving has a few more switches than the average car, it shouldn’t feel like Flight of the Navigator, so all you have to do is turn on the ignition, take off the handbrake and off you go. There are multiple configurations for lights, wipers and whatnot, but overall, it’s all about getting stuck in.

Alaskan Road Truckers Preview - Cab
Cab. Source: Steam

The Greasy Spoon

One of the most important aspects of a driving game is driving, and the trucks handle well, considering the weighty cargo. Granted, the roads were clear, so I may change my mind when the snow kicks in, but the truck drives well for now. My viewpoint of choice is always first-person, but I had to switch to the chase cams due to the trailers and surprisingly narrow roads.

Alaskan Road Truckers isn’t to scale, so you won’t be driving actual miles, but in this short preview, there was a lot of driving, and again, it’s comparable to Euro Truck Simulator 2. The locations are busy for a rural area, but relaxing at that. Pending you don’t hit a tree stump like I did and almost flip everything. That wasn’t fun. At least there weren’t any penalties for speeding.

One of the key features of the game was the survival element, as it’s not just about driving. Besides filling up with fuel, you’ll need to purchase and prepare food in advance or stop at a greasy spoon and get some snacks. Due to the time limit, I got away without eating or refuelling, but it will be a critical part of the game, as is the sleeping side of things.

Keep On Truckin’

Your driver can sleep in the cab or stop at a motel for a better night’s sleep. Fortunately, the UI does state when you’re low on any of these resources, and again, this will be more prominent in the full game than it was with this early build. Your work vehicle also needs to be fixed as and when, too. My radiator was the first thing to go. Self-inflicted.

In summary, Alaskan Road Truckers will be a regular on the playlist. Much like its European counterpart, there’s something therapeutic when driving a long-haul vehicle, and these survival aspects might give it the edge. My only reservations at this stage were the character models and the repetitive music, but other than that? It’s very good!

Alaskan Road Truckers is set for a Steam release on the 18th of October, 2023.

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