American Truck Simulator
American Truck Simulator (ATS) is a 2016 business and vehicle simulation game developed by the Czech company SCS Software and is the parallel video game sequel to Euro Truck Simulator 2, spiritual successor of 18 Wheels of Steel. It was first announced as being in development in September 2013 and unveiled at the Electronic Entertainment Expo 2015 (E3 2015). The game was released on 2 February 2016.
|American Truck Simulator|
An American Truck Simulator PC DVD ROM sample. A Peterbilt 579 carrying a trailer.
|Release||2 February 2016|
American Truck Simulator is a truck driving simulator with business management elements. In the game, players drive trucks and deliver trailer-moved goods to a designated location in order to be compensated with money and experience points. The payload must be delivered to the location speedily within a given amount of time, and with the least amount of damage to the goods as possible, in order to net the most money and experience points possible.
In-game money, after being earned, can be used to purchase more trucks and associated aesthetic, mechanical, and structural upgrades, purchase fuel and repairs for those trucks, take out and repay loans from a bank, as well as hire drivers and purchase garages to house and base them in. The amount of money and experience points earned is commensurate on the length of the delivery in distance traveled as well as the type of goods being transported. When delivering goods, players can use their own personally-purchased truck or use one provided by an in-game company. When delivering goods using a fleet-provided truck, repairs and other costs are paid for by the company rather than out of the player's in-game fund pool. Experience points can be accumulated and used to obtain perks, which improve the player's driving ability and what kinds of payloads they can deliver, such as chemicals and explosives, which net a bigger reward when completed successfully.
In addition to driving and delivering goods, the player can also manage a trucking business with hired drivers and owned properties. Hired drivers will perform deliveries on their own, netting the player money. The longer the drivers are hired, the more skillful they will become, thus increasing the amount of money they earn from each delivery. The player can train each driver to focus on a specific area of their driving that can be improved upon. Unlike in Euro Truck Simulator 2, the game features weigh stations, where players must stop at a designated weight station in order to determine the weight of the cargo before proceeding through (though the game will sometimes allow them to bypass the station but avoiding it deliberately will result in receiving a fine).
The game started off at launch with the U.S. states of California and Nevada, and expanded from there, with Arizona being added in June 2016 as a major update. The U.S. states of New Mexico and Oregon have been made available, as paid DLC, in November 2017, and October 2018, respectively. Washington (state) is the latest state, it was released on June 11th, 2019. Utah was announced on July 4th, 2019, to be released sometime later in the year. More U.S. states and potentially parts of Mexico or Canada are expected to be added by SCS Software in the future.
On 11 April 2014, SCS Software announced that there will be 100+ cities in the game once completed (not initially), and SCS released screenshots of the game. Truck brands included on American Truck Simulator so far are Kenworth, Peterbilt, and Volvo. More will follow; the only setback remains the licensing of trucks from their manufacturers.
SCS plans to eventually include the entire contiguous United States, as long as the game continues to do well. On 26 January 2015, SCS Software published a 1-hour video to YouTube of footage from early alpha of the game. On 18 December 2015, SCS Software announced the official release date for American Truck Simulator, 3 February 2016, on their blog. The game was released 1 day earlier instead.
On 23 June 2016, SCS Software announced that it will edit the size of the in-game environment to increase its size by 75%.
On 20 July 2017, SCS announced the 1.28 update, jumping from 1.6 in order to reflect that American Truck Simulator shares features with Euro Truck Simulator 2.
SCS Software confirmed in a blog post on 15 February 2016 that the Kenworth W900 has been launched and added to the game. SCS Software confirmed in a blog post that the Peterbilt 579 and the Kenworth T680 will ship with the sim on release day. They also confirmed the Peterbilt 389 on 3 November 2016.
Two years later, SCS Software included the Volvo VNL into the game on 5 November 2018. Another three months later, the CEO of SCS Software confirmed that the International Lonestar would be coming to the game. The developer would love to include many more trucks, but has ruled out adding fictional trucks and the biggest obstacle for including real trucks remains securing licensing rights.
The game is set in an abridged 1:20 scale version of the western contiguous United States, expanded periodically by the developer through downloadable content. It currently features depictions of the western U.S. states of California, Nevada, Arizona, with New Mexico, Oregon, and Washington available as DLCs. The game features 92 visitable cities, including Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Albuquerque, Portland, and Seattle, and many thousands of miles worth of in-game roads. Currently, the player may travel as far north as Belllingham, Washington, as far south as Nogales, Arizona, as far west as Eureka, California, and as far east as Hobbs, New Mexico, assuming the player has all the states available to them. SCS have stated that most future map expansions, if not all, will be at additional cost. The modding community for American Truck Simulator have also created their own map extensions. These extensions include cities in each state and even Mexico and Canada, though these maps are not dense as the base game nor as high quality.
|California||2 February 2016 (launch release)||22||California was the first state introduced for American Truck Simulator. As in real life, the posted speed limit for all trucks 55 miles per hour (88 kilometers per hour). The state is the largest in the game and, as such, has the most visitable cities. It also contains Yosemite National Park, the only national park the player may drive through in-game (commercial trucking is prohibited in National Parks in real life).||Ukiah, a city in northwestern California, became the first city to be retroactively added to a state when it was released alongside Arizona in the 1.3 update.
|Nevada||2 February 2016 (launch release)||10||Nevada was added to the game for free immediately at launch. Though it is not the smallest state available in the game, Nevada still accounts for the smallest amount of visitable cities, with only 10 being visitable.|
|Arizona||6 June 2016||16||Arizona was the first state added to American Truck Simulator post-launch when it was released with the 1.3 update. With its 16 visitable cities (15 when it was originally released), the number of cities a player may visit without purchasing any additional DLCs is 48. Arizona is famously mostly desert and also features the Grand Canyon. Arizona was the final state released in the 1:35 scale SCS Software had committed to at the time. All three states have since been rescaled to 1:20, nearly the same scale as Euro Truck Simulator 2, released in a 1:19 scale.||Prior to the rescale, the player was able to go past the road barrier Kayenta and drive quite a ways through Monument Valley into Utah. In this aspect, Utah is actually the fourth state the player could have driven through.
Arizona was the last state added as a free update to American Truck Simulator.
With the release of New Mexico, Arizona became the first state to border more than two states. California and Nevada later followed suit with the release of Oregon.
|New Mexico||9 November 2017||14||New Mexico was announced via blog post on 2 February 2017. The state, currently the second largest featured in American Truck Simulator, added 14 new cities and 4,000 miles of new in-game roads. It also introduced 11 custom rest stops and 600 custom assets. The map was released alongside update 1.29 which introduced dynamic events into the game.||Upon its release, New Mexico became the first state which bordered only one state (excluding the period when California and Nevada were the only available states).
|Oregon||4 October 2018||14||Oregon was announced via blog post almost exactly one year after New Mexico's announcement, on 1 February 2018. It had already been known that this would be the state to follow New Mexico as, with New Mexico's release, SCS Software teased a screenshot of the state with Interstate exit sign clearly showing the neighboring cities of Eugene and Springfield.
Despite currently being the 2nd smallest state in the game, Oregon still offers 5,000 miles of new in-game roads (1000 more than New Mexico), over 700 brand new assets (100 more than New Mexico) and the same number of visitable cities as New Mexico, with 14.
|Oregon is the first state to include a portion of another state's highway (which is marked on the map) before that second state's (in this case, Idaho) release, with small sections of I-84 and US-95 entering it.
|Washington||11 June 2019||16||On 25 January 2019, SCS Software unveiled the state of Washington as their next expansion. While this was around the same time frame as when New Mexico and Oregon were announced (the first days of February), many in the community noted that SCS Software were already deep into development of the state, as the team has already completed US-101 and has already shown Seattle, Washington's largest city. During a stream celebrating the third anniversary of American Truck Simulator, the CEO of SCS Software stated that Washington would come out much quicker than players anticipated while also expressing hope that a second state may be released by the end of the year with a third entering pre-development. This first prediction was proven true on 4 June 2019, when SCS Software announced the state would be released the following week.
||Upon release, Washington joined New Mexico as the only other state to border only a single state on release. Oregon became the fourth state to border more than two states.
Washington is the first state a player may own which does not border one of the base-game states. The state itself is the 2nd logging exclusive state after Oregon.
||TBA||TBA||4 July, 2019, American Independence Day, SCS Software officially announced the seventh state to be included in-game, Utah. The developer noted that Utah would be the setting of many different kinds of industries and would try to replicate specific regional climates.||This will be the second time Utah is accessible in-game, as the player was able to drive through Monument Valley and into Utah prior to the rescale.|
James Cunningham of Hardcore Gamer gave the game a 4 out of 5 saying, "While a little more realism would make American Truck Simulator more fun, paradoxical as that may sound, there’s no escaping how fantastically playable it is." Laura Dale from Polygon rated the game a 8/10 saying, "As someone who sunk countless hours into Euro Truck Simulator 2, a fresh coat of paint, an unfamiliar set of sights and the challenge of driving on the wrong opposite side of the road left me confident that I'll be sinking just as many hours into American Truck Simulator."
Andy Kelly of PC Gamer commended the game and noted that it shared the strengths and shortcomings of its predecessor due to the two games' similarities, though advised that it was not finished on launch and urged more cautious gamers to wait until it was more completed before purchasing the game.
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