Spintires: Mudrunner is the ultimate version of the million-seller indie hit Spintires.
Like Spintires before it, Spintires: MudRunner puts players in the driver seat and dares them to take charge of incredible all-terrain vehicles, venturing across extreme Siberian landscapes with only a map and compass as guides!
Spintires’ main premise is to deliver logs to your garage so that it can be upgraded. You start out with one truck and can outfit it to carry different types of logs. Each log type has a separate points value so the harder and heavier the load, the more points you get. As a result, the more points you get the more difficult the drive to and from the garage.
This sounds very simple and it is, in theory.
It’s the terrain between your garage and the logging camp that boasts the challenge. You won’t always be able to stick to the tarmac and the off-road driving is where Spintires truly shines.
Each of the sandbox maps has watchpoints to discover, that will uncover sections of the map so that you can better plan your delivery routes. I can’t stress enough how much it’s worth to drive a little 4×4 out into the wilderness before taking on any deliveries.
This will help you get to grips with the controls which can be incredibly sensitive and clunky at the same time. It will also help you get a feel for which roads are less treacherous and where the dirt roads might work for shortcuts. You can even discover other vehicles along the way, unlocking them for use later. You can switch between vehicles you have unlocked on the map screen. This is incredibly useful when you get a vehicle stuck or damaged and need a repair or an alternative delivery vehicle.
This may sound stressful and I suppose it can be, but the lack of time limits really does allow you to just take your time and enjoy the driving. You can’t help but be impressed by the way your tyres grind into the mud and push it around. The way they leave real grooves that remain throughout the entirety of your stay. Thick gobs of wet earth will stick on your tyres and cause traction issues, even once you’re back on asphalt roads. You have to make sure to take care until your wheels have freed themselves of the extra weight. The water effects are incredible too. It sprays and pours from your wheels as you fight your way through deep puddles and over shallow areas of rivers and swamplands.
It is incredibly frustrating when you mess up the slightest amount. If, like me, you don’t have any experience driving a big rig truck then you’re bound to make a mistake. This game has zero forgiveness. The amount of times I got my truck stuck in the mud because I steered slightly the wrong way when trying to reverse a flatbed was unbelievable. It ended up being the only game that made me relaxed when I first started and then want to smash my controller to bits shortly after. This is the appeal behind Spintires though as it is a true simulation game. You will need to plan and be careful so bear that in mind.
The game has a bunch of small things that suck me in though. The deformation of the soft ground. The feel of the water pushing the truck and the ability to feel like the tires are going over the middle ridge of a dirt track. Nothing major but you notice the changes in the control and I like that.
Water Looks Wet
While the graphics overall aren’t necessarily first class this is more of an adapted indie title. The game did start out as a PC Kickstarter campaign after all. So yes, some of the chopped logs you’ll be transporting don’t have the best textures. Many of them just look blurry like they haven’t loaded in properly with hexagonal circumferences.
However, the trucks look excellent. Although I can’t say how true they are to their real life counterparts, as I just don’t have that knowledge. When I’m not busy staring how the wheels make tracks through the boggy terrain, I’m looking at all the autumn coloured trees which slowly pass on by.
Even the water looks good, it’s usually the hit or miss in games but not only does it look good, it feels good. When you’re crossing a ford, you can feel the water hit the flat side of the truck and pushing you, making it harder to continue straight on. Plus the look when your vehicle hits the water and some of the oil mixes to get that rainbow effect, just wow. That’s where the attention to detail has gone.
Spintires: Mudrunner is available on the Xbox Store now for £29.99 including all of the American Wilds DLC.
- Water effects are impressive
- New maps and challenges
- Quite Relaxing
- Awkward controls and camera
- Too much DLC locked behind progression
- Quite Frustrating
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- Overall - 6/106/10
When everything clicks and you find yourself driving through the mud to make that delivery, Spintires: Mudrunner – American Wilds is remarkably fun and relaxing. In a world where games like Farming Simulator are finding their niche even in the console market, this deserves to find a decent audience. Fans of the original game will enjoy this American Wilds package, though it remains unlikely to bring in any new players, despite improvements to the core game.