A lot of people have cars these days, and some of them can even drive their car in dangerous weather conditions, like heavy snowfalls and on icy roads. And yet, only a small number of people choose to earn their living by driving: taxi drivers, bus drivers, and truck drivers. Each of these three professions has its peculiarities, and you can learn those by playing computer games.
Let's have a quick look at several truck simulators: Euro Truck Simulator, UK Truck Simulator, and German Truck Simulator. I'm not even going to pretend that I can tell you how close they are to real-life truck driving, as I've never driven a real truck in my entire life, but I can definitely tell you how realistic the whole experience feels. So let's dive in.
The obvious point of agreement is that all these games are about driving trucks and delivering cargo, slowly building up your own business. Notably, the games keep a watchful eye on how well you abide by the driving rules during your journey. There are other cars on the road, sometimes there's even some heavy traffic, and you are penalized for everything: speeding, running out of fuel, colliding with others, damaging your truck, having your headlights turned off, etc.
It is also important to remember to upgrade your truck, as you are actually given a time limit for each journey. On top of that, you're expected to drive as safely as you can, so you also have to take rests after certain periods of time - which you are also being reminded of.
Each of the games offers several camera views to choose from; and when you're using the behind-the-wheel view, you can look around you and even out of the window, which makes the experience quite realistic (especially if you're wearing one of those Oculus Rift things). The games are very slow-paced, it sometimes feels like you're driving from Edinburgh to Glasgow in real time; so I'm definitely recommending them to those looking for a few calm hours in front of their PC.
First of all, the games are set in different locations: the United Kingdom, Germany, and the whole Europe. Logically, in this regard, the most interesting among the three is Euro Truck Simulator, as it allows you to experience all the European countries, including the UK and Germany. There are also little quirks like driving on the other side of the road in the UK, which adds to the total challenge. Generally speaking, the country-specific truck simulators simply seem to be a bit shorter.
Additionally, Euro Truck Simulator has a very well thought-out mini information window in the lower right corner of the screen. It's like a GPS navigation device with lots of additional data, like your money balance, speed, fuel, fines, etc.
You can't go wrong with any of these games. They're extremely calming and give you a lot of time to think about different things while you're listening to your favorite music playlist played on the truck radio. Truck simulators are a whole new experience, with all the good things about being a trucker, and none of the downsides, to the point of romanticizing this job. So have fun and watch the road!
Picture credit: fleetowner.com.