Two years after my Euro Truck Simulator 2 review, it's time to revisit the game to see how it holds up. Spoiler alert: It only got better.
7 years after its release, Czech developer SCS Software‘s trucking simulator is as popular as it ever was. As of right now - just past 6 O’clock on a Sunday morning CET - more than seven thousand people are playing Euro Truck Simulator 2 (ETS2) on Steam. It’s among the highly rated games on the platform, with a 96% approval rating on its 150 000 reviews.
I wrote a very favorable review of the game two years ago, and have continued to play it since. ETS2 is now my third most played game on Steam, with over 70 hours played.
But what makes a seemingly exceedingly boring thing as hauling virtual cargo across Europe so popular? The way I see it, there are two main reasons for SCS’s success with ETS2.
It’s Always New and Shiny
First of all, SCS continuously updates the game. In my original review, I wrote about the lack of events along the road. Now ETS2 has a lot of different events, ranging from heavy road work to car crashes and truck fires. Even more events would be more than welcome, though. I’d like to see flat tires, truck and trailer malfunctions, police controls, and responding emergency vehicles. A more advanced weather model would also be great. Right now, rain is very well modeled - and it rains a lot in ETS2. But flooded roads, high winds, and, most of all, snow, would be nice additions.
SCS also loves to release DLC for their game, and there are currently no less than 67 different DLCs available. They range from comprehensive map expansions to truck and trailer paint jobs. There is always some high quality map expansion in the works. The next one, Road to the Baltic Sea, is scheduled for release in 2019. ETS2 DLC sells like hot cakes, and ETS2 is one of the very few games I purchase DLC for on release day. Why? Because I know they are always amazing quality.
But you don’t need to spend money on DLCs to get new features in ETS2. SCS is very good at releasing new content for the base game as well. Recently they’ve added GPS voice navigation, the option to purchase trailers, a few new trucks, and general map improvements. In the upcoming 1.36 patch, they’ll add the island of Corsica to the
base game Viva La France! map expansion for the sweet price of absolutely nothing.
With all the DLC, and free updates, Euro Truck Simulator 2 always feels fresh.
The second reason why SCS is seeing such huge success with ETS2, that they are very good at looking after their player base.
October is the international Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and this year ETS2 players can purchase the Punk Ribbon Charity Pack. 100% of the proceeds will be donated to reputable Breast Cancer research and awareness charities.
In addition to that, ETS2 players can participate in the Pink Ribbon Charity Event through SCS’s World of Trucks service. Players who completes 12 or more deliveries of Pink Ribbon goods will be awarded a pair of Pink-Ribbon hanging boxing gloves. There is also a community goal during the event. If the players manage to complete a grand total of one million deliveries, every player will receive an attractive pair of Pink-Ribbon-styled hanging winning dice. The gloves and dice can be used as interior decoration in the player’s truck cabin.
The Pink Ribbon Charity Event is only the most recent of many very popular World of Trucks events. Running these types of events is a genius move by SCS since it gives the ETS2 players a goal while they’re playing, and reinforce the community feeling.
It’s Family Friendly
Lately, Euro Truck Simulator 2 has turned into a family activity at our house. In an attempt to get our 5 year-old interested in gaming, I’ve played a little ETS2 with her.
Buying trucks, painting them, and fitting the trucks with all kinds of accessories has turned out to be quite the hit. They often end up as epileptic nightmares, with enough strobe lights to put any 90’s rave party to shame. She is not that much into the driving part, and we usually end up with service bills in the thousands when she’s at the wheel. But she’s having fun, and that’s the important part.
SCS can easily push this cash cow in front of them for another ten years. At least. If they continue to update the base game, and pump out high quality DLC, I can’t imagine that ETS2 will get out of fashion any time soon.
So my original recommendation stands: If you’re looking for a trucking simulator, you should drop everything, and buy the game (and much as the DLC as you can afford) right now.
And now you’ll have to excuse me, I’m off to haul some pink ribbons through France.
This review is based on 70 hours of gameplay and a long, long list of DLCs: Pink Ribbon Charity Pack, Beyond the Baltic Sea, Italia, Viva la France!, Scandinavia, Go East!, Special Transport, Heavy Cargo Pack, Krone Trailer Pack, Actros Tuning Pack, XF Tuning Pack, Schwarzmüller Trailer Pack, Michelin Fan Pack, High Power Cargo Pack, Cabin Accessories, Wheel Tuning Pack, Halloween Paint Jobs Pack, Metallic Paint Jobs Pack, Finnish Paint Jobs Pack, Estonian Paint Jobs Pack, Latvian Paint Jobs Pack, Lithuanian Paint Jobs Pack, and Russian Paint Jobs Pack.