Spintires: Mudrunner – Xbox One Review

Simulation games are getting quite abundant. They’re everywhere in all forms. From the bizarre and funny such as Kitty Powers’ Matchmaker or Oh Sir!…The Insult Simulator to the ‘real-life’ titles such as Firefighters or even Forza Motorsport, you’re never short of finding a ‘simulator’ to relate with. Developer Saber Interactive have brought their game Spintires: Mudrunner to consoles for the first time, with its predecessor previously a PC-only title.

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In Spintires: Mudrunner, the aim of the game is to haul logs using a truck and gett from ‘point A’ to ‘point B’ across muddy terrain and uneven land. You’ll be required to winch your truck to trees to help pull your truck up small hills, adjust your acceleration mode in order to cross rough waters, all whilst carrying cargo on the back of your truck. That’s pretty much it. However, the map is huge and the game offers plenty of different game modes and progression.

You’ve got the standard sandbox mode, which if you’ve played the original Spintires, is more or less the same, albeit improved graphics, handling and more trucks. But for those who are new to the game, sandbox sees you roaming free to do as you please with no time constraints or specific objectives. In sandbox mode, you can scout the open world map for new trucks to unlock; each offering unique handling and different attachables. Once you find a truck, you approach the vicinity of it, and press a button and you’re instantly transferred into that truck. Trucks can be upgraded to carry more logs, improve the trucks durability and speed, amongst other upgrades.

New to the game is the Challenge mode, which puts you in set trucks where you’re given objectives to accomplish however, it’s easier said than done. Each challenge offers a grade rating, but they’re ridiculously hard, well it was for myself anyway. There’ll be certain points during some of these challenges where you’re forced to restart due to being stuck with nothing to put your winch onto. Nevertheless, it offers some sort of progression as opposed to ‘doing your own thing’.

There’s also a multiplayer mode allowing you to co-operate or compete with other haulers to complete objectives. Help your buddy pull his truck up or simply sit back, eat a sandwich and watch as he struggles to get those tyres spinning. It’s genuinely funny to see your friend, who’s acquired a large amount of logs, slide down a hill with all his logs coming loose, only for him to scream sweet swear words, because we both know how long it can actually take to haul those damn logs. This is definitely a game for the patient.

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Spintires: Mudrunner can get extremely repetitive really quickly but I found it’s best in small doses. To those who actually do this sort of thing in reality, I’m sure it will be more fun. But that’s not where the problem really lies. It’s the camera issues I faced. You’d expect since you’re driving a car, that the camera would be behind you, but the problem is that due to the size of some of these trucks, they take up a big chunk of your screen, so the developers have had to improvise the best they could. Instead, what you’ve got is a free-controlling camera movement system that is just clunky and annoying. You have the option of going into first person through the eyes of the driver, but you still can’t see exactly where you’re going and if you need to reverse, well there’s no wing mirror’s so you have to resort back to the clunky camera.

Whilst it’s not a game of my personal preference, I still enjoyed doing something new, which this game will undoubtedly give the rest of you. But it just isn’t fun enough to be long lasting, with the added camera issues and slow-paced gameplay. It’s got nice graphics though but there isn’t a single lumberjack in sight.

Spintires: Mudrunner is available to download from the Xbox Store, priced at £34.99.

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