Is it Truck Thursday yet?
Oovee Game Studios has been working on an interesting Windows PC simulator that would certainly be of interest to a great deal of us fellow Hoons. The game is called Spintires, and the only way I can possibly summarize it is to say that it’s a beautiful, highly detailed, and challenging off-road
driving hooning simulator that takes place in Russia circa 1980-1990 with classic Russian (or Soviet?) trucks of all shapes and sizes.
The game has been in development for a few years already and still is with an expected launch date sometime in Q3 2014 at the latest. The only reason why this isn’t a Truck Thursday post is because they’ve launched a Kickstarter campaign to help push the game towards a more complete full release next year, and it happens to end Thursday at 10:20 AM Eastern.
This article isn’t solely about the campaign though, it’s also about the tech demo that you can download for free from the developer and explore just some of the features the full game will have to offer. In the full game there will be numerous missions to complete, but in this tech demo there is only one mission: have fun. And make a complete mess of everything. So I guess that makes two missions.
A couple of us here at Hooniverse, including myself, got the chance to play around with this demo, and we all agree it’s worth your time and support. Click past the jump for some impressions and a gameplay trailer.
When you launch the game for the first time, you’ll be given the choice of two trucks to play with: a modest 4×4 UAZ and a monstrous 8-wheeled MAZ. Where navigating the UAZ through mountainous terrain and mud (and sometimes both) is a real challenge, the MAZ just plows through most everything like a steamroller. When the full game launches, many more vehicles will be added as well as vehicle upgrades like lighting, winches, turbochargers, tire deflation systems, and soon to be my favorite, horns. Upgrades will be won by completing missions, which as mentioned earlier, won’t be available until the game’s full launch next year.
Halp me plz I stuck
As far as the actual driving part goes, you’re given the ability to engage four-wheel drive and the diff lock with keyboard commands to overcome the various terrain challenges thrown at you. Believe me, you’re going to need those. Gears can be switched automatically or manually from high range, low rage, neutral, and reverse. By the time the full game comes out, support for Logitech G25 and G27 wheels will be added. For now though, it’s WASD keys or an Xbox 360 controller only.
Then there’s what really makes this game stand out – the physics and the level of detail they’ve put into it. Every piece of land you drive over is affected by the vehicle in some way, and you get to see that impact in real time as you move around. In dirt and grass, simple tracks are left behind, but in the mud, you’re practically creating trenches. Every decision you make when navigating difficult terrain must be the correct one if you want any hope of getting out on the other end. Spin the tires in one spot for too long and you’ll pay for it. Discover that the ditch you tried to drive through in the light jeep is deeper than you thought and you’ll be calling for a reset. If you forget to engage the diff lock or four-wheel drive while navigating a massive mud hole, you will not get out. Period. This is a game that is truly challenging in many ways and it must be played in order to be appreciated.
If you do manage to make it out of the mud, you’ll notice your tread is clogged up with thick mud and that chunks are flying everywhere as you drive along. Drive through the big river crossing and the water splashes up all around you and out of the wheel wells. The waves are beautifully rendered and the ripple effect your truck creates continues all the way to the shore. If you’re in the lighter, smaller UAZ, the current will push up against the truck and can send you down river submarine-style if you’re not careful. Climb out of the river and you’ll also notice that the water has washed away the mud on your truck as water droplets continue to trickle down the tire wall. The point is, this game has some stunning details and it’s clear that those years of development have yielded a truly stunning product – and it’s only going to get better.
If you’re interested in playing in some digital Russian mud with Soviet-era trucks, the free download is available at Spintires.com. In order to play, you’ll need Windows XP or 7, at least 512MB of RAM, a 1.2GHz processor or faster, DirectX version 9.0c, and about 93MB of storage space for the files. This was a pretty demanding demo for a modest laptop like mine, so be warned.
And of course, if you want to help the developers add more features and functionality to the final game, check out their Kickstarter campaign.