Happy 5th Birthday ETS2

Almost a year ago I was blogging about SCS Software’s Euro Truck Simulator 2 and it’s French expansion, well it will come as little surprise to anyone that a year later and as the game reaches it’s 5th birthday, I’m still raving about the game.

Ever had a single player game that you willed the developers to continue to support and develop, beyond the first couple of DLCs, well SCS are still giving this game so much love it’s crazy. Now averaging a Map Expansion DLC per year (Scandinavia 2015/France 2016/Italy 2017) the game has also had some additional bonus DLC’s like the Heavy Cargo Pack which came out mid-year and the Special Transport in December too.

If the Map Expansions were just adding more roads into the game, it would tanked ages ago, what SCS Software strive for is to create an area that is visually different from others you have already played.

  • The Going East! Expansion unlocked eastern Europe giving players more challenges in terms of road and jobs to complete, it also gave players new landscapes and farmland to enjoy.
  • In the Scandinavia Map Expansion there are numerous mountain roads giving amazing views while crossing fjords, there are landmarks dotted around the place, you even have to negotiate roundabouts inside mountains.
  • Contrastly the Vive la France! Map Expansion see’s up delivering to Power Plants, navigating our way through small country lanes and villages, and if you have ever been to France SCS Software nailed the fact there are toll booths EVERYWHERE.
  • The last Expansion Italia has a rich tapestry of environments where we encounter dual lane carriageways winding their way through the Apennines descending into farmland. The climate as you descend into land surrounded by the Mediterranean changes and feels warm in it’s nature ( sounds crazy I know).

List the expansions is easy, however what is impressive with all these expansions is that SCS Software pay so much attention to small details, the look and feel of each area is different, the road layouts and intersections, the architecture of the buildings all lend themselves to creating a much more immersive game. The lighting in town and cities is much better now, there are adverts and billboards that give the word a much more lived in feeling.

As I mentioned the Heavy Cargo and Special transport give the game more elements that mean things have to approached differently, can your truck handle the heavier load? Will you successfully drive that Wide Load taking the correct prompts from the special leading and trailing cars. This gives more things to do it this already busy game.

Thank you SCS Software.

Jumping Ship

Since NCSoft closed the City of franchise, a number of projects have risen from the ashes with the hope to allow those ex-players to find a new home

These are the projects that are in flight that are considered spiritual successors to City of Heroes\Villains:

  • City of Titans
  • Valiance Online
  • Heroes and Villains
  • Ship of Heroes

I have been keeping an eye on these titles, watching videos as the are released and screenshots when possible, I’ve been on the fence for the most part as these games look nice but nothing was grabbing me in the same way as City of did.

Last week I had the pleasure watching a stream from Massively OP that was talking with the folks from Ship Of Heroes, there was a lot of information and development ideas given. I have to say I was very impressed, there was a Q & A taking place in the chat and nearly all the answers were how I would want a Superhero game to work.

One of the ideas that I hadn’t really understood was the idea of the space-ark (ship) and that the game looks to move away completely from a planetary bound MMO. This leads to multiple levels of the ship to explore and each having unique elements to it.

I’d like to see how SoH progresses between now and when they launch a client for folks to test with, I have to admit that so far it’s piqued my interest more than any other spiritual successor has.

You can watch the video of the stream here

The language of games

Not long after getting into tabletop gaming properly we were visiting a Local gaming cafe/event, when one of the organisers explained to us that many games are designed to be language agnostic and in many cases the instructions are published online in a variety of languages. The big reason for wanting to do this is that often the prices from UK stores are much higher than on say the Amazon German website. I usually keep an eye on games for sale but haven’t purchase any since getting this information, until now. When scouting at games on Amazon I spotted that there was a Big Box version of the tile game Carcassonne. In the box is the Base Game, the two expansions Inns & Cathedrals and Traders & Builders plus nine mini-expansions The Abbot, The River, The Flying Machines, The Ferries, The Messengers, The Gold Mines, Mage & Witch, The Robbers, and The Crop Circles. The English version was £76 but lurking on the site was the German version for £48, not one to looked a gift horse the mouth, I had a quick look online and found the Big Box instructions were available to download for free in my language, so we ordered the beast.

Now as much as we own the base game and an expansion it maybe kind of odd ordering something we already have but in all honesty having a single box with all the components is a more preferable option than having to home lots of separate boxes, they all just take up room.

I have to say I’m quite happy with the purchase, now to get them rules printed out.

 

Monster of the Week

After a riot of a evening on-call Friday night/Saturday morning, I decided that I would skip my blog post yesterday, In all honesty I couldn’t focus long enough to write anything down. So only 5 post this week, we’ll have to see how next week pans out.

Always on the lookout for another Role Playing game to add to my ever growing collection, this week I picked up the 2015 revised edition of Monster of the Week published by Evil Hat (nothing to do with me owning many Evil Hat products already honest). The premise of the game is straight forward, the Players are a bunch of monster hunters, each bringing unique skills and approaches to the party. The aim of the game is to gather information about, track down and then slay a monster, think Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Supernatural, Grimm, Dr. Who and dare I say it even Scooby Doo.

As is often the case, I liked the concept of this Game from the write ups, which is what spurred me into the purchase. On reading through the book the implementation looks to be very nicely done and the book is written in the order in which you need to perform steps. This is a nice feature as having to jump around in a book to find that one paragraph is frustrating as hell, especially when you are first starting out with a new game/system.

The game allows each player to pick an archetype (Hunter Type) each is customisable through the use of options that are unique to each type, thus allow every team to have variations and feel more like a character you have dreamt up rather than a cookie cutter wizard or rogue. The game imposes a restriction that each Hunter Type can only appear once in a team, this forces players to diversify, but since there are 12 Hunter Types in the book, plus some additional suggestions given, further still there are resources online that have some prebuild Hunter Types, or if done are to your exact liking you can make your own.

Monster of the Week

If you would like to hear some sample gameplay I recommend the Party of One Podcast who recently ran a session, it’s about 1 hour 20 minutes long and gives a wonderful overview of the mechanics and how the game plays out.

If you would like to hear more stuff the MBMBAM folks have just kicked off a mini-arc on their Adventure Zone podcast:
Here are the links for the Setup Episode and for Episode one.

I’m looking forward to trying this game out and will keep you posted.

GameBlast 18

So February is fast approaching and that means that it will soon time for GameBlast, the gaming marathon event in support of the charity Special Effect.

I support a number of different and awesome charities covering a wide range of different missions, some local, some national and some international. But as a gamer Special Effect is the charity closest to my heart, enabling people with physical disabilities to play games, socialise and get the enjoyment from games that other people take for granted.

There is no set structure as to what you need to do other than in being gaming related, it can be PC, Console even Board games if you like. Also there is no mandatory duration needed, you can play for however long you want, a couple of hours or longer.
This will be mine and Munki’s third year taking part in this wonderful event and I’m very excited, we are doing the same configuration as last year with two 12 hour stream Saturday and Sunday from at Midday to Midnight.

This year I’m planning on doing another long distance Euro Truck Simulator 2 journey, this time we can go even further as we can now head into Italy, maybe a trip from Bergen to Catania via La Rochelle. Thoughts?

You can learn more about Special Effect here and more about GameBlast18 here.
If you would like to support me

Is there anything you would like to see me play?


The video below is just over 5 minutes and it highlights all the good things that SpecialEffect have done in their 10 years of existence, if you get time to watch it please do.