Truckers and simulators rejoice, it's that time of the year again. A lovely and massive expansion to the already massive American Truck Simulator, New Mexico. From the fantastic folks who brought you the lovely Vive La France DLC for Euro Truck Simulator 2 - SCS Software. A fine addition to the already existing states, California, Nevada, Arizona and now New Mexico (happy now, UFO enthusiasts?).
The New Mexico expansion adds over 4,000 miles of road, not including the 600 new miles added to the base map. The deserts of the State of Enchantment have never looked so beautiful. I'd thought Arizona was quite the desert itself but driving into New Mexico is another thing of beauty. The rest stops and police vehicles also differ from state to state, which is just fantastic attention to detail. Absolutely well done by SCS Software on that front, it's quite impressive.
Not only that but the new update, 1.29, has added more roads to California and Arizona which is a great addition (Arizona and Nevada come as free DLCs with the base game). The coolest new trailer I have seen though, mobile barriers, look brilliant, to say the least. This map expansion paired up with the Heavy Cargo Pack and you've got yourself some quite long and difficult journeys to get busy with. Some of you may think New Mexico is just flat American highways, and it is indeed flat, but just like Euro Truck Simulator, some of the town roads can be quite narrow and hard to navigate. Just try backing up a double jointed cable reel trailer.
What we have here is another fantastic DLC made by SCS. Just like it did with Euro Truck Simulator 2, they continue to impress with the quantity of content and attention to detail. It's not exactly going to convert new fans, but that's hardly the point. As someone who has lived in both the United States and France, I can say the detail in American Truck Simulator may even be better than Euro Truck itself. You can make out the individual car models in each game and it's surprisingly well done. SCS doesn't use the same models for most games, tailoring them to each part of the world. It's an incidental detail that a lot of people may not notice but that's how accurate the games are. Anything from the old school Chevy pick ups to the yellow bird school buses.
The landmass is also incredibly well done. Something we don't see in Euro Truck Simulator 2 (because there really isn't much of it) are some of the businesses, road signs and of course, the giant American billboards. It's why I may, in some ways, prefer American Truck to Euro Truck, it's just a more enjoyable drive. It would be a dream if SCS could actually end up mapping the entirety of the United States. Doing a cross country trip would be absolutely hardcore. The distance between California and New Mexico is fairly similar in distance to doing Paris to Bratislava, for example. I'm not a huge fan of DLCs that should be part of the base map but looking at the detail and size of the map it does make sense on the developer's part, this is no small undertaking. The game would never get released if they had to design entire states. It gives the game a "go back and play" appeal with different state DLCs, the same with Euro Truck Simulator.
The only down side as mentioned is the paid DLC for something that, from the name alone, a lot think should probably be in the base game. Ultimately you're getting a lot of bang for your buck though, so it seems churlish to complain about SCS Software's content rollout. What does seem odd though is the disparity in price between Euro Truck and American Truck DLC map additions. In Europe, the Vive la France DLC is 17.99€ but the New Mexico is only 11.99€. It would be great to see both games adopt similar pricing structures.
American Truck Simulator: New Mexico is hugely enjoyable, and if you didn't nod off while driving before, the vast expanse of New Mexico and its assorted highways is a must for any ATS fan.