The time has come again, the great developers at SCS Software have given us an early Christmas gift, the Beyond the Baltic Sea DLC. Adding Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and parts of Finland and Russia adds a heck of a lot of kilometers of travel for us to explore. 13,000 kilometres, to be precise.
As usual, the first thing I did was take a job into one of the new countries. From Sweden it was a quick ferry ride over to Finland, which looks remarkably similar to the American map in Farming Simulator 19, Finland looks incredibly beautiful. Of course with new cities comes new ferry routes; SCS has added two new port cities, one in Germany and one in Sweden that goes to either Finland or Estonia. It still amazes me after six years they still continue to improve the game and add content. Other developers should take note.
How much detail have they really gone into on this digital recreation of the Baltics? Well Russia not being part of the Schengen Agreement has a border check in place, that is to be expected. The part I wasn't expecting was the Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian federal subject in between Poland and Lithuania, with, wait for it, its own border check into each country it borders. Absolutely fantastic, and something not too many people know about, a bit of history right there.
Of course with a different DLC and new cities come different companies, all with their own specific trailers and color combination. And as usual, SCS has done this properly, from the detail of the roads to the architecture and monuments, especially when crossing the border into Russia, whose massive highways have plenty of room. Pair Beyond the Baltic Sea with every other DLC and you can have some seriously long hauls. So far the longest I've seen is Helsinki, Finland all the way down to Palermo in Sicily at the boot of Italy, a massive haul of 3700km or 2300miles.
It all makes for another well-done DLC, from the landscape to the border checks and so on, along with a great few past updates the game has been fantastic. SCS have outdone themselves, and I may go as far to say this may be their best DLC yet, it's up there with the Scandinavia DLC. It's no easy feat going from Latin characters to Cyrillic either and SCS has done a fantastic job.
Could including Western Russia possibly mean a Russian expansion further down the road? I don't know but that would make for a hell of a road trip, maybe with some snow covered roads along the Trans-Siberian highway, which would be pretty intense. It would be amazing to get Russian DLC, maybe bring in the Balkans as well. It would be a huge ask and lots of work but turning Euro Truck Simulator into a Eurasian trucking simulator would be absolutely incredible.
As always along with a major DLC comes a game update, with a new trailer for the Finnish only region, not sure if these will work in multiplayer all over Europe but they are quite huge, it's such a shame that Finland only has a small part in the game. Would be great taking HCT (High Capacity Transport) trailers all over Europe.
The SCS Software DLCs never disappoint, the patch notes would be too huge to list here but my favorite is probably the physics improvements to the trucks. They now move quite a lot better than the static way they used to animate, the camera also moves with it which is fantastic. More trailers and more trailer accessories have been made available, the wind deflector for the rear of a boxed trailer being a particularly nice touch.
Overall, SCS Software has outdone themselves with this DLC expansion for ETS, as they have with all of their map addition DLCs. From the attention to detail to the amount of roads they have added, along with all the companies and all sorts of new cargo and trailers, Beyond the Baltic Sea has it all. SCS truly is one of the best developers in terms of content added and issues fixed, taking care of a game that's already seen its seventh birthday.