The Beehive State has finally arrived to American Truck Simulator and I could not be happier. It's one of the most diverse states in terms of climate and topograhy, going from the utter flatness of the Bonneville salt flats to iconic sheer walls of Monument Valley which has been used in so, so many western movies to excellent effect. Utah is incredibly well portrayed in this, the latest DLC expansion for ATS, and makes for one hell of a peaceful drive.
The team at SCS Software did a fantastic job with this DLC, as they typically do with all their DLCs, taking the time to make sure it's accurate and bug free. It's easy to see just why it takes a relatively long time to release each state and why it may appear to be on the pricey side. It would have taken years to release a game with the entire map of the US, which leaves us with this slightly disjointed, expansion pack approach. It pays off though, as SCS has the time to lavish plenty of care on each state. It's great to see the level of detail and effort put into expanding an already fantastic game
For those not familiar with Utah, it borders quite a few states therefore giving it a very varied climate. From the South border with Arizona, you get a very dry and desert climate, with beautiful Monument Valley used in movies like Back to the Future 3 and Cars. To the North and East, Wyoming and Colorado; cold states with lots of vegetation. It's incredible to drive from St George in the desert valley to Salt Lake City, and the Bonneville Salt Flats to Vernal which is surrounded by dense forests. It's a fascinatingly beautiful state, one where a lot of RVers love to stay, and you can see why.
As usual with a major DLC comes a major update, and one that has been in the making for quite some time. SCS Software has finally given up on keeping American Truck Simulator, and its brother Euro Truck Simulator 2. running on DX9. ATS is now fully optimized for DX11 and runs much smoother. Ultra settings can be used whereas the game would previously tank the FPS before when entering a city. The whole list of changes can be seen on their blog. It's great to see a developer providing support and patches for a game that is now getting close to four years in age.
Overall, the Utah DLC is a fantastic expansion, as it usually is with SCS and both ATS and ETS2. There's lots of attention to detail, and if something is missing they usually rework it into a future update. The team is always adding some new areas as well, it's never a let down. It was particularity great to see the Tree of Utah while driving to the salt flats, there's always something to watch out for during these behemoth treks across America. Here's hoping to seeing the whole of the continental United States one day, it should make for a hell of a drive.