Over the last decade or so, certain genres of gaming have established their place in the industry and created an entire submarket of games for players to enjoy. While genres such as first person shooters and role playing games may be the first one on everyone's mind, simulation games have slowly risen to popularity beyond just the niche of people who directly work in the industry.
American Truck Simulator is the latest entry and seems set to follow the success of its Euro Truck sister franchise and so we hopped in a cab, turned the country blues to full and tested the game's PC performance using our MSI AMD Radeon R9 380 2GB graphics card.
The frame rate in American Truck Simulator was extremely varied, but I found that it was usually very stable outside of extreme jumps during loading screens and when not actually rendering the full open world of California and Nevada the game is set in. Interestingly, the sampling in the game when set to the default ultra graphics setting is 150% but is able to be pushed to 400% with the price of well over 10 frames per second.
Once again I used our Intel i7 5820K, AMD MSI Radeon R9 380 2gb and 16gb RAM memory PC for our PC performance Low vs Ultra American Truck Simulator graphics benchmark video.
As you can see at 0:16, the game offers a very deep level of graphics customisation for those looking to eke every inch of extra performance out of their hardware. The addition of a “simple” graphics menu in lieu of the full list of options allows users to switch between preset options which is a nice quality of life addition for people less technically minded. As to be expected, the most taxing of these options were anti-aliasing, scaling and render distance. I found that with everything set to max I was achieving barely above 30 fps on ultra graphics, however, simply by adjusting a few of the more intensive graphics features I was able to push the game to a stable 60+ frames per second.
Initially I found it really difficult to find any difference between Low and Ultra but it seems clear that a lot of the graphical fidelity of the game was loaded into the interior of the cab as can be seen clearly at 1:17 onwards.
American Truck Simulator is by no means a graphically impressive game but the attention to detail both in the map and the truck interior often had me crashing because I was staring at a particularly nice texture. Considering you'll spend most of your time inside the cab blasting Johnny Cash it seems only fair that this is where the graphics come into their own. Using our MSI R9 380 I easily achieved 60 fps on ultra with a few settings tweaked which was fairly surprising considering the level of graphics quality achieved by this same card in other titles.
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