I love me a good sim game. They’re usually weird, janky, but a little bit wonderful. Take Bus Simulator for example; I played it last year and I’m a little embarrassed to say that I got sucked into it big time. These weird simulators tend to be peaceful, easy to play, and generally inoffensive.
Bear in mind, this isn’t my first time simulating the trucking business. I’ve put hundreds of hours into Euro Truck Simulator 2 and American Truck Simulator on PC, so I know my way around a big rig.
Aerosoft’s On the Road – Truck Simulator aims to plug the gap that has been left wide open on consoles. At this moment in time, there aren’t many competitors. There is Truck Driver, but I tried it on release and tried to slit my wrists afterwards, so that’s a no-go.
So, the question is: Is it any good?
No. Not really.
The basics are there and the core of the game works, but it has absolutely nothing else going for it. That’s not to say it won’t find an audience – I’m positive that in Germany it will find a following, as the game takes place in Germany and it’s made by a German company, and Germans love nothing more than other German things, but they don’t like other Germans. Trust me, I’m not German, but I’ve lived amongst them for years now, so I know a thing or two about Germans.
The concept of the game is that you start your own haulage company – every little German boy’s dream – and you start with one truck, one driver (yourself) and you have to work contracts to get money. You save that money up, buy yourself a better truck, maybe even an employee to drive it, and your money comes in quicker. You have to manage the expenses, too, and if you thought filling up at the Tankstelle in real life was expensive, try filling up a truck with 1200 litres of fuel… Very expensive.
That’s the idea behind the game, and if growing a fictional logistics company is your idea of good fun, you’ll enjoy this game, but you’ll have to look past plenty of bad things. Not that Germans have ever had a problem turning a blind eye to bad things…
The presentation is, in a word, poor. A little bit of anti-aliasing would have gone a long way to making the game hit the absolute bare minimum, but I don’t think the budget extended that far. Instead, we’re left with a very shimmery game that doesn’t look great at all. To be fair, some effort has gone into making the interiors of trucks look good, but everything else is really quite poor and not up to the standards that players would expect these days.
Of the 16 major cities included in the game, none of them look particularly good. I can recognise certain landmarks and familiar roads that I’ve driven on in real life, but there’s very little simulation of real-life here. For one, there’s not a single human in sight. Every vehicle is driven by the invisible man. Does it matter? Not really, no. It doesn’t affect gameplay, but it’s another reminder that this is a really low effort release where every corner that could be cut, has been.
The game takes place exclusively in Germany and you can drive around the entire country, delivering goods to and from 16 German cities, though my own city, Wolfsburg, is not included. And that’s fine by me. I look out of my window every morning and hope to see a massive sinkhole has wiped it from existence. It hasn’t happened yet, but On the Road doesn’t feature the place, so that’s a positive for the game.
The actual driving itself is fine and works, but would you want to spend hours driving along lifeless autobahns where trucks, buses, and cars seemingly drop into existence as trees and other details draw themselves in before disappearing a second later? No. And if you are a fan of mindless simulators, you can pick up the superior games for less money on PC, and you don’t even need an amazing PC to run them.
I’m finding it really hard to find any positives to On the Road – Truck Simulator, outside of Wolfsburg’s eradication. I suppose there just aren’t any. It’s just not a very good or fun game to play, and it only serves to remind me how much I actually enjoy Euro and American Truck Simulator.
On the Road - Truck Simulator PS5, PS4 Review
Overall - Bad - 4/10
On the Road – Truck Simulator is a poor, pale imitation of bigger and better games. It has the basics right and the systems do work, but everything else is shockingly poor.
- The road signs are accurate
- The driving is OK
- The trucks look half-decent
- Poor graphics
- Poor audio
- Poor world detail
- Poor me for having to play this
Review Disclaimer: This review was carried out using a code provided by the publisher. For more information, please read our Review Policy.
Reviewed using PS4 Pro and PS5.