Offroad Truck Simulator: Heavy Duty Challenge PC Review

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Offroad Truck Simulator: Heavy Duty Challenge (formerly Heavy Duty Challenge) is a simulation game with – you guessed it – heavy-duty trucks. It was developed by Nano Games (Zamb!CityconomyReef Shot) and published by simulation giant Aerosoft. It is available now on Steam, PS5, and Xbox series X|S. Take your heavy truck on the road, or off, or complete a variety of challenging courses.

Shifting is Important in Heavy Duty Challenge

Simulation games seem to come in all shapes and sizes. Basically, think about any job or vehicle and there’s probably some simulation game out there for it. If there isn’t, then what are you waiting for? Go make it! Anyhow, I hadn’t really thought of there being a competitive component to driving a heavy truck until I heard about Heavy Duty Challenge. In hindsight, I don’t see why it really came as much of a surprise. I mean really, we have Goat Simulator out there. Let me know your favorite sim game available after the review below!

A blue heavy duty 3-axle truck is shown at the starting area of a challenge course. The area around it is rocky. Status of different truck parts are displayed down the left side of the screen while RPM/gears and axle settings are along the right.
There are several different trucks to unlock and choose from, but this one suited me best on most challenge courses.

Gameplay

Offroad Truck Simulator: Heavy Duty Challenge brings truck simulators to a different level. There are plenty of sim games around involving driving and hauling with heavy trucks. MudRunner and Euro Truck Simulator come to mind. But most don’t have a challenge course series like Heavy Duty Challenge does that I’m aware of. Not to be completely different though, there are also cargo haul and free roam modes available to play around with too.

I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect of the courses in Heavy Duty Challenge. Obviously, challenge is right in the title – but I was not prepared for how much they would be! The game takes into account several aspects of your truck to provide a realistic driving experience. These include manual gear shifting, differential controls, and status indicators for parts of your truck. Getting through each challenge course at a decent speed intact takes a coordination of efforts to keep moving along. I had a rough time getting a handle on when to shift and be in what gear – in addition to what my differential should be set at. The Driving School courses at the beginning of the game were helpful, but not nearly as helpful as I feel they could have been in this regard.

Maybe it’s just because I haven’t spent much time on any other truck games, but for me playing on PC, things really felt like they were dragging in Heavy Duty Challenge. For the most part, I felt like I was never in the right gear or the proper differential setting to drive effectively. I was either constantly at too high of RPM and barely moving or not moving at all by being in either too high or too low of gear. This led to a very slow experience. But somehow despite my struggles, I still did alright for my overall score on most of the challenge courses.

A truck going over a very narrow wooden bridge between rocky areas during one of the challenge courses.
Staying dead center is so hard!

Graphics & Audio

For this review I was playing Offroad Truck Simulator: Heavy Duty Challenge on PC at 4k resolution. The environments for the courses and trucks are full of detail and as realistic as what you would expect from a modern simulation game. The courses especially shine with how every rock and boulder has its specific placement among other natural obstacles.  I imagine it looks just as great on a bigger screen on the PS5 or Xbox Series X|S. The game also allows you to change between a few different camera angles so you can get a better view from inside the cabin or of your surroundings. I prefer the exterior distant view, personally, which is shown in the screenshot above. Though I wouldn’t complain if the ability to zoom out just a bit more were to be available.

I honestly don’t know what I can say about the audio in the game. All I can think about is how much I heard my truck straining in Heavy Duty Challenge. And that’s really all I heard – just my engine constantly droning on and reminding me how poor of a driver I am. Nothing massively stands out as unique or ear-catching.

Longevity

Heavy Duty Challenge is most definitely a simulator game. Thankfully, it has a few different modes in addition to just the challenge mode. If it were still just the challenge mode, the longevity of the game would be severely lacking. There are a number of different trucks to play around with, yes, but the courses felt so short that I don’t see myself playing through them again with each vehicle. But there are those gamers out there who thrive on sim games, so it’s hard to say what the longevity looks like for a regular player of the genre.

A flatbed cargo truck drives down a very unevenly paved road in a rocky area with trees lining the edge of the clearing.
Even driving some of these roads is a challenge.

Final Thoughts

At the end of the day, Offroad Truck Simulator: Heavy Duty Challenge just isn’t for me. However, I can understand and see where there is enjoyment in it. It’s a bit different to your run-of-the-mill truck simulator games. Not to mention it is very beautiful to look at. Although the other game modes seem like they could be a bit more in-depth, I think I still have to give Heavy Duty Challenge the Thumb Culture Silver Thumb Award.

If you enjoy this review, be sure to check out my other reviews here.

 

Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this review.

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About Author

A gaming enthusiast from age 5, Jordan plays games of all sorts. Whether he's deep into the latest MMO, grinding for gear in his favorite looter-shooter, or popping zombies in Call of Duty - you can guarantee he's spending the little free time he has as a Technical Support Consultant to game. Join him in checking out some of the latest releases and upcoming games.

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