Snowrunner is the sequel to the brilliant Mudrunner, developed by Saber Interactive and published by Focus Home Interactive. Snowrunner expands on its previous game in many many ways, but does it warrant a whole sequel, or should Snowrunner just have been a DLC update?
Lets dive in and find out!
If you havent played Mudrunner then you are going to be in for a shock depending on your mindset going into Snowrunner. Don’t expect some fast paced arcade style handling game. What you get is a methodical, simulator heavy game that rewards you thinking about your next move when driving your vehicles around.
Starting Snowrunners main game mode you are greeted with a small tutorial that will walk you through the basics of the game. It doesn’t take long before you are unleashed to pretty much do what you want. The game is totally open world so if you just wanted to drive around the environments for a couple of hours then you can do that. However you wont be gaining valuable resources to upgrade and purchase better and definitely bigger vehicles into your fleet.
Set across 3 very different environments, you will have to overcome mud, torrential waters, snow, and frozen lakes across your missions and challenges. It isn’t going to be easy, but it’s damn worth it! You see when you are driving through all these different factors they feel real, they feel like they are there. You have to start thinking in advance of what you are going to do….If you have a steep muddy incline, do you gun it on the run up to the hill, or do you stop, take a minute, flip that truck into all wheel drive, drop it into a low gear and just start the seemingly never ending plod up the muddy hill. Oh and not to mention that you will constantly be correcting your steering as you go!
On Snowrunner, when you say truck…you really mean truck. With 40 vehicles available for you to purchase, upgrade and customise, from some of the biggest manufacturers out there, including CAT, Chevrolet and Freightliner among others, you know you are in for a treat when it comes to the size of some of these.
Have you seen trailers for the game and thought that it just looked easy and boring?, well when you are delivering some wood crates and you need to go through a nice deep fast-flowing river and the truck you are driving isn’t really the most suitable for the deep water, you are going to be sweating, and salivating as you approach the river. Get through it the other side unscathed and you can let out a whoop of joy!
You can play through the entire game on your own if you really want, or you can rope in a few buddies and take to the hills in up to 4 player coop. This is where Snowrunner gets fun, being able to drag your teammates out of that sludge or even river that was just a little too deep for them to cross is always a good laugh.
As with most games these days, there is a season pass coming to Snowrunner, but from the looks of things it is going to add a whole host of extras for you to play around with. Including new maps, new vehicles and even if you don’t have the season pass you are still going to get some great free content in the game’s lifespan.
The environment graphics on Snowrunner are a bit hit and miss, there are some elements that look fantastic, the cutting up mud under your tyres, through to the scenery in the distance. There are however some of the opposite. Driving through the trees and they become a bit of a mess if you start to look too close. However, it doesn’t detract you from the game in the slightest. It’s more of a little nitpick than anything. I’m sure on a PC running on Ultra graphic settings, this might not be the case though…I might have to investigate.
The vehicle models on Snowrunner are great as you would expect from a game from Sabre Interactive. Giving you that great feeling of weight behind the graphics.
Your HUD on the game is lovely though, it is very intuitive and there is always a little help section on the screen to let you know which button to press to take off the hand brake, or to turn your vehicle into an all-wheel-drive monster.
All the time I have spent with Snowrunner and even with its predecessor, I never really took in too much about the sound. I was always concentrating too much on making sure I avoided a tree, or even a rock. But, the game sounds are great. They are spot on with what you would expect from a game with big toys to play with. Lots of engines revving, combined with the sound of the surfacing slipping from under your wheels, all adds up to a great audio experience.
Even the base game of Snowrunner will have you spending hours playing through the game, but with the addition of the season pass DLC coming this is only going to expand the amount of time to spend playing the game. Add to that the ability to rope in your mates, you have a game that could quite honestly last a long time.
So does Snowrunner do enough to be able to match Mudrunners Gold Award? Well, I am pleased that with all its intricacies and complicated factors, it never steers away from being a fun and enjoyable experience, both on your own and with friends.
Snowrunner receives the Thumb Culture Gold Award
Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this review.