MudRunner 2 – Terrain and increased number of vehicles
MudRunner 2 – Terrain and increased number of vehicles
Spintires, is definitely a game that must have taken developer Pavel Zagrebelnyj and developers Oovee by surprise. Starting as a Kickstarter in 2013, this game was launched in 2014 and was welcomed enthusiastically, selling over one hundred thousand copies within the first month. The game later on went on to sell more than one million copies before publisher Focus Home Interactive got exclusive publishing rights and launched the ultimate version of the game titled Mudrunner, and then continued to expand the game even more with the American Wilds development and other downloadable content.
From what could be seen at the What’s Next event held by publishers Focus Home Interactive, Developers Saber Interactive are now quite seriously focusing on expanding the Mudrunner universe, in the presentation one couldn’t help noticing significant improvements in the upcoming Mudrunner 2.
The most remarkable feature of Spintires as well as Mudrunner is the terrain deformation, which means you have to drift through heaps and troughs of mud, with water whirlpools around the tires of your vehicle, with your stability greatly diminished. You’ll find the very wheels of your large trucks, and even those of the less sizeable vehicles, tearing up the land, and you will start feeling slightly anxious as you realize you might get stuck, and you may be risking missing the delivery. Even worse – you may even lose your vehicle to the unfriendly terrain…
The style and the atmosphere are extremely well done, and even if it is not 100 percent, it’s the closest any game has ever come to depicting real-time terrain deformation and the ways it impacts the vehicle you are driving. All the fine details have been worked out with precision, e.g., when it comes to the type of vehicle, the weight and even the treads on the tires. In the video presentation given by Saber Active, I happened to spot a member of the development team playing a portion of the game and certain aspects that were already very good in the first one now look outstanding in the sequel.
Fortunately, because of the actual live-gameplay session instead of a video, it’s evident what Saber are aiming at in the sequel. The visual quality of the game is obviously upgraded, a lot has been done to improve the physics of the mud, the displacement of terrain, there is also a difference in the way water filters through ruts, foliage around has been improved as well. Even the load of your vehicle will be taken into consideration with the physics of the game, for example, a load of rocks is going to push you much deeper into the soft mud than a load of light feather pillows would do. It was definitely good to hear that there would be recovery options, such as a helicopter, which is much better than having to return with your own vehicle to pull out your stranded truck.
The world of this game is significantly larger and more open than that of the first version. The only map that was shown to the attendants of the event is supposedly four times larger than that found in Spintires: Mudrunner, and there are multiple maps to travel to. The most interesting fact is that these maps will feature different types of surfaces as well. You will have to negotiate mud and water, in addition, you’ll also be able to see what it is like to make your way in an area based on Alaska, where you’ll have to face ice and snow. Together with the increased size comes increased scope, with a large choice of activities and objectives.
We did not see the ice and snow in-game, however, we got to watch a video showing what the developers are working on. We saw how the game’s creators are trying to show the simulation the ice and snow. We strongly believe that it will work out eventually, as the rest of the job is really well done. When it comes to the physics of the different vehicles, what was demonstrated looked good, but it would have been nice to be able to really have the hands-on experience with the game. There will be an increased number of vehicles and even more customized options added to MudRunner 2.
There are more brands of vehicles now, including Caterpillar, Ford and Gaz, to name just a few. We have not seen the actual effects of the customization of vehicles, but we got to see various customization types, shown on the menus, and different areas were explained to us. You can customize such elements as the colour of your vehicle, even though this will not have an impact on your performance. On the other hand, you will be able to choose such important aspects as your tires or even add in components that can, for instance, be helpful when going into deep water. The changes you choose for your vehicle can, and will, have an impact on the routes you can travel. Every vehicle has its own unique cargo capacity.
Everything, from your vehicle with cargo onto your truck to using tools to get out of a tricky situation and even the damage suffered by your vehicle was well displayed. The user interface was something Sabre made a lot of effort to develop and one can see that. Even just by watching somebody else play the game, you could see exactly what you needed to do. We has the impression it would be even easier to change your vehicles, load cargo etc. All of this should improve the accessibility of the game.
From the aesthetic point of view, we would say Sabre has made large improvements from MudRunner to MudRunner 2, especially when it comes to the mud, the foliage and even the vehicles themselves. The displacement of mud, water coming up around your tires – it all looked very real. What is more, an increased level of detail also applies to the inside of the vehicles, as now they feature unique cockpit views.
I really enjoyed the first title and the developments that Sabre seem to be implementing in the case of MudRunner 2, naturally, this is something I really can’t wait to have. Of course, it is possible that it doesn’t turn out as anticipated, but after speaking to the developers at the event, I know that they have done their best with great attention to detail, they focused on the aspects of the physics and driving off-road, bringing in experts for consultations. If the full game proves to be as great as the first one and what the early glimpses suggest, the lucky Saber and Focus Home could end up having a seriously successful title on their hands.
MudRunner 2 will be released on the PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One later this year.