Simulation games are still some of the most immersive games out there that let you experience things you may not otherwise ever get to experience. For instance, flying a plane or driving a transit bus. These are things we might not want to do in real life but if there’s a video game version of it, we want to try it. Same goes for off-roading. Most of us never get to experience the joys of driving in dirt or mud and while it might look fun, it can be a rather expensive challenge if you don’t know what you’re doing. SnowRunner, by Focus Home Interactive and Saber Interactive, let’s you experience the most extreme of off-roading adventures and hazards in a controlled, virtual environment.
SnowRunner for sure isn’t going to be for everyone and there’s a good reason I say this. The game itself is very slow-paced. You’re mostly driving these huge, lumbering machines that don’t go very fast and when combined with some of the most unforgivable terrains you’ve ever encountered, it’s a recipe in frustration. Many times, especially when starting out, you’ll find yourself constantly stuck, whether it be in the mud or in a river. It’s that kind of game where SnowRunner takes simulation to entirely another level and the level of realism here might be too much for some players.
However, if you stick with the game through all the early frustrations, you’ll start to find that SnowRunner is in fact, one of the best open world off-road driving simulation games out there. Basically if you’re a fan of off-roading, SnowRunner is for you. There’s barely an inch of land in this game where you won’t come across some kind of environmental hazard where you’ll need to figure away either through or around it. If you’re vehicle isn’t up to the task, you’ll be in real trouble, but if you got the right equipment, it’ll be smooth sailing.
Which brings me to just how detail oriented this game is. There are tons of vehicles you can choose from, either found throughout the game or bought in the store. Each vehicle has its own set of upgrades and customization options each can be set up for different environments and jobs. There are setups for scouts, towing, hauling, and even recovery. It’s a very interesting game in that respect and you start to learn a lot about how different setups can affect your performance on different terrain.
Not only are the vehicles intricate, but each different area you visit are also filled with extreme detail. We’re talking fully destructible trees, rocks, mud that reacts to you driving over it, and same goes for water. Dirt and mud gets your vehicle all dirty and you can also cause damage if you hit objects forcefully. You vehicle can go sliding around on ice and lose traction and tip over if you are on a hill that’s too steep. I also like how the environment can affect your speed as well as traction based on what tires and suspension you have. There’s just so much realism in SnowRunner that you’ll either really love it, or really hate it because of how difficult it can be.
Aside from the realistic physics and overall look of the game, there’s just so much to do in SnowRunner. There are tons of areas to unlock and each has tons and tons of jobs and objectives you can complete as well as just exploring the maps on your own. In fact, there might be too many things to do in this game and many require some lengthy traveling times back and forth to complete. This in part does make SnowRunner a very lengthy game to play which means you’ll be spending more time playing this. However, some of the missions are a bit repetitive and much of it comes down to “get this” and “deliver it here” type missions.
Is SnowRunner any good? I would say most definitely. SnowRunner is one of the best open-world driving games I’ve played in a good long while. I love the fact that the game doesn’t really concern itself with speed and is more about planning. What I mean by that is that for each objective, you need to plan ahead with what type of equipment you need, which vehicle might work best for it, and what type of mods would yield the optimal results. I love that a majority of the game takes place off-road and your success in the game is never really guaranteed. Even though you might have everything you need, one wrong move could cause your whole mission to go sideways. I love the realism involved with everything and the open-ended exploration. With that said, SnowRunner is very good on the Nintendo Switch. If you enjoyed it on other platforms, you’ll most likely enjoy it here with the added bonus of being able to take it with you anywhere you are.
Received game from developer and/or publisher for coverage purposes.
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