Review by Tim706

"Bad physics, AI and driving model hold this driving/buissness sim back."

Pros:

The third installment in the Hard Truck features whole new maps, cities, trucks, and improved graphics. There are three large maps to chose from the West Coast, Midwest and the Rockies, each with their own cities, scenery and difficulty. One of the enhancements i enjoyed most with the world was the introduction of real cities. Las Vegas, 'frisco and Reno are all there as well as many more.
The graphics are improved over the previous game, but compared to other new games, are not up to par. There are six new trucks to choose from aswell. Features some new interesting concepts in the business part of the sim, such as reputation among contractors, allowing you to 'win' better and recurring contracts.

Cons:

As I said, six new trucks. This is hardly an improvement as the previous game featured well more then six trucks one could choose from. Secondly, this game is so flawed by horrible physics, AI and a driving model that it takes all the fun out of the driving part of this driving sim. You're driving along 65 mph (or if you're like me, 120 mph ;) ) and you hit a car. What happens? You stop dead. Instantly. It doesn't matter if it's a bus, car, or even a motorcycle, it will just stop you. Apparently your truck has as much momentum and inertia as a motorcycle. Another problem is the fact that road slope doesn't effect you. If the road is going downhill, even if it's steep (and i saw some pretty steep drops in the road that i'm pretty sure don't happen on highways...) your acceleration remains the same. Same with if you're going up a steep hill, it doesn't cause you to slow down at all. A lovely feature i like is the 11 mph speed limit on the grass/dirt. Yes, you drive off the pavement and your truck slows down faster then if you have the brakes jammed on to a nice even 11 mph. It doesn't change, if you're going up a steep grassy hill, you're going 11 mph. If you're going down a steep grassy hill, you're going 11 mph. The AI is particularly bad, although they do recognize your existence, which is better then some games. For instance if you stop in the middle of the road, they will not just drive into you, they will stop. But did i mention the fact that physics don't apply to the AI cars? Even the already messed up physics that apply to your truck. If you cut them off, they will just brake, instantly, from highway speed to zero. If you are sitting in the middle of the road, they will drive up to you at full speed and just before hitting stop instantly. Other then stopping if you're in front of them and they'll hit you if they don't, they ignore your presence. They'll cut you off without thinking, your horn does nothing, and a little feature i like about the AI is when a police officer has his siren on, the AI cars stop. As soon as a police car turns it's siren on, all cars just instantly stop dead, they don't pull over or anything, just sit in the middle of the road. Even cars on a completely different road will be stopped.

Yes, so bottom line is, the game took a step backwards from Hard Truck 2. If you have HT2, just play it instead of this. If you're into driving realism at all, this game will just frustrate you. And even if you don't care about realism at all, this game will just frustrate you. From the blocky AI traffic that likes to make highway driving an interesting test on Newton's laws of motion to the limited new features, trucks, and graphics that are a couple of years outdated this game gets several thumbs down.


Reviewer's Score: 3/10 | Originally Posted: 10/27/03


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