Spintires: MudRunner – Review
Follow Genre: Simulation
Developer: Saber Interactive
Publisher: Focus Home Interactive
Platform: PC, Xbox One, PS4
Tested on: Xbox One

Spintires: MudRunner – Review

Site Score
7.0
Good: Handling, Overall atmosphere
Bad: Poor cockpit view, Graphical quality, Lack of content for some players
User Score
7.0
(1 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 7.0/10 (1 vote cast)

The original Spintires was released back in 2014 and it received mixed feedback, where many players considered it to be a very original and intriguing game, others shamed it for its limited content, making it somewhat of a one-trick pony. While the original game is still very relevant, MudRunner is the next installment where our next-gen consoles are also receiving their own version of the Spintires game. We were quite eager to explore Russia with ancient Russian vehicles, all while trying to go from point A to B, in the most spectacular ways possible. Mud, dirt and grit were all on our way to become a successful driver in this barren climate.

Spintires MudRunner

Story

You’ll be dropped in the barren conditions of the Russian outback, with a tank of gas, some dated trucks and a mission to deliver lumber from point A to B, all while having to drive through very rough terrain, often without any roads for you to drive on. Nonetheless, there is no actual story present in the game, which isn’t really bothersome, as the game falls under the simulation genre, where it’s all about providing a very realistic experience.

Graphics

Graphically we are quite undecided when it comes to Spintires: MudRunner, as on the one hand, the environments look impressive, the rugged terrain has a sense of realism to it, and the battered vehicles look simply superb. On the other hand, the mud and water particles look horribly dated, the vehicles take no cosmetic damage and the overall quality feels more like a last gen game, than a current gen release. While we loved the different parts of the map, everything feels as if it was rushed to make a new iteration of the Spintires series.

New in this version of Spintires is the cockpit view, which is a fun extra feature, but the execution is quite appalling, as the insides of every vehicle almost look identical, with a ‘digitized’ dashboard, an unfinished black steering wheel and no whistles and bells making it more like the actual thing. While the overall graphical prowess of the game certainly has ‘something’, it often feels as if this is only the beta of the game with placeholders set to be replaced by the finished product.

Spintires MudRunner 1

Sound

The sound design of the game is pretty simple, but it does the trick. For the most part you’ll be treated to the sounds of the engines of your machinery, the gurgling sounds of the mud you’re plowing through, and the gushing water when you drive through. There’s a little bit of ‘rock’ music present every time you come close to an objective or get an achievement/trophy. There’s not much more to say than that the sound fits the genre of the game, making it a fairly realistic experience.

Gameplay

Spintires: MudRunner is pretty much a simulation game, which drops you in an old school Russian setting, where you’ll have to pick up shipments of lumber, and get them to the processing facility. The only issue is that there are no decent roads in this part of Russia, and you’ll have to make do with ancient machinery, the latter being rather impressive. At the beginning of the game you’ll have small trucks at your disposal, but you’ll unlock more and more rigs, behemoths even, the longer you play. The game allows you to pick whatever path you like, as long as it’s not blocked by too many trees. Other than that, you’re free to take a dirt road, drive through thick layers of mud, or simply wade through rivers, as long as the shipment and your vehicle stay intact during the journey, the game motivates you to go nuts.

Spintires MudRunner 2

During whatever mode you decide to play, you’ll have to keep track of your gas usage, the condition of your vehicle, and of course your cargo. The latter is often tied to the vehicle, which make it one whole, but driving around with a trailer can be tricky, especially in the barren conditions of Russia. Your gas can be refueled at a station and you can repair your vehicle at a garage. Depending on what difficulty level you’re playing, you’ll be able to easily transport between vehicles, add markers on the map, repair vehicles more easily and so on. Nothing overly complicated, but choosing the higher difficulty can prove to be a bit tricky for newer players.

Handling cars in MudRunner is quite tricky, but that’s pretty much the point as you have to navigate them through the mud, rivers  and other rugged terrain. While it’s tricky to steer towards a steady course, it’s very entertaining to keep your truck under control. The only thing that feels a bit bothersome and poorly done is the outside camera view. After a while you’ll be spending a lot of time in the cockpit view, and only occasionally watch from the outside to line up your car for a trailer.

The game also has multiplayer features, which are quite entertaining, as it’s pretty much the single player game, be it with more people, which makes it very amusing. You can either work together, or play around and mess with each other wherever you go. The latter is of course only fun when it’s with your actual friends, rather than total strangers on the net.

Overall this game has only a tiny bit of content, but for the most part it works, as the off-road experience is extremely satisfying. While the game never dives into groundbreaking territory, it all comes together perfectly.

Spintires MudRunner 3

Conclusion

Spintires: MudRunner is a fun addition to the consoles’ next-gen library, but it isn’t anything groundbreaking. Overall the game feels like a polished version of the first game, albeit with graphics that are a bit underwhelming compared to the PC version. Nonetheless, the gameplay makes up for a lot, as it’s amazingly entertaining to drive in big rigs, in the middle of rugged terrain in a dated Russian setting, which allows you to take any route you like, as long as you reach your destination with your cargo intact.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 7.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Spintires: MudRunner - Review, 7.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

No Comments

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.