Consistently the Steam community’s most played game in my driving library, SCS Software’s Euro Truck Simulator 2 continues to evolve as the latest update has now been released for testing in beta form.
The producers have attempted to address both minor and more obvious parts of this driving and delivery game. Despite Euro Truck Sim 2’s maturity, improvements arrive across the board. From graphics and sounds to extended controller support and incorporating Oculus Rift headset functionality, the list of changes is definitely comprehensive.
The most notable modification in a day-to-day sense – and one that seasoned ETS2 veterans will be pleased to see – has to relate to the behaviour of AI vehicles. Silly incidents have still occurred during my limited testing but the response of non-player cars, trucks and buses gives the impression of a considerable and new-found complexity. I’ve had cars drive out from a junction in front of me and others slam into the back of the trailer, then uneventful clear runs in which the traffic looked to react to my speed or turn indicators. One might cautiously say that there’s a certain random factor to it, which isn’t all that far from the unpredictability of the real world!
Going off earlier signs of not putting any development effort to waste, I expect that the work put into some of these changes will contribute towards later creations such as the much-anticipated American Truck Simulator. As I’ve suggested above, my early impressions are of an appreciable advance on pre-1.9 versions of Euro Truck 2 – a good sign given that we can expect more to come from SCS for ETS2 and beyond.
Euro Truck 2 players keen to sample the beta update should note that SCS have once more chosen to make it a Steam-only patch for the duration of the beta test. The full Version 1.9 will of course be released to non-Steam players via the ETS2 Web site once testing is complete and the update is considered ‘safe’.
One final note of caution before outlining Version 1.9 is to add that there are incompatibilities with mods. Work is ongoing inside mod teams, but oddities are to be expected when running a non-stock Euro Truck 2.
Okay, it’s time to have a look at the V1.9 update and the following patches in a little more detail.
- Brand new traffic car AI system
- Improved manoeuvrability, touches to suspension and collision physics (more work planned still)
- Early support for Oculus Rift and gamepad-controlled mouse cursor
- Improved handling of automatic gearbox (more gears, interaction with cruise control)
- Improved compatibility with semi-broken prefabs used in mods
- Improved error handling in radio playback
- Scania Streamline improvements (model, textures, paint jobs, new parts and accessories) – you may need visit truck dealer and re-purchase some parts
- Volvo FH16 improvements (interior, wipers, shadows)
- Iveco Hi-way improvements (dashboard computer, shadows)
- Paint jobs are properly applied on add-ons in interior views
- Map improvements
- V8 engine sounds for Scania R and Scania Streamline.
- AI: Fixed possible hang
- AI: Fixed possible crash
- AI: Improved detection of successful overtaking
- AI: Prevents vehicles from accelerating when the player is overtaking them in wrong way lane
- AI: Increased priority for crashed vehicles
- AI: Improved safety checks
- AI: Increased minimal allowed spawn distance from dangerous actors
- Physics: Fixed traffic trailer which could be frozen in crashed state
- Fixed mirrors in truck dealer
- Additional information added to message box asking about use of controller for mouse emulation (not localised yet)
- The selection of controllers used for UI control is reset by launching the game in the safe mode.
- Added UI to controller options screen allowing to change speed of the virtual cursor and reset selection of the controllers used for UI control
- Possible crash
- Improved error messages related to some data errors (prefabs, models, definition of vehicle wheel)
- Improved game resistance to some data errors (material/look count mismatch between pmg and pmd)
- Increased maximal size of the log file to 1MB
- AI: Fixed navigation curves on some prefabs (height, priority, blinders)
- Updated localisation
- AI: Fixed incorrect interiors in UK traffic
- AI: Tweaked spawn rates
- Fixed possible non-functional handling of menu entry (e.g. Esc) when input wizard assigned it also to controller which was later removed
- Updated defaults for the Xbox 360 controller in the input wizard to provide a better initial experience
- Updated localisation
That closes the first week’s round of changes. We’ll cover this week’s soon.
For those bemoaning the lack of non-Steam access to the beta, though some have reasons not to use the service, it is nonetheless possible to activate a Steam copy of Euro Truck 2 by using the product key from a CD or SCS-bought version. With the Steam client installed, glide to its Games menu and select ‘Activate a Product on Steam’. With the game installed, it’s merely a matter of opting into the open beta via Euro Truck Sim 2’s Properties window. Look for the ‘BETAS’ tab and select ‘public_beta – Early access to testing versions’ from there. The game should update as soon as the Steam client recognises the change with the Beta opt-in. The main Version 1.9 update is of the order of 360MB, with the following daily revisions coming in at tens of megabytes.
Buy, buy, buy!
Euro Truck Simulator 2 and its extras are still available from Steam. Also redeemable through Steam, other options include Green Man Gaming, Gamersgate and the Humble Store. Away from Steam, a downloadable standalone version can be bought from the Euro Truck Simulator 2 site. Looking for disc alternatives, the Standard and Gold DVD editions are sold by Amazon and its third-party sellers. In basic terms of price, Game’s £12.49 for Euro Truck Simulator 2 Gold (DVD) is the lowest by a long-haulage mile when buying from a known company. That’s almost 60 percent less than Game’s own ‘download’ offering and appreciably less than the Standard edition from Steam et al!