[HOT] : SnowRunner – A sequel that has it under the hood? Part one

Sequel to a previous half-hearted installment Spintires: MudRunner, SnowRunner is a sandbox simulation game that puts you behind the wheel of 40 different vehicles across 3 regions across the globe. First announced under the name MudRunner 2 then renamed SnowRunner because it takes place mainly under snow, the game is developed by Saber Interactive and published by Focus Home Interactive for a release on PC, PS4 and Xbox One on April 28. So what to think of this sequel which wants to prove to have understood the errors of its elder?

Test conditions: We have traveled extensively through the 3 open world regions offered by SnowRunner, completing about a third of the contracts, challenges and tasks offered for a total of 25 hours of play on PS4 Pro.

Neutral, parking brake

Just like the game that preceded it, SnowRunner offers a very complete single player mode. Allowing you to go around everything that the title offers, you will necessarily start with a tutorial behind the wheel of a vehicle not very ready for what awaits you. As simple as it is, the objective here is to let you get rid of all the situations, alone, you and your savvy.

Then comes the jump in the deep end. Single-player mode consists of 3 vast open-world universes located in 3 different regions of the world: Michigan, Alaska and Russia (in that order), each split into 3 or 4 maps. Each map is interconnected with others via tunnels and you can even drive through all 3 regions in one go with the same vehicle if that appeals to you.

But while you have the flexibility to roam freely, you will quickly find that you will need to obtain new vehicles or upgrades to progress ever further into the rugged or blocked territory. As much to say that the beginning will be very painful if you like to advance quickly to see the potential of a game.

And this is one of the things that we blame SnowRunner, the hardship incurred by the player in order to get out of his status of “novice”. Because although you can get to the second region, Alaska very quickly, the game itself will tell you that you are too inexperienced to get there easily. So it’s up to you to struggle for several hours to master the software a little. If you are not at all introduced to driving heavy goods vehicles and it can quickly become a nightmare. You will need to find new vehicles or improvements very quickly, sometimes scattered around the map but often offered for purchase.

But luckily, to help you, observation towers have been set up like the radio towers of Far Cry or the viewpoints of Assassin’s Creed. They will allow you to reveal the position of centers of interest and major tasks to be carried out within a specific perimeter in order to obtain experience points allowing you to better equip yourself.

It must be admitted that once well equipped and the roads repaired or released thanks to the contracts, you will navigate the roads much more easily than at the beginning, paradoxically in a classic gameplay.

An open world … of galleys

The areas that you will have the opportunity to visit are to say the least rather vast and dense, for a total of 30 km², which is 4 times more than its elder. It will take you several hours to visit each area of ​​the maps. And from that point of view, the developers at Saber Interactive have done a remarkable job.

The roads and paths are numerous, the forest or the snow extremely well modeled, everything is very colorful (unlike the previous part very very dull), with alternating day / night and dynamic weather. In short, the world seems alive and we can feel the work accomplished by the artistic teams of the title and by the new high-performance graphics engine.

Where SnowRunner loses its realism is that, although the environment literally seems alive, you will not come across any vehicles driving on the asphalt, any NPCs or animals to bring forests or ghost towns to life. While that wasn’t what we weren’t here for in this kind of simulation game, adding some vitality to urban areas would have been welcome, even though some of the 160 contracts, challenges, or tasks to complete will require you to go to the city. all public places (motels for example).

In the lifespan radius, no less than 80h to 100h will be necessary to do everything 100% as the territories are vast and the back and forths are numerous. Completing the contracts, challenges and tasks requested will earn you experience and money, allowing you to level up and gradually leave the status of small truck driver.

However, and it was much more striking in the first map of the game, Michigan, we feel like we have been let loose in a world where luck never smiles: landslides, collapsed pylons, flooded roads etc. pretext to slow down the progression of the player (in order to increase a lifespan however very honest), who will have to seek equipment at the other end of the map to free the passage or repair the broken object. And it must be said that on this, the game is doing a little too much.

And that’s not to mention the too many muddy paths (still in Michigan) that will require you long minutes to advance a few tens of meters. You will need to equip yourself as quickly as possible to hope to evolve in the open world, either by searching in the environment, or by buying them with the money obtained from the contracts, or by selling old cars in order to better equip yourself. and in particular in tires.

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