Big Mutha Truckers Impressions

We take the PC version of Eutechnyx's truck-driving game for a quick spin.

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We recently got our hands on a reviewable copy of the PC version of Eutechnyx's truck-driving game Big Mutha Truckers. The game is also being released later this month on the PlayStation 2 and Xbox. Unlike other truck games, which have focused primarily on driving and racing 18-wheelers, Big Mutha Truckers features a campaign mode in which you'll be required to pick up cargo and haul it to your choice of five different cities in the fictional Hick State County. To maximize your profits, you'll need to take into account supply and demand when deciding which cargo loads to pick up and where to deliver the goods. However, as you journey on the highways, you'll also be subjected to the dangers of corrupt highway patrolmen, hostile biker gangs, and hijackers as you attempt to build up your bank account. You can use the money you earn to customize your truck with things like shocks to cushion your cargo or engine upgrades to give you better fuel economy.

In the game, you'll choose to play as one of Ma Jackson's four children: Rawkus Jackson, a Rastafarian cowboy with dreadlocks and a 10-gallon hat; Earl Jackson, a fat, slovenly man; Cletus Jackson, a stereotypical hick with missing teeth and a mullet tucked under a foam baseball cap; and Bobbie Sue Jackson, a buxom young woman with long, blond braids. Each of the four characters has a distinctive-looking truck, although the trucks don't seem to perform any differently at the beginning of the game. Big Mutha Truckers' campaign mode, which is called trial by truckin', is an open-ended affair where you'll have 60 days to rack up as much cash as possible as you compete against your three siblings. The one who ends up with the most cash will inherit the trucking business from Ma Jackson.

Aside from the campaign mode, Big Mutha Truckers includes a few short mission-based levels that you can use to get a feel for how the trucks handle. The first one requires you to drive through town, knocking over all the newspaper stands along the way. You'll be racing against a countdown timer, but each newspaper stand you destroy will award you with bonus time.

You can drive your truck from one of four different viewpoints. Two of them are first-person views--one from inside the cab and one with the camera set outside the front of the truck's cab for a full view of the road. The other two views are third-person, with one setting the camera above and slightly behind the cab, and the other giving you a full isometric view of your 18-wheeler from above and behind.

Big Mutha Truckers' driving model has a very arcadelike feel, and it's possible to drive right into some structures and fences and smash them up. Your truck has only three gears: high, low, and reverse. While you'll need to manually upshift if you want more speed, the game automatically takes care of downshifting when needed. Despite the game's arcade feel, the trucks do feel as though they have a good deal of weight and power, as you can easily push aside any vehicles that get in your way. The trucks handle like pigs, though, so if you need to make a tight turn, you'll have to slow down and give yourself plenty of room. If you manage to jackknife your truck and get it stuck along the side of the road, it can be very difficult to get yourself unstuck.

Although the actual truck-driving aspects of Big Mutha Truckers are simplified, the inclusion of a more complex economic campaign and the ability to customize your truck with better parts adds quite a bit of depth to the gameplay. We'll take a more detailed look at Big Mutha Truckers soon, in a full review.

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