Rig 'n' Roll Hands-On Impressions

It's time to hit the open road and live out the American dream in this trucking simulator.

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Let’s face it, everyone has dreamed about becoming a professional trucker at some point in their lives. Hitting the open road for days on end, driving the world’s most exciting stretches of arrow-straight freeways, and sleeping on an inflatable mattress in the back of a cab littered with empty Red Bull cans is the stuff you dreamt about as a child. Even though real life may have caught up with you, now you’ll be able to live out those childhood fantasies in a new game called Rig 'n' Roll from Russian publisher 1C. We recently traveled all the way to GamesCom in Cologne to see what this trucking simulator has to offer.

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In Rig 'n' Roll, the year is 2024 and you’ve got a simple mission: Drive from Point A to Point B to deliver the goods in the back of your truck. A lot. All over the state of California. This futuristic version of California isn’t some sci-fi wasteland, though. It looks very much like the California of today. In fact, the game features a scaled map of California (and some parts of Nevada) containing 42 towns from San Diego to Eureka way up north. Connecting these locales is a 12,000-mile collection of rolling highways and byways that can be as dense as those in Los Angeles or as painfully lonely as those outside Bakersfield.

The game offers the ability to play over the course of a campaign or jump straight into a timed delivery route via the instant order mode. The campaign doesn’t have any sort of dramatic storyline of going from trucking rags to trucking riches--you’re simply out to do your best and get the job done as consistently as possible. Each job you take on gives you a specified delivery point on the map and a set number of times to get there. The route you take to get there is up to you. But unlike a traditional racing game, here you’ll have to obey not only the posted speed limit, but also basic traffic laws, such as passing on the left and making sure not to commit illegal turns. If you violate these rules, you’ll have the cops come after you in a way 1C compared to the Need for Speed series.

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The driving and sense of speed aren’t exactly Need for Speed, though. The trucks lumber along with the stiffness and delayed acceleration of any giant rig carrying multiple tons of cargo, and the feeling of movement--at least in the early build we played--was hampered quite a bit by a chunky frame rate. Still, the graphics are solid if a little unremarkable, which seems fine considering how much real estate the game’s map of California offers. No release date has been announced for Rig 'n' Roll, but it’s most likely due to arrive early next year.

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