"Intro to the big jobs"
I think of it more of an intro into the other 18 WoS series. This game is fairly limited in many sights.
You don't have the whole country of America to explore, for example. The game exists of three maps, 1 for every difficulty,
which is very non-realistic. So, you might have to choose a difficulty that doesn't suit you in order to drive the snowy landscapes you wanted to.
An other feature the makers add to increase the difficulty is that you have a time limit in which you must deliver your cargo, if you don't, it's gonna cost you money. It isn't so bad that they use time limits in this game, but the problem is the amount of time you are given for a delivery. This amount is very tight, no I mean it. No matter how much I play this game, I still keep delivering stuff too late. Three reasons for this:
1. If you are hooked up with a trailer, it will take for ever to accelerate to a normal speed. You can of course buy a better truck for yourself, but It won't be much of help when you start the game and have almost now cash to spend.
2. The police. If you finally gained some speed (which involves driving past the speed limit) of course you hear the biep from your radar detector, yes, the police are busy again. You really need to slow down to avoid trouble, because if you get caught you the police will put you to a hold and you're gonna have to do the acceleration process again.
3. Your worst nightmare: Crashing into other cars. I have no words for this. The first time I crashed into another car I thought a bug was happening. This problem is really getting the realism-factor down. If you run into a car, it means a sudden stop for your truck (and the crushed car). When you finally stop kicking your PC to trash, you'll have to go over the acceleration process again, which is very annoying when the time amount of the cargo you are hauling just tics on, and when you see the damage meter more blood-coloured than it was already.
The sound of the game is a little bit more of the same, but you can turn it off if you like, so that wouldn't be much of a problem. Especially if you know just know enough of computers to add your own music in .ogg format to the game. (I love driving towards Vegas while listening Heavy Metal :P )
Another disadvantage of this game is the amount of trucks you can drive. I think there are about 7 trucks that can be used.
Even in HT: King of the Road you can chose way more vehicles to use!
I think of this game as an intro to the later games, because this game is simple, easy to learn and it teaches you to drive efficient and the right way. The map is small so you can explore every place.
You can learn the tactics you need to succesfully play the other 18 WoS games. If you're not planning on buying one of the other games, you shouldn't buy this game at all, because you wouldn't know where to start.
If you would start with 18 Wheels of Steel: Across America straight away for example, you probably would go into free mode and don't know where to start. There is no tutorial and little info in this game. That's why I recommend trying the normal 18 Wheels of Steel first.
It's a good game, you'll get to feel how a truck drives (don't crash into cars when trying this) and gives you a good impression of the average Hard Truck game.