Review – Truck Driver: The American Dream

More than once have I seen people claiming that trucking driving simulators are way cooler, entertaining, and addicting than what their simplistic premise might make you assume at first. Euro Truck Simulator is almost a cult classic at this point. I had never played one of those games before tackling Truck Driver: The American Dream, but wanted to give them a try. If everyone praises the hell out of them, then I must be missing out on something special. Sadly, I think I must have chosen the wrong game to kickstart my journey through the American highways, because Truck Driver: The American Dream is one faulty mess of a game, even though it tries to do some things no other trucking simulator has done before.

Truck Driver: The American Dream tornado

Well, excuse me, I’m more focused on trying to escape from this freaking TORNADO!

The innovation in question is storytelling, and boy oh boy, did it feel weird as hell from the very beginning. I never thought I’d ever play a trucking simulator, let alone one which starts out with you running away from a tornado, which then proceeds to your initial protagonist dying in the disaster. This was Truck Driver: The American Dream‘s attempt at raising some stakes and create some kind of familiar drama. In a trucking game. There was no need to go full Last of Us‘ intro at us, but hey, I respect the hustle, I guess. Upon listening to a long monologue about the truck driver’s son, and how much of a deadbeat loser he is, the young lad decides to become a truck driver to… respect the family’s tradition or whatever.

The fact Truck Driver: The American Dream features a plot accompanying its truck simulation gameplay isn’t an issue. I didn’t care at all about the plot and the characters, even though the voice acting was actually quite good, but I appreciate the attempt to add something new to an otherwise stale genre. The problem lies in pretty much everything else. This game is clunky as hell, to an obnoxious degree.

Truck Driver: The American Dream visuals

The power of next-gen, y’all.

For starters, the visuals. Truck Driver: The American Dream might be only available on PS5, Series X|S, and upper-ended computers, but its visuals barely look anything better than what late Xbox 360, early PS4 games were achieving back in 2014, the only difference being the admittedly decent performance. Then again, you are driving a truck at suboptimal speeds, meaning that you’ll rarely be able to enjoy the stable framerate properly. And an unresponsive truck at that.

What really killed the enjoyment to me was the gameplay. It’s not the worst driving system I have ever seen, but it’s janky, borderline unfinished. It didn’t matter the kind of surface I was driving on, it always felt like I was handling an eighteen wheeler with a flat tire on top of a frozen lake. Combine that with wonky physics (namely becoming a pinball whenever you hit a fence), and driving around with my truck felt like an unnecessary hassle. To top things off nicely, crashes. Lots and lots of crashes. For no conceivable reason, the game would crash and revert me back to the Xbox main menu, way more often than expected. Considering how dated everything looked and felt like, I doubt Truck Driver: The American Dream was pushing the hardware to its limits, so I assume there’s some janky coding being the culprit.

Truck Driver: The American Dream plot

Dude, all I wanted was to drive a truck and listen to some Skynyrd…

The idea of making a story-centric truck simulator isn’t inherently bad, but Truck Driver: The American Dream, as a whole, felt incredibly unfinished. Between the dated visuals, amateurish physics, poor controls, and myriad of game crashing glitches, there isn’t a lot worth praising in this janky trucking simulator. The voice acting was good, but when everything else surrounding it was just doing their best to make me want to rage quit, I don’t think that’s exactly good enough of a positive to make you want to consider purchasing it. Just stick to Euro Truck Simulator; this American Dream is nothing but a lie.


Graphics: 4.5

This is, apparently, a Series X|S and PS5-exclusive game, but it barely looks better than most earlier PS4 titles from back in 2014. It does run well, at least… when it doesn’t crash from out of nowhere, that is.

Gameplay: 4.0

Really poor controls and physics which make the driest of asphalt roads feel like an ice hockey rink.

Sound: 7.0

Way more voice acting than what you would expect from a truck driving simulator, but giving credit where credit is due, the performances are quite decent.

Fun Factor: 4.0

The idea of making a story-centric truck simulator isn’t bad, but the game as a whole feels unfinished. It’s glitchy, lacking in modes, crashes constantly, and it’s just not very fun.

Final Verdict: 4.5

Truck Driver: The American Dream is available now on PS5, Xbox Series X|S, and PC.

Reviewed on Xbox Series S.

A copy of Truck Driver: The American Dream was provided by the publisher.