If you haven't heard of Spintires, congratulations: You've likely contributed far more to society over the last few years than those of us who have. The addictive Russian mud-trucking simulator gained legions of fans for its hyper-realistic off road gameplay and punishing difficulty. A developer's battle earlier this year produced broken updates and stalled the game's development, but a completed version is now set to launch on PC, PS4, and Xbox One on October 31 under the title Spintires: Mudrunner.Check out the new trailer below, and prepare to block off your schedule.
The concept behind Spintires is simple. Using a rusty cadre of Soviet-era heavy duty trucks and other vehicles, you have to pick up loads of raw wood from logging camps deep in the Siberian wilderness and deliver them to sawmills without getting stuck or running out of fuel. That's easier said than done—each of the open-world levels features a huge, faithfully-recreated section of the taiga, with fast moving rivers, hundreds of acres of swampland, and vanishingly few paved roads. The updated version promises better graphics, new missions, more vehicles, and critically, a first-person view. No word on any screw-drive trucks, though.
If you've ever seen a video of Russian truck drivers beasting an old Ural-4320 or eight-wheel-drive Tatra T813 through a bottomless mud bog, you know what we're talking about. Part of the magic of the game is the uber-realistic mud and terrain physics, making it a joy (or Sisyphian task, depending on the difficulty) to plunge through the forest and figure out how to winch yourself out of trouble when you inevitably get stuck. And when you finally manage to load up some logs, keeping the top heavy trailer upright when one side plunges into a hidden sinkhole or slides off a soft edge is one of the more sweat-inducing moments in video games today. A full day-night cycle rounds things out, and man, is it dark out there at night.
The game rewards patience and endurance. A single level can take hours and hours to complete, and though you can save your progress, it's a hard game to dip in and out of. You have to commit, but that makes success all the more gratifying. Even if you've never thought to play something like this before, that sort of unapologetic, no-hand-holding approach is too rare in video games these days to pass up.