Thursday, November 1, 2018

Spintires: MudRunner - American Wilds Impressions - Muddy Fun American Style

Spintires: MudRunner was one of our favorite games of 2017 so you bet we were excited to get our hands on the brand new American Wilds expansion for the game. American Wilds adds nine licensed American made vehicles and two brand new maps all for $10. It is largely more of the same, but the American maps require a slightly different play style than their Russian counterparts from the base game. All in all, it's not a bad expansion for folks that loved Spintires: MudRunner. See all of the details here.

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American Wilds at

If you're new to Spintires: MudRunner, check out our full review of the original release.

It should be noted that the new American Wilds expansion can be acquired in a couple of different ways. First, if you already own Spintires: Mudrunner, you can buy American Wilds as DLC for $10. If you don't already own the game, you can buy the Spintires: Mudrunner - American Wilds Edition release (either digitally or physically) for $40 that includes the base game, two previous DLC packs that were free, and the new American Wilds premium expansion. 

So why is American Wilds a premium expansion while the other DLC packs, that also included new maps and vehicles, were free? I dunno, but developer Saber Interactive needs to eat somehow, so it's fine. American Wilds does actually play a little differently and offers some new strategies to consider over the base game and DLC, so paying for a "new" experience seems worth it to me.

What's different in American Wilds? Well, the biggest change is that the maps are more "American" styled so there are more paved roads, better dirt roads, and steeper elevation changes compared to the Ruassian maps' muddy muck roads and swamps. There are still plenty of muddy roads and deep puddles to navigate, of course, but it isn't quite as extreme as the base game. Where the challenge comes in is that the new American vehicles aren't all necessarily built to handle the deep mud like their Russian counterparts. The new vehicles include a couple of semi trucks explicitly NOT made for offroad travel, a Chevy Blazer, Ford F150, and Hummer scout vehicles, and an awesome log skidder machine (like you'd see in the TV show "Swamp Loggers") with huge tires and a big offroad log hauler truck. 

The gameplay loop in American Wilds is more like you scout the map with the scout vehicles, haul the big log skidder over the paved roads with one of the normal trucks so you're as close to the logs as possible (which is more efficient than driving it since the skidder is slow), and then using a combination of the skidder, offroad log hauler, and paved road trucks to eventually get loads of logs to the lumber mill. It's more steps to complete the same objectives compared to the Russian equipment where you just pick a big burly truck and head off into the mud, but that's what makes it interesting and worth playing.

You can bring the Russian equipment into the new American Wild maps or use the American equipment in Russia, but it's not always a good idea. The Russian equipment works great in both scenarios, but the American equipment doesn't quite cut it in the Russian swamps. 

I also want to say that the two new maps are a little more colorful than the muddy gray-brown Russian swamps, which is nice. The signage and buildings and fuel stations, etc., are all appropriately rural Americana which also helps makes the new maps distinct. The licensed vehicles are also instantly recognizable, too, which helps set this new content apart. 

All in all, if you liked Spintires: MudRunner you'll have a great time with American Wilds. It is largely the same slowly hauling logs around in the mud gameplay as before, but adds enough new twists to the formula to make it feel fresh and interesting again and the $10 asking price is more than fair. If you're new to Spintires and are curious, the American Wilds Edition release is a good place to start, but be warned that this game is slow and methodical and difficult and isn't going to be for everyone.

Disclosure: A review code was provided by the publisher.