November 02, 2009

Back in 1999 a development team from SoftLab-NSK company in Novosibirsk, Russia presented a quite non-standard project called “Hard Truck”. The idea itself to release some kind of truck simulator was unusual and most of the critics were looking at a very solid but average quality release. But despite all expectations the game dedicated to the Russian trucks, delivering goods on Russian roads, turned out to be one of the most successful in the Russian gaming industry. There is no need to go deep into detail of the series history, since if some of the readers could have missed out the first game due to the age, the second game in the series is very well-known to almost all gamers.


Ride the Wild Wind


We took a quick look into the history, so let’s move on to discuss “Rig’n’Roll” itself, the game that has been in development for so long. This time the player will be riding on the American highways, multilevel intersections and freeways. Surely many Russian players would love to see native birch trees, but there were also quite a few supporters of the idea to change the location. While the game was in works for so long, the audience became fed up with the Russian Roads driving topic, thus the developers made a right decision to choose California as the gameplay location.



There will be the total of circa 2,000 km (1,200 miles), representing almost 20,000 km (12,000 miles) of real CA roads. Such density was reached by using a special approach: cities remained almost intact, since it is highly important to retain their recognizability, and the long highways were shortened ten-, or sometimes even twentyfold.
Since we mentioned cities, the development team promised to show somewhere about 40 major CA towns and cities, with Los Angeles, San Francisco, Santa Barbara, San Diego being among them. Moreover, the players will face realistic weather conditions, recorded within a specific period of time. Hence, you will see snow, rain, gloomy weather and even “black ice” that appear on the wet road in case of negative temperature.


A special system for in-game time calculation is also interesting. For example if a ride from Oxnard to Atascadero takes about 2 days in the real life, then in Rig’n’Roll it will also show you that two days passed till we reached the destination. Some indifferent reader might say “nothing special”. He can be right, but I hope you agree that such thing still can be nice, especially for the ones who never been to the States.



Highway Romance


The trucks have forever been, still are and will always be the key component of Hard Truck/Rig’n’Roll. This time you are awaited by American long-haul trucks. The total number of trucks available in the game is 13, with such legendary brand as Freightliner being among them. Probably any player dreams of having a ride in the elegant FLD Classic or brutal Coronado. Moreover, each truck reproduces complicated technology of its real-life prototype and has some important features, which should be specifically considered while playing at higher difficulty. Breakdown of truck functioning systems is no surprise for Rig’n’Roll. In such cases you will have to either summon break service, which will gladly empty your pockets, but also to do justice to them, will bring your truck back to the perfect condition, or you will have to drag to the nearest service station. There you will try the shoes of a young mechanic. At first you will need to have a closer look at the breakdown, understand how important it is for your current activities (e.g. will it be possible to deliver the cargo or the engine dies out somewhere in the middle of nowhere), and only after that proceed to repairs. The most experienced players will evaluate the state of their ‘steel monster’ by only glimpsing at the diagnostics results diagram. It looks like the players will not face too much technical peculiarities, but will definitely enjoy quite some time “under the hood”.


As soon as the truck is ready to go, it is time to think about some restyle: various types of paint coating, external upgrades for the cabin and the entire truck, protective plates, additional windows and even decorative figures for the hood. There are several options to almost every decoration from various materials, incl. gold and obsidian. Hence, the player has lots of possibilities to make his truck look unique.



American Dream


So far not much is known about the plot; hence that’s why we take a look at it at the end of this preview. The only thing known is that the protagonist is a guy called Nick Perepelov, who moves to the USA to open a small business. At first he only has a devoted friend, a nice-looking secretary and a truck at his disposal. He will have to start from scratch – orders from the local trade depots (in order to work with the remote one he will need to establish regional representations, and this means quite a lot of money), hitchhikers, small money in bars and unofficial requests. The capital will gradually grow, Nick Trucking will get a pool of new drivers, new trucks and ...face competitors, mafia, police and other individuals active on the special transportation market. There will be friendship with some of them, competition with others, but the goal remains the same – bring the company to the top and suppress all the rivals. As promised the entire gameplay will take about 80 hours of real time, and pursuant to that, having turned into the transportation boss of the entire California, we will move on to continue the business while awaiting the “Las Vegas” add-on. Sounds good, because if you recall that there are people who are still replaying “Hard Truck 2: King of the Road” and find something new.



Conclusion


Still there’s hope that the time passed since the launch of development was not in vain. Rig’n’Roll has everything you can love the game for: extensive recognizable areas, spectacular trucks, well-elaborated economic system and even a solid plot. Yes, the visual side, the picture does not stand up to some requirements of the next generation individuals, but it has its great style and provides for plunging into the game world. Simply put, can’t wait for November to come!

Poll
Will you pre-order the game prior to the release?
Yes, definitely59% [4818]
No, I will buy it in a store26% [2167]
No, I will borrow it from a friend6% [568]
No, I don’t like the game7% [596]
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