FIA European Truck Racing Championship is like some of those sweet pleasures. Like those movies that you like, but you can’t really explain why because if you look at closely, you can see that it has a number of issues.
FIA European Truck Racing Championship?
Yes, the game is based on the real FIA Championship of Truck Racing, and we can actually find (some of) the real trucks and racetracks. However, that championship usually uses only 8 racetrack, which is somehow limited. That is why a fictional World Championship has also been created with more tracks, and that is honestly a good move from BigBen. Without this, the lifetime of the game would have been really really low.
The game also got a tutorial (hooray!), looking as a Driving License test. Which is great because it helps to learn how to train those big truck. However, most of those tests are really fast and relatively easy.
It is a bit sad however that there is not the License for all the official bits of the FIA European Truck Racing Championship. For example, the Hungarian GP has been replaced by another fictional Hungarian racetrack. It is not a big issue by itself but I am mostly curious to know what happened there.
The gameplay is .. interesting. Because the physic is there, you can feel that you drive a massive truck and that it has a different response than a car, but the game is relatively Arcade at the same time. You can break really late and usually get away with it. The turbo is well reproduced too. When you accelerate there is a bit of lag and once the Turbo kick you better get your wheels straight or you may lose the control of the truck. There is also that water tank used to cool down the break, like in real, which add an extra strategy part to the game.
In terms of AI and difficulty, well first there are only 3 difficulty levels, and even in the higher one (Professional), I beat every driver by 2 seconds per lap. The second thing is that similar to MotoGP 19, the penalties system is a bit broken. It is actually very clear in FIA European Truck Racing Championship, you hit 3 cones and you got a penalty. And it does, but only for you, not for the AI. If you are driving on the back of the pack, you will see that the other drivers are destroying almost every single cone of the racetrack but never get a single penalty, which can be a bit frustrating.
Another thing is that it looks like some details have been missing. For example, if you change the length of the race from 100 to 50%, your team will tell you in the final lap that you have done half of the race. The water tank also does not adjust to that change. So if you do 100%, you will have to take care of your water tank, but if you lower it then it is not a problem anymore.
I have seen a lot of people criticizing the graphics but I think that the trucks are very well done. The racetracks are also fine. It does not have anything new or special but it is not bad either.
As a conclusion, well, I do enjoy the game. And I am happy that I got it. However, the lifetime is still somehow limited (even with the addition of the World Championship). Getting a higher difficulty level would probably help to make it more interesting. Having the FIA European Truck Racing Championship in a game is really nice but maybe not enough in terms of content in the end.