Alright, hear me out here. I can’t explain it. I bought this game a year ago and have 215 hours on it, according to my Steam account. It’s a game where you drive trucks and deliver cargo all across Europe and… that’s it. When I find myself in need of a long drive to clear my head, I boot up ETS 2, find the longest job I can take and head out on to the wide European highways. Sometimes I put on some podcasts to keep me company. Sometimes I flip through the European radio stations and listen to songs in languages I don’t understand. Either way, it’s enough to clear my mind of the worries of the day and leave me to focus on nothing but the road ahead.
The game currently encompasses most of Western Europe, with the Viva Italia! DLC recently released in December of 2017. Developers SCS Software are constantly working on new updates and area expansions for the game. The current map is sure to be more than enough to cure your wanderlust. Driving through the vast Italian countryside, small French villages or making your way up the winding roads of the Alps while pulling a 20-ton piece of cargo all leave you with a sense of satisfaction and exploration. Ostensibly, it’s a business management simulator where you start with one truck and build up your fleet until every truck in Europe makes money for you. You can play up the business side as much as you want or just get in your truck and drive, which I vastly prefer.
One hour of real time translates to about 10 hours in-game. You can drive all through the day and into the night and witness beautiful sunset as the sun slowly drops beneath the horizon and the night comes to take over. Realistic weather also comes into play—when it rains, it pours, and you’ll have to slow down and take curves more slowly lest you drift your truck into a bank or tip it over. There is nothing as calming as listening to the rain pour, the rhythmic beat of the windshield wipers, and the low hum of your truck engine as you make your way across the map.