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Expeditions: A MudRunner Game review

Expeditions A MudRunner Game Review
Image: Saber Interactive, Focus Entertainment

Developed by Saber Interactive, both MudRunner and SnowRunner have gained a legion of fans with their truck driving antics. The developer’s latest game, however, while similar, has a different angle that allows it to have more gameplay variety and be a little more accessible. Welcome to Expeditions: A MudRunner Game.

In Expeditions: A MudRunner Game, you’re welcomed as the latest member of a scientific team. And while your primary role is that of a driver, you’ll find yourself completing a wide range of tasks throughout your career. Starting out in Little Colorado, the expeditions you’re tasked with are generally pretty brief and easy to complete.

You might simply need to drive a piece of equipment to a nearby hill, for example, and then drive back to base. Things soon get more complicated though: moving a larger truck through a more mountainous area while carrying heavy seismic detection equipment will be a considerable test of your early-game skills.

Little Colorado is just one small step in your journey, with you quickly progressing to one of two much larger areas that the game offers: the Carpathians. It’s here that you’ll really find your feet, tasked with more challenging expeditions while learning the finer details of the game. Navigating rough terrain is your main challenge here, of course. And that requires you having considerable control over your vehicle. You need to consider things like what gear you’re in, the drivetrain, and even tyre pressure, which thankfully are all easily changeable on the fly.

Expeditions A Mudrunner Game Review 1
Image: Saber Interactive/Focus Entertainment

But truly, your work begins before you’ve even headed out on an expedition. After receiving your briefing, you need to make sure you select the best vehicle (or vehicles) for the task. You might find it hard to recover a large truck from a ravine, for example, unless you’re using a similar vehicle with some real power. A mission that simply requires you to scout an area, on the other hand, might be better approached with something smaller and more nimble instead.

There’s equipment to consider as well. Some expeditions will insist that you take specific gear with you, and that might determine which vehicle you choose. The seismic equipment mentioned earlier, for example, is simply too big and heavy for most vehicles. You might also want to take some other helpful items with you, such as a jack you can use to right yourself should you find your vehicle on its side or roof.

We should also mention the tools that form the basic part of your equipment. There’s an echo device that lets you assess the depth of water, making sure it’s safe to cross, a drone and a pair of binoculars that can be used to scout out areas and find points of interest, and a winch that can be used to get yourself out of trouble. Fail to make use of these and you’re making things harder for yourself. And like everything else in Expeditions: A MudRunner Game, they’re so easy to access that’s it’s criminal if you don’t.

While you’re given all the tools you need to succeed, and they’re all pretty much at your fingertips, Expeditions: A MudRunner Game remains challenging on the whole. This is not the game for those who don’t have patience. Any expedition can quickly go wrong – one wrong move and you could easily end up stuck in a ravine or falling off the side of a cliff. It’s easy to recover your vehicle to one of your field bases, but that often means losing progress. You might end up losing money, too.

Expeditions A MudRunner Game Preview (1)
Image: Saber Interactive, Focus Entertainment

At the start of the game, failure isn’t much of a setback to be honest. As you make a dent in the expeditions available in the Carpathians and also start being offered work in Arizona, however, your tasks start to become more arduous, time-consuming and complex. Hopefully your skills at this point will see you through, but failure can be very frustrating indeed.

Playing on PS5 for review, Expeditions: A MudRunner Game is technically quite impressive. There’s no quality/performance setting, but it doesn’t matter as the visuals are sharp, detailed and clean while targeting 60fps without any hiccups in our experience. In fact, the only real mar on the game’s presentation is what we presume to be a bug which delays a ground texture being loaded on the Little Colorado map. Other than that, it’s flawless. Add on top decent DualSense implementation and brief loading times and you’re onto a winner.

Expeditions: A MudRunner Game succeeds in being a more varied, interesting and accessible entry in Saber’s Runner series, although it’s still on the challenging side and has niche appeal. We’ve had a great deal of entertainment from it though, and will continue to do so — it’s 70-plus expeditions present a seriously considerable time investment. With DLC and a co-op mode to come, it’s likely to get even better, too. Ultimately, it’s not for everyone. But for those who dream of navigating harsh environments in an assortment of vehicles, it’s a blast.

Expeditions: A MudRunner Game review – GameSpew’s score

This review of Expeditions: A MudRunner Game is based on the PS5 version, with a code provided by the game’s publisher. It’s available on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S Switch and PC.
Editor in Chief // An avid gamer since discovering the wonders of the Acorn Electron in the '80s, Rich has nearly played more games than he's had hot dinners. Not one to put all his eggs in one basket, Rich is happy to play games of all genres, but he particularly enjoys racing games and anything that's full of non-stop action, especially if it includes a good dose of humour, horror or crudeness!