When was the last time you went off-roading in the virtual world?

In a world where social media dictates the tempo of everyday life, it’s still quite astonishing what sort of fruits a proper marketing campaign can actually bear, whether we’re talking about already launched products or drop-by-drop teasers and trailers meant to keep people on their toes regarding a particular item. Let’s take games, for example. This fall’s hottest topic when it comes to new car games is undoubtedly the launch of Need for Speed Heat, the latest installment in a franchise that is turning 25 this year.

However, the car gaming world is so diverse these days that there are other options out there other than NFS, Forza, and the lot. YES, there are. Two such games have been presented at this year’s Gamescom; they’re called SnowRunner and Overpass and yes, both offer a different take on the off-roading side of car gaming.

SnowRunner

In case the name rings a bell or two, then your memory knows something. SnowRunner is the sequel of the highly-acclaimed MudRunner game developed by Saber Interactive and Focus Home Interactive. Now, those familiar with the MudRunner extreme trucking simulator know that SnowRunner was previously teased as MudRunner 2, but the developers stuck with the SnowRunner name eventually. Now, other than the launch reveal trailer and a handful of official pictures, SnowRunner’s developers are rather tight lipped, except for a couple of details.

Two Cool Car Games You Should Be Stoked For That Are Not NFS Heat
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According to its makers, SnowRunner is “made bigger and better with stunning visuals, advanced simulation physics, massive maps and vehicles, and the introduction of snowy terrain.” The presence of snow is most likely what tipped the balance in favour of the new SnowRunner name. As for gameplay, you’ll get behind the wheel of various trucks coming from manufacturers such as Pacific and Navistar.

SnowRunner will treat players with 15 sandbox maps - some up to four times larger than those offered by MudRunner - as well as different forms of extreme obstacles; think snowdrifts, ice, flooded rivers, and of course, the good ‘ol but still treacherous mud.

It goes without saying that SnowRunner will entail a technical approach as these challenges will affect differently a truck’s level of grip, so you’ll have to master the game’s under-the-hood tweaks and mechanical setups such as locking differentials and whatnot to come out of a nasty situation without destroying or losing your precious cargo. And you don’t want that, trust us.

Overpass

Overpass doesn’t come to continue or replace a previously-launched game. It’s a whole new concept where players take control of buggies and quads and are given the task to complete off-road courses that look like they’ve been designed by some sort of dark lord of off-roading. Seriously, you’d better check out the trailer, because hardcore off-roading is a serious understatement here. With that in mind, you’ll have to tackle nasty obstacles such as trees, logs, steep inclines by fiddling with your vehicle’s differentials, gas pedal, and drivetrain as a whole.

The good news is that you’ll be able to hoon a large offer of such vehicles, coming from manufacturers like Yamaha, Arctic Cat, and Suzuki. Oh, and your vehicle will take damage should your off-roading style fail to adapt to the environment. So there’s that. Moreover, you’ll have to take into account that this is not your gung-ho, throw the kitchen sink first racing sim.

Two Cool Car Games You Should Be Stoked For That Are Not NFS Heat
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In Overpass, speed is way less important, which means you’ll have to plan routes, select the proper off-road machine to tackle it, and become a true tactician off the beaten path.

All in all, you’ll get access to more than 20 vehicles and over 40 tracks that will test your abilities. There’s also a Career Mode, which will have you poach sponsors and keep your vehicles in running order. What’s more, you’ll also be able to engage other players in local or online competitions.

Final Thoughts

Two Cool Car Games You Should Be Stoked For That Are Not NFS Heat
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SnowRunner is set to make its debut in 2020 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows PC, while Overpass will hit the physical and virtual stores in October 2019.

When they finally become available to the public, these games will bring a new and fresh look at the automotive world transposed in a virtual medium.

They’re far from the hit-the-NOS-button, jump-that-ramp-and-do-a-blackflip-to-score-points game philosophy. Here, you won’t have to take down rival crews and their bosses. You won’t even have to escape from a police chase. Instead, you’ll be on your own, in the wild, forced to get from A to B. But what’s between A and B is pure off-road inferno, and whether you’re steering a petrol tanker or a bare-bone dune buggy, coming out unscathed will rely a lot on a strategy, a game plan, and perhaps even more important, taking it slow.

Two Cool Car Games You Should Be Stoked For That Are Not NFS Heat
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Truth be told, we’ve been missing that sort of “action” in car games recently, and we’re glad developers are still thinking about creating games that won’t have you swerve brutally to avoid a spike strip but make you go with the chess player approach instead.

Further reading

Need for Speed: Heat - Just Another Number?
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Need for Speed: Heat - Just Another Number?

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