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Expeditions: A MudRunner Game is exactly what the name promises

They really hit the nail on the head with this one
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Games like MudRunner and SnowRunner aren’t your regular driving games – they are not about being the fastest. Instead, they’re all about getting there. Or, to be a little pathetic, they’re all about the journey. You overcome sheer insurmountable obstacles and difficult conditions through a mix of engineering, willpower, and ingenuity. At its core, Expeditions: A MudRunner Game, which was announced at gamescom 2023 and which I had the chance to see a developer showcase first hand, keeps this experience intact.

In the game, you choose one of several maps, which are essentially open-world areas filled with mission goals, hidden objectives, and lots of beautiful landscapes to look at. Oh, and lots of very difficult terrain, of course. The vehicles you can choose in Expeditions will be a good deal more compact than in previous iterations. Think of pick-up trucks or something you’d go on a safari with. At the beginning of a run, you choose the vehicles you want to take with you as well as the equipment you need – extra fuel tanks, anchors, and other gadgets – as well as the set-up of your base camp. You can bring repair stations, fuel stations, research hubs, and extra personnel that’ll net you certain bonuses and even unlock additional skills. Naturally, all of that costs money and you’ll want to be as cost-effective as possible.

Expeditions: A MudRunner Game screenshot of a car driving in a river.

You can drive in first person for full immersion, but that's going to make things more tricky.

Once you’re on the map, you’re essentially free to do as you please, but of course you’re incentivized to get some results (i.e. money) by finding and completing side missions or following your current main mission. These are often scientifically themed – reaching and scanning a crater, finding dinosaur bones, cataloging certain plants, things like that. Among the new tools to make your way through the world is a small recon drone. You can lift off with it from your car at any time to scout the path ahead or identify objectives – an invaluable perspective. Keeping an eye out for supply drops is always worthwhile as well, since those can help you replenish your gadget reserves without you having to resupply yourself with your second vehicle.

Driving is as difficult and challenging as you know and love, if you’re already a fan of the series. The different surfaces all pose their own challenges, which you need to react to by adapting the tire pressure, using the winches on your car to pull yourself in specific directions by anchoring your car to a tree, rocks, or an anchor, or skilfully weaving along slopes. Again, it’s not about being fast. It can take many minutes to just advance a few meters on very rough terrain or elevation changes, but it feels very rewarding to beat nature with your own ingenuity.

Expeditions: A MudRunner Game screenshot of a recon drone on the ground.

You can also get a bigger drone as a base camp upgrade.

From snowy mountain forests to deserts, Expeditions will offer a variety of terrain for you to conquer, starting with a tutorial area where you can learn the ropes.

Just like its predecessors, Expeditions: A MudRunner Game looks to be a challenging yet zen off-road adventure you can take at your own pace – brains are more important than speed here.

Developed by Saber Interactive and published by Focus Entertainment, the game is set to be released at some point in 2024 on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and Nintendo Switch. For more gamescom 2023 coverage, please check out