Skip to main content

Expeditions: A Mudrunner Game preview: Taking the high ground

Expeditions is the next step forward in the Mudrunner series, pushing you through harsh terrain like never before

Mudrunner and Snowrunner were games I didn’t really get until I played them for a while. I didn’t see how slowly traipsing through thick mud and snow could be fun until I got together with some friends and realized that it’s actually an extremely rewarding experience to navigate this hostile terrain together.

Expeditions is the next game in the series, and while it sometimes feels stuck in the mud, it occasionally pushes past the speed limit. The most obvious area of improvement is the visuals. Things are so high fidelity and realistic now that when driving around in Expeditions, I’m often able to judge the best approach to a terrain type just by looking at it – something that often wasn’t possible before.

Expedition A Mudrunner Game Gameplay

Still, if you ever need more than your eyes to work out what to do, you’ve got plenty of tools to inspect the world around you. You can fly around in a drone to get overviews of areas and search for the best routes; you have tools that track the depth of any water you may cross; and of course, your trusty winch can drag you out of tricky situations.

Then there are all the in-vehicle options that you have control over. Stuff like gear control and diff lock are still there from previous games, but now you can also control things like your tire inflation, which further pushes the boundaries of what your powerful vehicles can climb. Even in some of the most basic levels, you feel completely in control of every aspect of your vehicle and have to carefully consider when to switch between modes, or turn on and off each module.

Expedition A Mudrunner Game Gameplay

The biggest loss compared to Snowrunner is the lack of an open world, with the game instead being carved up into a series of missions across three different maps. The maps are a decent size, and there are plenty of long-haul missions, but it’s all a little more restricted than it used to be. It’s not the end of the world, but I always found the most fun in Snowrunner by jumping onto the map with friends and trying to get from one corner to the other as a team – like we were doing some Top Gear-style challenge with three vehicles not suited to the job.

That said, the missions do give you enough variety to make up for the fact that you can’t do whatever you like, and since you have some control over what types of vehicles you bring to each mission, there are many different ways to complete each one. Sometimes you’ll be delivering supplies or equipment, while other times you’ll be setting up surveys of the land, but they always involve crossing terrain that you wouldn’t expect big trucks to ramble over.

Expedition A Mudrunner Game Gameplay

What’s more is that, outside of the tutorials, the game is hands-off. It tells you where you need to go, but you’re in full control of working out how to get there – both in terms of working out the route and in terms of what supplies you may need to bring, such as extra fuel. You’re not guided along any sort of path, which is exactly what I want in a game about combating extreme terrain.

Expeditions is exactly what you’d expect from the next game in the Mudrunner series. It keeps all of the great systems in place from the previous games and adds fun new ideas that give you even more control and even more to think about when out in the wilds.