Expeditions: A MudRunner Game Review – I Drive, for Science

Ali Hashmi
Ali Hashmi
8 Min Read
Expeditions: A MudRunner Game
9 Awesome
Review Overview

My first interaction with the MudRunner series was with SnowRunner, and it’s one of the most frustratingly zen-like experiences you can have in a game. Something about traversing miles of road, mud, and rock simulated by a deep physics engine, combined with incredible visuals brings out the survivor and explorer in me. Expeditions: A MudRunner Game is the next chapter of the series, and it retains the core experience while adding new tools and goals into the mix. For my review, I’ll put on my trucker hat once more, and see where the road (lack of) takes me this time.

I’ll Keep Trekking

Unlike previous MudRunner titles that largely had a delivery theme to them, Expeditions focuses on scientific research and development. Rather than delivering logs and crates of building material, you’ll instead transport some research equipment, investigate terrain using different tools like a metal detector, take pictures of dried-up gorges, and recover important data from malfunctioned drones, etc

These tasks, while different from previous games, still require you to trek through all sorts of hazardous terrain. Uneven roads, muddy swamps, rocky cliffs, and streams make every little journey feel dangerous, engaging, and rewarding to finally complete.

You’ll constantly make mistakes, miscalculate your next turn, and let your arrogance triumph over reason. It’s why even finishing a simple drive from point A to point B and back is so fulfilling. There’s no other game where driving 5 miles an hour feels this exhilarating.

Considering the new setting, I do think missions feel a bit more focused. Objectives are more defined, and you’re required to carry out multiple objectives in the same mission. This takes away some of the openness of the previous games that had more generalized missions, but you’re still steering the vehicle here and the way you approach these objectives comes down to you.

Tools of the Trade

Expeditions retains all of this but adds a few new tools to the mix. Yes, you already have the Winch to latch yourself onto different points to both repel up and down cliffs and get yourself out of tricky situations, but there are also drones and an echo sounder. You can use a drone to fly around, mark points of interest, but most importantly, figure out the best possible route forward.

Similarly, the echo sounder allows you to calculate the depth of water around your vehicle, making it easier to not make a dumb dive. There are plenty of other similar tools that add to the traversal experience, and I think these offer enough variety to make Expeditions stand out from the previous entries. These tools also make thematic sense given how you’re on this scientific expedition.

One of the tools I particularly like is the anchor, which lets you create a winch point. This allows you to perform some pretty out-there maneuvers to move around that still take a lot of precision, and control over your vehicle. Overall, I think a lot of these tools make for an even better experience that pushes your creativity and adds to the mission variety.

My Truck, My Way

Expeditions also has some detailed customization options for your stored, and purchased vehicles. It’s not just performance upgrades though, but visual customization as well. I think this was sorely lacking in the previous games, but you can now apply different paint jobs, and even stickers to personalize your vehicle and make it your own.

Additionally, you can now set up smaller camps for different utilities, and resources to aid your objectives in a certain region. These can be costly, and I don’t recommend splurging simply because you can. Sometimes it’s cheaper to just retrieve your vehicle to the base camp rather than dropping 10K on a camp for extra resources that you might not even need.

As you prepare for each mission, there’s the ability to hire different technicians as well. Each of them offers bonuses throughout the mission, like a wider range for your binoculars, and additional resources for your outposts, and these are worth it in my experience.

Visuals, Interactivity, and Performance

Like SnowRunner, Expeditions is a gorgeous game. I love how it looks, and the rendering is superb throughout. The terrain feels realistic, has depth, and you can feel the weight of your vehicle push against it with each rotation. Both of the major regions are filled to the brim with details, and landmarks to explore, and conquer. The trucks have a lot of character and feel built for the job. These aren’t clean pristine vehicles out of the showroom, but ones that have seen some action.

The water effects, the way the mud grabs your tires, and how small rocks can become giant hurdles simply because of their physics properties, make for an immersive world that has no regard for you. It’s rare to see open-world games react this way to you, and your movement.

Finally, the performance on the PC has been quite for me. I played the game at the High preset on my RTX 3060 at 1440p, and 5600X and averaged around 70-80 FPS. The game also looks and runs great on the Steam Deck, which is quite surprising given how graphically impressive it is.

Closing Thoughts

Overall, I had a great time with Expeditions: A MudRunner Game, and I’m nowhere near its end. This is a massive undertaking that will easily take you over a hundred hours to get through. The scientific research backdrop appropriately complements the new mission types, and the new tools offer multiple ways to get through the many regions of Arizona and the Carpathians. The game doesn’t detract from what makes the series special but doesn’t hesitate to experiment with new ideas either.

What did you think of our review of Expeditions: A MudRunner Game? Share what you think about it in the comments below.

This review is based on the PC version of Expeditions: A MudRunner Game. The key was provided by Focus Entertainment.

Review Overview
Awesome 9
Overall Score 9
Share This Article
Gaming enthusiast, massive Soulsborne fan with hundreds of hours spread across different Soulslike titles, and a passionate writer. Always on the lookout for interesting games with unique mechanics and design especially in the indie space. He loves to write informative guides for newer and ongoing releases.
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.