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Great moments in PC gaming: Late night cruises in Euro Truck Simulator 2

Driving a truck in the dark
(Image credit: Euro Truck Simulator 2)

Great moments in PC gaming are bite-sized celebrations of some of our favorite gaming memories.

Euro Truck Simulator 2

Cover art for Euro Truck Simulator 2

(Image credit: SCS Software)

Year: 2012
Developer: SCS Software

I'll admit it, I used to be a bit of a Truck Sim trash-talker. I thought people who enjoyed driving a virtual truck across condensed countries had far too much free time on their hands. I blame it on the summer holidays I spent in my Dad's truck, where 90 percent of my day consisted of napping in the cab bed, and the other 10 percent being desperate for the toilet.

But lockdown fever and a particularly bad day left me desiring a late-night drive to clear my head. That led me straight to the thing I'd spent years taking the piss out of: Euro Truck Simulator 2.

I set out on my first simple journey—Birmingham to Sheffield. I popped on a chilled-out playlist and set off, honestly not expecting much. Turns out virtually trucking around is actually… really damn fun? Things that are utterly mundane in real life feel immensely satisfying in ETS2. Winding down the window, turning on windscreen wipers, and indicating turns filled me with a strange sense of happiness. 

As soon as I reached Sheffield, I wanted to do another journey. Slowly I started venturing out a little further. I waited until the sun went down in real life, picking the longest drive I could for top-tier vibes.

ETS2's charm is helped by the fact I can't drive in real life. It's a virtual alternative to something a lot of people find therapeutic. When I'm stressed or upset, Euro Truck Sim is a great way to decompress. Sure, I may regularly clip cars with the back of my trailer, accidentally run red lights, drive over the speed limit, and spend 20 minutes attempting to reverse park before making the game do it for me. But those are just small hurdles on the journey to true relaxation. 

Euro Truck Sim has firmly entered my rotation of pre-bedtime games for winding down. Nothing quite beats sticking on a playlist, cranking the rain slider up to max, winding the window down and driving through the night—both IRL and in-game. 

PC gaming doesn't always have to be intense shooters or big-brain strategy games. Sometimes, it's a 'no thoughts, head empty' cruise down the highway at 11 pm.

A fresh writer in the industry, Mollie has been taken under PC Gamer's RGB-laden wing, making sure she doesn't get up to too much mischief on the site. She's not quite sure what a Command & Conquer is, but she can rattle on for hours about all the obscure rhythm games and strange MMOs from the 2000s. She's been cooking up all manner of news, previews and features while she's been here, but especially enjoys when she gets to write about Final Fantasy, Persona, The Sims, and whatever other game she's currently hopelessly fixated on. There's a good chance she's boring another PC Gamer writer about her latest obsession as we speak.