Expeditions: A MudRunner Game Review | PlayStation 5

Strap on your boots and drive off-road trucks in the name of science in Expeditions: A MudRunner Game.

By AndresPlays, Posted 29 Feb 2024

The concept of simulators, committed recreations even to the most minute and, at times, irritating little details of real-life actions, are a type of game that offers a myriad of experiences from the mundane to the fantastical. Ever since reality truck driving shows exploded in popularity, so did driving simulations of it and people’s desire to play something like it. MudRunner is a simulator in that vein that broke through at the time due to its fidelity to realism. Expeditions: A MudRunner Game aims to once again reinvigorate the genre with its unmistakable gameplay.


Developed by Saber Interactive and published by Focus Entertainment, Expeditions: A MudRunner Game is the next in the series that carved its way as a challenging but rewarding physics-based truck simulator. What shines the most about these games is how real the mud behaves when you are driving. If you try going over the same route you passed before, you run the risk of getting stuck in your journey from point A to point B. In that sense, it is rather difficult and time-consuming.

Thankfully, Expeditions: A MudRunner Game took everything that made its predecessor great, polished it, and delivered a thrilling experience that can be played at your own pace. It is never deliberately complex or too compromised with reality to feel punishing. You work as a contractor, doing freelance work for whoever posts research missions that are in dire need of a leader in all-terrain vehicles.

While there is not much in the way of a story, every one of the 50+ contracts you accept has its blurb describing specifically what the customer requests and why you are tasked to do a certain job. This lends itself to some rather interesting tidbits of information, such as why you are doing it and who it will benefit in the short and long term, helping motivate you to complete the work successfully.

Some expeditions are by government contracts requesting to analyze the wreckage of a fallen airplane to clean it up for the tourists or a private firm called Survival Agency that works as a touring company for adventurers asking you to install light beacons over a treacherous and dark path. Most of these might seem like excuses to pit you against the road, but to go above and beyond and have a contextual storyline for all missions gives it a rewarding sense of importance that you are doing some good for the world, even if filling your pockets in the process.


Before each Expedition, many factors must be taken into consideration, such as the difficulty of the mission, the distance that has to be traveled to reach your goal, which truck you will take, and the type of terrain you will be crossing. With more than 25 trucks to choose from and different types like Scout, Heavy, and Off-road, the weight, power, and fuel consumption are all variables to consider if you want to succeed in your task. Each vehicle can also be thoroughly customized to your liking.

Another crucial aspect to take into account before launching into the wilderness is your Team Composition. In this menu, you can hire professional Mechanics, Logisticians, Hydrologists, and more to accompany you on your trip and have a few perks that come with them. A 30% damage reduction to your truck when driving carelessly, increased length and power to your winch, and earning more money per treasure sold are among the choices to bring in with each trip. Understanding the mission to bring the right man or woman for the job is always necessary. As an added detail, the characters have a brief biography next to them to know who you are working with.

So, once all that is set up, how does the adventure feel? Pretty exciting, for starters. You are dropped straight into the action, as every expedition is unique. Depending on how many locations you have progressed into the map, you can choose where to deploy. You'll first notice how realistic and rudimentary the driving is. This is not your standard Grand Theft Auto driving; most cars feel the same. Here, every move counts.

This is shown by having first to manually start the engine, release the handbrake, and then you can press the accelerator. You can switch gears at any moment, engage the Wheel Drive when the road gets tough, and, with certain vehicles, use the differential lock to force the wheels to rotate in unison and improve your offroad performance. This is to say that driving in these uncharted territories is no walk in the park.


Little Colorado serves as the first of three regions that you can explore. It is a robust tutorial about how every mechanic works and what to do in case you get stuck, how missions work, and which way to go best when trying to progress against an unwieldy environment. As a newcomer, each small mission was clear in its approach and never felt too overwhelming. It is crucial if you want a successful onboarding process and that sense of belonging that keeps you returning to Expeditions: A MudRunner Game. And oh, does it nail that feeling just right.

Arizona and the Carpathians are the sprawling landscapes and main areas to explore. Once you are free to roam the brave outdoors, it is easy to appreciate the scale of both maps, as every corner you move around is virtually hiding a secret for you to discover. Craters with sunk Jeeps that need your help, dinosaur fossils buried for millennia, and archeological sites with one-of-a-kind characteristics are among the scientific breakthroughs that await your journey.

Music aptly changes according to each map. Rock music sounds in the background of the dusty mountains of Arizona. At the same time, the musty greenery of the Carpathians plays a more subdued piano to reminisce as you cross a slippery slope. If you stop moving for a moment to take a break or just to take in the sights, the soundtrack will stop to a calm tune and ramp up as you turn on the engine again.

Getting to know the landscape, either via exploring on your own or with the help of your drone, is of the utmost importance to plan a path to clear each request with no issues. Seeing the gas tank being close to running out is a fun pressure to struggle with. A relief every time the "Expedition Success" screen appears and your payment comes through.


The mission-based focus of Expeditions: A MudRunner Game lends itself to play at your leisure. Out of the dozens of available contracts, you can choose to play in longer sessions to earn more cash or a short burst to relax and unwind while helping improve natural sciences with your tenacity.

There is something inherently cathartic about fighting nature tooth and nail and coming out of it alive. The outdoors is a hostile environment, Expeditions: A MudRunner Game reminds us, but we can overcome any obstacle if we have the courage and tools to successfully explore and come out unscathed. Even the shortest slope, fickle tree trunk, and the smallest rock can become your worst enemy, so at every moment behind the wheel, you have to be aware of your surroundings if you want to complete the mission.

Of course, a big part of Expeditions: A MudRunner Game is the tricky situations you will be embroiled in, even if you drive as carefully as you can, and how to get out of them. Driving off the beaten path may sometimes reward you with cash if you discover new areas. Shortcuts and steep climbs waiting for you to find your way are just around the corner of your main mission, and a few extra bills never hurt anybody.

A scanning minigame where you need to press a button at the right moment to fill a bar and analyze an area is playable. Another where a drone scans a landscape, and you need to stay within a circle shows up later in the playthrough. These small additions to the gameplay add to the variety that while the driving is the meat of the experience and what you will be doing most of the time, it relieves a bit of monotony that can arise and serves as a reminder of your work, aiding scientists and companies.


Regarding downloadable content and future updates, cooperative online play is a feature confirmed to be arriving at a later date that fellow truck drivers will be sure to look forward to playing with friends. Seasonal new content is expected to arrive with new missions, specialists, gameplay mechanics, and more, rounding up the solid offering with a paid new DLC map where you must uncover hidden archeological remnants of a long-lost ancient civilization.

A lack of DualSense features seems a missed opportunity to feel every cragged rock on with the Haptic Feedback and the testy pedal of the truck on a steep climb with the Adaptive Triggers. On rare occasions, the textures do not load, which surely will be fixed in a future update, as it is a shame not to be able to appreciate the impressively rendered natural wonders that you drive around.

Expeditions: A MudRunner Game runs on a well-tested physics engine that seems to be perfected in this entry. Yes, your patience will be tested when facing dire challenges and the road ahead seems nowhere to go, but it never truly feels unforgiving in any way, as with the help of a winch, your smart and a little luck, every goal is achievable if you just look at things from another perspective. Or at least try another road.

Inadvertently, there is much to learn from playing Expeditions: A MudRunner Game, from learning the basic ropes of how a truck works and how it could be easily maneuvered in swamps, rocky roads, or mud to how professionals study the natural surroundings that we take so much for granted. And to do so in a fun way certainly adds to the benefit of the adventure.


The more you play Expeditions: A MudRunner Game, the more you will realize it is certainly the perfect video game to sit back, put on your favorite podcast, and check off your list of the multitude of missions, contracts, and side tasks available on each map in its more than 100 hours of content. Nature is so beautifully rendered that it's impossible not to stare at it in awe between your duties.

Exactly like the reality truck shows demonstrate, driving a heavy vehicle is not for the faint of heart. It requires a strong will, the courage to keep going when all else fails, and, in this case, a passion for investigating the natural sciences that compound our planet. Expeditions: A MudRunner Game took everything that made its foundation great and multiplied it exponentially into one of the most addictive gameplay loops in the modern simulators of our times.

Luis Aviles (@AndresPlays93)
Editor, NoobFeed

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General Information

Platform(s): PC, PS5, XBSX, PS4, Xbox One, Switch
Publisher(s): Focus Entertainment
Developer(s): Saber Interactive
Genres: Racing
Themes: Off-Road, Driving, Simulation, Adventure
Release Date: 2024-03-05

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