This classic GameCola article was originally published in November, 2007.
Masterpieces come once in a very occasional while. Films like Citizen Kane and Schindler’s List. Books like 100 Years of Solitude (and its sequel, according to my friend: A Century of Being on Your Own), The Great Gatsby, The Grapes of Wrath, and 1984. Even in games, you have Super Mario World, Metal Gear Solid, and Super Metroid.
But forget all those.
Forget them now.
The greatest game of all time has been created.
An unbeatable game—one that has sheen and brilliance in its very veins.
Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing is the greatest game ever created. It is a racer above the likes of Gran Turismo with the innovation of driving trucks instead of cars. It is rich in graphics, gameplay, sound, cinematography, and everything else that makes the perfect game perfect. Nothing else comes close.
Firstly, the game has a fantastic story. You are a truck driver who has nothing to deliver, driving down such brilliant courses as Small City Road. You ride against expertly stationary opponents—a startling but fantastic new direction for AI in gaming. Imagine a racing game where there are no actual racing opponents! It is a genius break in genre convention, and it’s executed to perfection.
It breaks ground like this in many ways, such as clippable environments. You don’t crash when you run into anything. This adds such a beautiful simplicity to the tactic you take in a race; there’s no need to worry about that signpost in the way, as you can drive right through it without altering your course.
The game’s non-interactivity lends it an interesting avant-garde quality. Instead of a typical, run-of-the mill mainstream game, we have a stark study of the bleak, existentialist life of a truck driver who has nothing to deliver. We get into our character’s psyche. The only solace he has is a simple “You’re WINNER!” upon arrival. There’s no one to thank him. There’s no competition. There’s just a lonely, winding road of pointlessness. Such thematic significance can only be pulled off by the good people at Stellar Stone HQ.
The warping of physics also contributes to the sense of unreality and magical realism of the unnamed truck driver’s journey. We have the truck: the symbol of the truck driver’s existence. The only thing that he identifies with, being able to drive up vertical inclines, gain excessive speeds (but only while reversing), and stop on a dime (but only while stopping from reversing). It can even float, but not while its adversary—the bridge—is present, in which case it instead falls into the endless void it usually floats over.
The bridge is a metaphor for reconstruction—the movement between the truck driver’s current life and a more meaningful existence. But once the truck driver attempts some form of crossing over, he falls into a never-ending pit. Does he fall deeper into depression? Further into existentialism? Does he becomes more of a social outcast? This critic suggests all of the above. His existence becomes worse once he attempts to fix it. He is stuck in mediocrity—in depression—with no exit possible. And because the truck can only drive fast in reverse, the truck driver can only make ground by going back. This metaphor is weaved through this brilliantly-crafted game—a game that is worthy of being called a”classic”.
Stellar Stone has made the perfect game. It is the perfect mix of excellent gameplay and literary significance. Allegories like Animal Farm may be widely regarded as being deep with underlying meaning, but such a metaphor as the lonely truck driver who can never escape the meaningless existence he lives in—who can only gain momentum by moving backward—can only be done by a true literary genius. And that genius is Producer/Programmer Sergey Titov.
Sergey, we tip our hats to you for creating the best game ever made.