There was a time when computer games released at specific times of the year, Christmas, Easter and the run up to the summer holidays. The target audience was presumed to be kids. It was a false assumption made by CEO’s – computer games are played by people of all ages! It took a while for the realisation to dawn, but now most games release when they’re ready. Of course, some games release when they’re far from ready – back to CEO’s again and their inability to understand that a solid product is more important long term than immediate shareholder gratification. It’s the Triple A publishers that are most likely to make this error and some are absolutely hated by the gaming community for their cavalier attitude. Ok – that’s better – had a quick rant… 😉

So we’re now in an era where games can release just about any time. Car Mechanic Simulator’s publisher decided to release the 2021 version on August 11th – halfway through the summer holidays. Following on from CMS 2015 and 2018, it was expected to just be a rerun of the exact same gameplay of the previous editions. Perhaps a bit slicker? I was in for a few pleasant surprises.

One of the short comings of the previous, 2018, version was poorly optimised graphics – making for some interesting visual glitches on older systems. There was also an annoying hesitation when you moved from the parking area, for example, back to the garage. If you moved the mouse during that period the screen would freeze for several seconds – that even affected top of the range systems! So 2018 had a number of minor issues. There were a number of bugs in the beginning too but, as the game had been released as early access, the community accepted them and they were soon fixed. Time to see how Car Mechanic Simulator 2021 shapes up in comparison, especially as it came out as a full release.

I’ll start with the graphics – Just so much better than 2018. I’m going to walk you around the garage as you find it when you start the game and you can see for yourself. Here is the roadside view…

…and a closer look at the main workshop…

…Go inside – there is reassuring metal roller sound if you choose to go through one of the vehicle entrances 😉 – and there’s an old school bus to greet you…

…and some posters high on the wall…

…All the basic machinery you’re going to need to start fixing cars is present – you can see the tyre removal and wheel-balancing rigs under the Fierte poster and the separator for shock absorbers is hiding behind the yellow locker. What you don’t have are work-benches to repair parts – how you get those is part of later gameplay and something that will have to be covered in another post. Go out the back of the main workshop and you can see there’s plenty of room for your business to expand…

…I wonder what we can use that building for? It looks like there’s already some work going on in another corner of the plot…

…There isn’t, yet… 😉

I think you can see from those screenshots that the graphics of the latest iteration of Car Mechanic Simulator are very nice and I find them very engaging. They make it a joy to come to work 🙂 There are none of the annoying visual glitches that existed in the 2018 version. Scene changes are swift and smooth. As hinted above, this is just the first of a series on Nuts and Bolts posts where I will be talking about CMS 2021 – the next will cover gameplay – but let me say from the start, this is a very nice game that will have you hooked for hours. You can pop in for a few minutes to do a quick repair or choose a much longer job if you want – it’s a flexible game that fits well with a busy IRL schedule. When your real job has stressed you out and you want to wind down but keep the brain ticking over, this game is a good choice – you can take your time, nothing is against the clock and there are no alien hoards to disrupt the calming process. Highly recommended 🙂

It’s Done! I have completed the Pathfinder achievement for Euro Truck Simulator 2 🙂 I estimated, based on the progress between July 4th and August 5th, that it would take me another 2 weeks to finish the final 2.25% that was outstanding. But shelving almost all my blogging to concentrate on the driving produced a good amount of additional time and I really knuckled down to getting it done!

Here’s the map – it doesn’t zoom out far enough to show the whole of the area…

…You can see it says 100% in the top left. Below is a screenshot of the game page on Steam that shows the Pathfinder achievement and the fact that I have now completed all of the available achievements…

…That is, until the next dlc releases 😉 …

The last truck used to carry me over the line was this Iveco Stralis and we covered 14858km during the last three days…

…roughly 20 hours of game time – I did say that this achievement required a lot of work! Now I can concentrate on building my company in the other profile and just driving for fun in this one 🙂 I have also split my profiles in American truck Simulator, so expect some updates from there soon.

Job done early means that I can return to blogging and I will be doing a normal post tomorrow evening. Til then, Keep the shiny side up! 🙂