Expeditions: A MudRunner Game review

by on March 5, 2024
Release Date

March 5, 2024


It’s important to know what you’re getting yourself into when you boot up Expeditions: A MudRunner Game. You won’t be doing any racing, and there’re no smooth roads where you can press play on your John Denver CD, kick back, and take in the sights. No, this is a punishing and challenging simulator where every incremental step to your objective is carefully planned. Missions are slow and methodical, and if you can stay above 20mph for longer than five seconds I’d be impressed. Often frustrating and always tense, one wrong move can undo every bit of hard work in a second.

This isn’t a game for everyone. Numerous times I made the slightest mistake, forcing me to replay 20-30 minutes of a mission again all because I got my 4×4 stuck on the wrong bit of rock, or my wheels were too caked in mud after moving a couple of yards in the wrong direction. Even with the right tools to help get out of these sticky situations wasn’t enough. These scientific expeditions shouldn’t be this much of a slog, and when you’re trying your best to traverse across such difficult terrain only to put the slightest foot – or wheel – wrong, it can feel so demoralising.

Expeditions: A MudRunner Game offers over a hundred hours of gameplay, but the likelihood of the average player staying with it for that long is slim. In my first mission I had to restart because the smallest body of water left me incapacitated. If it sounds like I’m down on the game, which is because I was at first. It took me a long time to appreciate what Saber Interactive was asking me to do. Once I started to see it as a puzzler, the hellish terrain of Arizona and the Carpathian Mountains became less intimidating and barren of hope, but more a land of opportunity.

That’s not to say some of the missions aren’t frustrating, especially the ones that have you trying to explore and uncover a particular section of the map until you’ve found it all. It’s seldom straightforward getting around, and finding those last areas can see you lose the last remaining slithers of fuel. However, the most irritating moments of the first few hours where you get trapped in the tiniest bit of mud or rock formation can be avoided by taking every inch slowly. Tall grass can get trapped in your tyres; uneven ground takes a while to cross; and mountainsides require a great deal of patience to make your way up.

At the heart of each mission in Expeditions: A MudRunner game is getting from A to B by way of F, J, and Q. An objective might see you having to haul monitoring stations, or you might have to take photographs or locate something in the wilds of the unforgiving worlds you find yourself in. Slow and steady wins the race, Mr Tortoise. By taking out the right tools for the job and painstakingly planning every route, you’ll start to see the fruits of your labour. I began to enjoy it, which at first is something I never thought would happen. It’s a difficult game to love, but there are many things it gets right.

You get plenty of tools to help you out, such as the Jack Screw if you find your vehicle on its back after falling down a cliff or clipping a rock at the wrong angle. There are removable anchors that can be dropped into the ground and will help pull you out of a rut or up a hill, and the Echo Sounder establishes how deep certain bodies of water is so you don’t clog up your truck with water and flood the engine. On top of these handy gadgets, you’ve also got the ability to turn on your differential lock to increase traction and lower your gear to help get across tricky terrain.

You can drop your tyre pressure to help as well, but fuel consumption increases. It’s just as much about managing these vehicular tweaks than it is about getting to your objective, but that rhythm does come, and if you’re willing to get into the nitty gritty of Expeditions, the reward is well worth it. Like overcoming the Fire Giant in Elden Ring (my Achilles Heel!), the euphoria that follows is unmatched. There are more aids as you progress, such as the ability to hire certain crew members that provide perks in certain situations, and you can buy upgrades for your vehicles when returning to base.

Expeditions: A MudRunner Game is a constantly challenging simulation, but for those willing to stick with it and accept that you will have to replay the same 30 minutes of a mission at least once after making a simple mistake, the longevity of it starts to show. It’s a beautiful game, and while Colorado and Arizona aren’t that dissimilar, it’s the Carpathians that look the most inviting, with serene lakes and lush forests well worth soaking in when you have a few seconds to spare. With plenty of tools and upgrades, dense maps, and plenty of ways to complete objectives, it can be incredibly satisfying.


Plenty of tools
Gorgeous world
Multiple paths
Encourages creativity


Small mistakes are costly
Punishing terrain

Editor Rating
Our Score


In Short

Expeditions: A MudRunner Game is as punishing as it is rewarding, but for those willing to stick with it, there's plenty to enjoy.