Scar Tries: Drug Dealer Simulator 2

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Scar Tries: Drug Dealer Simulator 2

No people, animals, or drugs were harmed in the making of this review.

Video games allow us to do many things that we wouldn’t do. From copiously murdering peasants in Kingdom Come Deliverance to slaughtering gang members in Cyberpunk, they let us be someone we are not in real life.

That brings me to today’s episode. Drug Dealer Simulator 2 launched on Steam a couple of weeks ago. Big thanks to the developers at ByteRunners for providing a review copy. When I started playing, I had doubts due to the rough technical performance. Multiple crashes in the opening couple of hours, frequent frame drops and a host of other glitches like broken moving animations turned me off at first. Fortunately, Drug Dealer Simulator 2 was added to the Geforce Now cloud service. I no longer had to worry about my laptop melting like an ice cream in a heatwave, although I wasn’t saved by stutters. In its current state, it requires a pretty powerful system and even with the RTX 3060 rig on Geforce Now, I had a few stutters here and there.

I’m a little surprised they released this as a full title instead of Early Access because it is rough around the edges. Part of the technical problems have to do with my ageing laptop, but there are plenty of bugs infesting this beautiful archipelago. We don’t have many games that are dedicated to the drug business, so it is nice to see another one. I played a lot of Byterunner’s first drug sim and found it enjoyable despite its jank. Seeing DDS2 in the rough launch state was a little disappointing.

I do have some good news, and for all the issues I have with this game, I’m enjoying myself. It needs a lot of work, but there is an engaging game here. It kicks off with your player character (Eddie, apparently) in the gorgeous archipelago of Isla Sombra to start anew after escaping the law. Upon finding a grotty hideout, it is time to rebuild that lucrative drug empire. The voice acting is a little stiff, but it gets the job done.

I recommend advancing along the main missions at least for a couple of hours because they give you better tools such as the power boat, new vehicles and money to get started. You are open to exploring most of the world from the start, and this is a gigantic map. There are cheap ways to travel with barges and buses, but vehicles are the way to go. I’m not a fan of the limited save system (you can only save inside safehouses) but there are plenty to go around and you are never too far away from a save point.

The drug labs are for… well, you can guess. You start off small selling cannabis and build up from there. There’s a lot of detail and time management that went into the drug growing mechanics, and while it involves a fair bit of waiting, there’s enough to do that you shouldn’t get bored. Clients will come and make requests, and you’ll build up your budding empire by making alliances. Gangs might make your life trouble when travelling at night, and I had fun beating the tar out of them in fistfights. The combat is a bit wonky but still seemed to work alright. DDS2 offers a bunch of difficulty options to make things as relaxed or challenging as you wish.

Despite some odd animations and physics like climbing a ladder or jumping over a fence (it’s hilarious but it’s not how ordinary human veins jump), the exploration is pretty damn fun. There are several ways to travel across the big open world, and while it has some muddy textures with terrain, the water is gorgeous.

So far, Drug Dealer Simulator 2 has been a bit of a rollercoaster of highs and lows. Every time I get annoyed with buggy physics, frame drops, and the limited save system, I find myself wanting to play more. I decided on a shorter impressions piece today because I want to see how the game plays in a couple of months. If you don’t mind some jank and want to dive into this strange little gem, it’s worth the time. Otherwise, it is probably worth waiting a while so that the performance problems get squashed.

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TheThousandScarAuthor/Blogger/Cartographer/Streamer/Narrative Game Writer/I play far too many games. |

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