Published by : Astragon Entertainment
Developed by : Stillalive Studios
Platform available on : Xbox One, PS4, and PC
Reviewed on Xbox One
Available : Now
Bus Simulator…. yep you read that right a game all about driving buses, how can that be entertaining? wait minute before you run off read on to see what I thought about it.
I’ll be honest with you when I first came across Bus Simulator my thoughts were probably that of many other people surely this is just going to be driving round in buses how can that be anywhere near entertaining? Well let me tell you how very wrong you would be if you thought that.
Yes the game involves driving buses but it goes alot deeper than that, you are actually tasked at running your own bus company and turning it into a profitable business. You get to customise everything from the staff uniform to the livery on your own buses. You start off with two buses unlocked to choose from to start your journey (an additional MAN bus is unlocked if you had the pre order bonus code) more are unlocked as you play the game and level up and build up funds, you are able to loan money to purchase buses but be aware you will go bankrupt if your balance goes above £150,000 so don’t go running before you walk.
As you start your first bus journey you sit in the cab and see the full detail that is in the game with every detail there to see and use and fully realistic and kind of blows your mind at the level of realism.
When you pull off you need to remember this isn’t an arcade racer and you need to obey all the rules of the road with any infringement punished and money taken off your total takings, certain certain actions such as indicating at bus stops and keeping below the speed limit will improve your rating. You pull up at your first stop and collect your first customers you open the doors an welcome them onboard with some needing tickets which you need to issue and give the correct change, when every one has taken their seat it is worth you having a walk about the bus as you will come across fare dogers and people with music on too loud aall of which need attending to otherwise you will lose money.
Actually driving the bus isn’t the easiest and I found it quite difficult to control the bus at first without feeling quite sluggish to get the buses round the corners, again you need to be careful as if you bump a kerb or hit another car you are punished another point you need to be aware of is watch out for pedestrians as if you were to unfortunately hit one you are severely punished and lose a lot of your funds so keep your eyes open at all times.
If and when you remember all the rules and regulations Bus Simulator becomes quite an enjoyable game, there is something quite pleasing about catching ticket dodgers. When you get to grips with all the things youneed to keep an eye on this is when you can start building routes and covering more of the map as you unlock getting more buses and more staff as you go building your very own bus empire.
This is not the type of game you can have a quick game of as you will without doubt find yourself losing countless hours driving round building your business.
I did try to have a game on the multiplayer side of the game but alas I was stuck in lobby, there is no matchmaking which is a big shame as unfortunately no one on my friend list has the game, I feel if you did get a public matchmaking system going it would be a cool addition. Although I didn’t get to try the multiplayer I am not letting that effect my opinion of the game too much as if I just bsee my opinion on the single player game it’s a fully subversive experience that will have you wanting more and more as many times I have been away from the Xbox doing normal every day stuff and wondering how I can better streamline my bus business, itreally does have that effect on you.
Graphics and Sounds
The graphics of Bus Simulator are top end the detail put into the buses is amazing, you will notice the detail as you walk about the bus everything right down to the pattern on the seats is there. The detail is also noticable when you sit in your driver seat, everthing you see is useable right down to the radio that plays an array of cheesy music for you to enjoy on your journey. The part were the graphics fail for me is the passengers you collect, they look quite stiff and move robotic and slightly take the sheen off the game for me.
You get to drive the buses in different weather conditions from sun shine right through to torrential rain with the differing conditions having an adverse effect on your driving, I personally found driving in the rain near impossible but I think that was down to my skills rather than the game.
To add to the realism all the buses are fully licensed with big names such as MAN involved with the true likeness in the game.
The sounds to the game are pretty good the sound effects are realistic enough the only part that is a bit on the iffy side is the cheesy music but after a while you find yourself getting quite into it, and to be fair you can always turn the radio off when you are on the bus.
To summarise my thoughts on Bus Simulator, it’s actually a really good game alot more indepth than I ever imagined there is so much more to the game. It is a great shame that the multiplayer was a non starter for me but let’s just blame my friends for not buying a copy.
Although there are flaws such as some of the graphics aren’t up to the levels of the rest of the game. This is a game I will return to and play for a while yet. Would I recommend buying a copy ? Most definitely yes it is a whole lot of fun in completely a different way to your normal blockbuster games, it also teaches you how to successfully run a business if you’re that way inclined.
The game does have its bugs but I’ve been following the developers on Twitter and I will say I have been very impressed with the effort they have put in post game to iron out any potential issues with patches and hot fixes being released regularly, this only stands them in good stead for the longevity of the game and it’s great to see as all to often you see developers putting out games and leaving it sink or swim.
My advice is to buy the game it will surprise you how much you will get into it, would I say it’s entertainment alongside the likes of Gears 5 or Ghost Recon Breakpoint well no but this is entertainment in a different way and well worth sticking in you collection.