Bus Simulator – Xbox One Review
Our Xbox One Review of Bus Simulator
I do like a good simulation title. When you look at PC, you can see loads of different simulation titles that have done well and been quite enjoyed by gamers. Flight Simulator (Which I`m waiting with hot anticipation until it releases on Xbox next year), the Train Simulation titles, which we`ve seen a variety release on PC. We`ve even seen a Train Sim title make its way to consoles, and offer a train driving simulation experience on console. But, the one that was yet to have made any sort of commitment to console in any form was Bus Simulator. I hope the concept of that is quite simple – to drive around in full simulation mode a bus and pick up people. Well, now, if you`re on Xbox, then you`re going to be in luck. Bus Simulator has now launched on Xbox. How was it going to fare?
Bus Simulator is developed by stillalive Studios and published by Astragon, and released yesterday on Xbox One. The aim and the concept of the game is quite simple and follows every other simulation title out there. You are tasked with creating your own bus company, devising new routes and recruiting staff to make sure you are maximising your profits and you are transporting a lot of happy customers. You`ll need to make sure you have a good number of buses in your fleet, and offering full customization on those buses, make them your own, as you work on a number of missions and ways to expand your company, expand the routes on offer, and have a happy customer base. Oh, and of course, you can fully drive your buses in first person mode.
Straight from the off after you have created your company, you`ll be tasked with undergoing the tutorial to know the basics of the game. How to drive your bus, how to open the doors, the tasks to take before starting the bus, how to issue tickets, everything that a bus driver would do (If you are a gamer playing this who happens to be a bus driver for a living then this`ll all be second nature to you). In addition, you`ll start to learn the basics of managing your company and recruiting staff and buying buses for your fleet. You`ll need to have at least one bus per route, ideally more, and over time, you will purchase more. The more you have, the more you can run at once and the more you can rake in in terms of the profits. But remembering that you`ll have your staff and expenses to pay.
Early on, I`ll admit that this feels different to different simulation titles. We`ve recently seen Train Sim World release on console, that has focused on different scenarios and different routes and timetables. This focused very much on the driving and completing scenarios, where Bus Simulator feels different, and in a good way. I like the way that stillalive Studios have approached the game, and getting me to focus on both the driving of buses and also the management side of things has been good fun. It reminds me very much of the beloved Rollercoaster Tycoon games on PC (Which by the way, I hope one day we seriously get on a console – I`d love some sort of Theme park Simulation on console) and it`s a good move in my opinion. I wonder whether being a plain bus driver and sticking to routes and timetables similarly to Train Simulations we`ve seen would have been a bit boring and repetitive, so I really like approach they`ve taken in terms of its content and its challenges.
It`s not a game that`s going to cause any real major issues or headaches in terms of the controls, but it’s a game that`s going to take some getting use to and mastering in terms of what to do and how to start journeys off I found mostly. It follows the same sort of controls as any other driving title, and if you`ve played any other racer you`ll know that they all follow a same sort of configuration, so it is an easy title to pick up and play. Some parts of it will just take a bit of practice.
It`s not a massive game by any stretch of the imagination, and graphically it isn`t anything spectacular, but I didn’t find myself having any issues in terms of frame rates or anything game-breaking. It felt smooth and good, and that`s good with a simulation title. Having a simulator launch with frame rate issues would have been a nightmare and most likely unplayable.
Bus Simulator is a title that obviously is not going to be for everyone. Some people may laugh at the prospect of it, but what you do get is a game and a simulation title that does offer something a bit different to what we have seen recently, does get you to get involved more and offers a good range of missions, options and customization and does keep you going back. I`ve enjoyed the mix between driving buses and jumping into the office to create a new bus route and manage our fleet, and on the whole I have enjoyed it. It is on the pricey side, at £34.99, but if you can look past that price, or if you are a simulation fan, then you`ll enjoy this because it does offer something more than a regular Simulation title.
Review code supplied by Astragon
Developer: stillalive studios
Publisher: astragon Entertainment
Website: Bus Simulator