Bus Simulator (PS4) – Review
Follow Genre: Driving Simulator
Developer: Stillalive studios
Publisher: Astragon Entertainment GmbH
Platform: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Tested on: PS4

Bus Simulator (PS4) – Review

Site Score
5.5
Good: Having your own Bus Company, You can drive like a madman if you don’t care about scores
Bad: Bad optimization combined with horrible controls
User Score
4.5
(2 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 4.5/10 (2 votes cast)

Last year we got our hands on the terribly fun Bus Simulator 18 for PC. As the news spread that this game was getting ported to console, it immediately raised some questions on how well this was going to work. It turns out that the game is an almost direct port from the PC version. While the ‘18’ badge has been removed, you can safely say that this is just Bus Simulator 18 for console.

Story

Most things remained the same, including the simple yet effective story about your new job as a bus driver. The city has seen a long decline in public transportation and with a new senator in charge, she wants to turn this around. She wishes to change the mindset of ‘the car is king’ and make public transport available for everyone in the city. Of course, this is a trial project so you will start out small with a nice bus and as your bus routes get more popular over time, the more budget there will be available for more bus stops, drivers and vehicles. Hence, it’s just a small story about you starting as a bus driver that later on gets to be his own bus tycoon magnate.

Graphics

When things get ported to the console, sadly enough, there are always limitations. A PC can vary in the build and allow stronger machines to pump out better graphics. While the original game on the PC had very nice visuals, even on lower settings, it is sad to say that the graphics on console aren’t that great. For example, rain now completely destroys any view you have. In general, all the details have been taken down a notch to improve the frame rate. The game won’t win any beauty pageants and lighting isn’t great so you might just want to drive during the daytime. You still have a full view over the tiny interactable buttons and you can still customize your vehicles to your heart’s content, just not as nice as on PC.

Sound

Commuting by bus can be pretty loud in real life, especially when you live in the countryside where they use old diesel burners as a means of transportation. While your bus isn’t an electric one (yet), you will notice that due to the high comfort, there isn’t much noise from the engine. Music is only playing on the main menu but when picking up passengers, there are always those who want to chat about their private life and you as a bus driver can easily eavesdrop on conversations.

Gameplay

Bus Simulator is, as the name implies, a simulator game about driving a bus. It takes close resemblance to Euro Truck Simulator 2 when it comes to managing your company. Your character will start out small with one bus and if you are successful by keeping the clients happy, you will see great increase in financial wealth and will be able to enlarge the bus routes, hire new drivers and expand the fleet. While having a larger company is great for a stable income, the core gameplay behind Bus Simulator is still driving the bus yourself.

Just like in the PC version, you will have to abide by the rules, both traffic and comfort. This means that you are not allowed to speed, run through a red light and drive like a mad man. Hitting speed bumps too fast or scraping the curb will have customers complain and will lower your ratings. You would think that having a controller would make the whole ordeal of controlling a large vessel of transportation easier. Sadly, the controls are horrible, navigating the on-screen buttons does not go smoothly and despite the quick buttons that make it slightly less stressful, the game isn’t really inviting to play due to these sloppy inputs. Selecting items in the menu goes very badly as you will either skip a button or it isn’t responsive at all. Using the cash register on your bus isn’t very easy and the time you waste screwing around will take down your score drastically. On PC you had free navigation and with a little training you could be the fastest gun in the west, but this poorly executed script for controller makes for one frustrating mess.

Conclusion

If you don’t own a fancy computer and you want to be a bus driver that badly, you might perhaps want to give Bus Simulator a shot. If you do have the choice, it might be better to just pick up the much better PC version. If you pick up this version, you’ll have to make do with worse graphics, poorly optimized gameplay and a version with no extra content.

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Rating: 4.5/10 (2 votes cast)
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Bus Simulator (PS4) – Review, 4.5 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
MC_JP
MC_JP


Never give up on a dream. It might be a long nightmare, but one day it will change into a beautiful reality - MC_JP 2014

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