As a newbie to driving buses, there was a new challenge. Taking a break from my trucking company is the USA, I’ve set up shop in a small unnamed German town, to focus on my passion … delivery people, to places.
Arriving, Mr Tutorial talked me through how all of the systems worked on my new bus. Anything you can see can be clicked, from opening the doors to all of the interior lights … you can switch them all on or off. On occasion you may have to walk down the bus, past your passengers to unjam a door, which was a nice touch considering I’ve been on buses where a mechanic needed to be called to repair something similar.
The driving feels very similar to ATS (American Truck Simulator) which as far as I know is a pretty decent comparison to reality, but I could never know how true to real life it is. Having the countdown to the next stop makes it feel more like a game than a simulator, which is fine for me but it would have been interesting to just have a clock and a schedule available to look at to make sure I’m on time.
It’s always fun to see how a sim will handle any human interaction, with most ignoring the entirely, or a voice over at most. Whereas a bus driver, you interact with the customers on a frequent basis, and sometimes they’re backseat driving as you’ve taken a wrong turn, done a U-Turn, ran a red light and crashed the bus in the 2 minutes between stops, which leads to some interesting conversations from the passengers. On occasion you’ll also need to issue tickets, and count the change, and speed and accuracy are the key, as they won’t move until they have the correct change … and there’s always a queue.
It looks like later in the game, you’ll be able to do much of the same company building as in ATS, with maybe more of an emphasis on driving the routes, but hiring drivers and ruling the towns public transport is most definitely that aim. I didn’t get into this too heavily, as I’m always more interested in driving.
I didn’t manage to get my game pad working properly, and found that my mouse and keyboard was the best way to play, I didn’t try my wheel but maybe I will at some point in the future, and I hope it works, as this will add an extra level of immersion that is important to these style of games.
Overall, as someone who enjoys these kinds of games I liked it. It might not pull me in like Euro Truck or its American cousin, but it’s a solid sim for anyone who likes the idea of driving a bus, and being on time for things, the physics are solid and being in the cockpit of the vehicles is an enjoyable place to be.