Home / Technology / [ TEST ] Bus simulator for console – more than just "driving bus"

[ TEST ] Bus simulator for console – more than just "driving bus"

A PC player often likes to play extraordinary games, while players on the consoles tend to be satisfied with shooters or adventure games. But now it's time – after a long wait, Astragon released the bus simulator for the consoles. We got behind the wheel and drove passengers through the city.

Bus simulator has been around since spring 2016 and was replaced by bus simulator on summer 18, 2018. With the launch on September 17, players on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One can now become bus drivers. The bus simulator for the console does not require a year, as it is the first game of its kind for the consoles. Can this simulation be as exciting as a Farming Simulator?

We tested the game Bus Simulator on PlayStation 4 Pro with Samsung 4K / HDR TV. The game was available to us as a download version and needs 3.2 GB in version 2.01 on our SSD hard drive. For the audio output, we have some headsets and a home theater system aside.

First impression

We found a bus company

Our first trip starts at the station in Seaside Valley

The game is installed quickly due to its small size and at the same time brings us into the middle of the plot. But before it really starts, we have to start a business. We are offered different options: sandbox, bankruptcy on / off, company name and some other details. Here is only the map "Seaside Valley" to choose from. However, we can assume that we will be offered more maps and DLC later.

After our "company founding" we can still dress our bus driver and then be at the bus station again. There, a nice lady tells us how we use our new vehicle – a Mercedes Benz Citaro bus. With a full € 20,000 in the account, we begin our first round trip and familiarize ourselves with the check. The nice lady helps us and explains one or the other handle. The driving itself was taken from the known control of various racing games. But as bus drivers, we still have to do more.


more driving school instead of madness

The cockpits were lovingly reshaped

As we have taken our driver's seat, the basic operation of the bus by the fine Lady has come closer. Here we can choose the cockpit perspective, but also use an exterior. There are many buttons and switches, which can be operated with a single click. Close the doors, start the engine, turn on the lights or even use the ticket machine. With the help of the directional pad we also have an "action menu" to choose from, where we can handle everything easily and quickly. Many buttons and switches were placed on the controller for simplicity. This sometimes goes faster and requires less insight into what's on the dashboard.

So we can finally press the accelerator pedal. But beware: If you start carefully, you set the signal and keep the speed here extra points and money. We feel a little reminiscent of our time in driving school – shoulder glances, looking in the mirror and more are relevant game elements. An accident or even a frenzy has a very negative impact on our bus company.

We can also drive freely through the Seaside Valley

The control with the control unit goes very well on our maiden voyage. Certainly we miss some feedback from our vehicle, because here we either drive or stop. But we are not on a race track to achieve the best time. We cannot walk, because the timetable must and should be respected. Anyone who has ever moved a virtual racing car on the console can also move this bus from station to station. But as I said: This is neither Formula 1 nor a wreck festival.

Graphics / Audio / Technology

in love, live but not up to date

Epic Games Unreal Engine is used for the bus simulator. This shows us detailed vehicles and takes us closer to the licensed buses. Unfortunately, we cannot say that about our environment, with all our road users. These have rather all been given an extra role and are just a nice accessory. The city is very lively and so many residents travel with us. This is acceptable at present but not current. The scenery is chic, but never reaches a GTA 5 strategy. So the visual impression is a bit cloudy, while the authentic sounds give the experience a new life loan.

This gives us the impression that StillAlive Studios could not completely transfer the graphic quality to PlayStation 4 Pro. But even the loving details on our bus for blurred or even blurred. This is a shame – Astragon has proven with Farming Simulator that all vehicle details are always clear and recognizable.

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Perhaps the end of the current generation of consoles is approaching Unfortunately, the console version does not handle the sharpness and detailed graphics of the computer. High-resolution 4K or HDR that we haven't pursued is probably less relevant in this game – but certainly wouldn't hurt.

The all-inclusive package but fits so far and gives us the world as a bus driver on the home sofa. Charging times are only a little sluggish at first, while a steering wheel can be used in addition to the controller. Tip: The Logitech FarmSim computer dial also works on PlayStation 4, which was confirmed by Logitech and Astragon on gamescom.

Comprehensive / long-term motivation

everything Schwarzfahrer

our statistics in the menu

The principle of the bus simulator is mainly to drive a bus from stop to stop. In this way we have to move through the city according to the traffic rules and take the passengers to their stops. Many would love to buy a ticket, but many of them are rude dodgers and just go on the bus. Close the doors and get to the next stop. Our driving style not only earns money but also satisfaction. These allow us to climb the level so that we can buy new buses. The offer here is limited to 8 buses, while others are offered as DLC. The future can also give us new cities and buses.

Sadness can be caused by the stupid commute, if there were no additional features. So we can paint our buses, with stickers, advertising on it or decorate the bus with other optical options. Bus simulator is a cumbersome task with the clean income on tickets, but there is still weekly income. This increases our account and we can hire more bus drivers over time. After our fleet has grown strongly and we can run several routes, a real blessing is predicted. Alone, it's great fun in multiplayer with up to four friends all the more.

A way to visually release steam on the bus

Sometimes fun gets a dampening, since AI's environment does not seem straight to be the brightest. So pedestrians walk quickly on the pedestrian path back and forth and thus the risk that the bus will arrive. This not only costs us points, but is also charged a hefty penalty for our account. Likewise for fast driving, red traffic lights, potholes, curbs or long traffic jams that delay our schedule.

So the bus simulator basically extends a little through its monotony and you have to show endurance. But this can be handled in multiplayer.


only driving and leveling

With the bus simulator, StillAlive Studios and Astragon's childhood dream go like a bus driver. We mix all types of buses with well-known brands through traffic and continue to expand our bus company. The beginning is laborious and it takes some time before we can expand our fleet. With a simple control and additional optical possibilities we can release steam in a bus company. Unfortunately, the graphics on PlayStation 4 seem a bit plain and the music really isn't everyone's taste. If agriculture was a little too scary and you would rather experience some quiet hours as a bus driver, the bus simulator will give you the perfect driving school and small handling functions. If there weren't so many dodgers, we would make even more.

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