The wheels on the bus go round and round in our review of European Bus Simulator

There have been many chances to sample the simple life of a bus driver in the past, with such obscure titles as Tokyo Bus Guide, or the arcade style Bus Driver you've actually got a lot more choice than one would, or the extremely popular sandbox Bus and Cable Car Simulator - San Francisco, however stepping up to the mark is European Bus Simulator, the simulator to rival all previous titles.

From the very get go you are tasked with creating your bus driver persona, complete with name, date of birth and gender you come as close as possible to being a real bus driver when you are given your unique driver number and pass code necessary for logging into the on board computers and cash registers; a rather foreign concept in a simulator but one that proves that steps are truly being taken to creating a more authentic experience - but wait there's more to come!

One very important fact that must be taken into consideration before confronting the game is it is not Bus and Cable Car Simulator - Germany, and so it is best not to compare the two games in too much detail; one is an incredibly open world simulator, and the other is on the verge of true hardcore simulation, the question is, what game are you looking for?

Much like a very involved rail simulator, European Bus Simulator can be very difficult at times, and whether you are a young fan of buses or a seasoned traveller then you will appreciate the two different operating modes of the game; Beginner which acts as a tutorial to ease you into the complexities of bus navigation, and Expert which tasks you with taking into consideration properly logging into and out of every bus with your unique driver card, and understanding that every single mistake that you make will be noticed.

With only two types of bus you aren't exactly spoilt for choice, and without the addition of coaches, double deckers, or even school buses you've only the option of a standard or articulated 'bendy' bus which you can switch to at any point, but without any unlocks at hand those that prefer to play simulators to goals rather than sandboxes may have a hard time swallowing European Bus Simulator.


Now we previously mentioned that this is a truly hardcore simulator experience which gets practically as authentic as possible, now this fact really shines in the Expert Mode, this mode is for those that find keeping an adequate air flow, managing a bus full of passengers and getting to your stops on time far too easy.

After TML Studios last hit bus simulator BCCS, European Bus Simulator is understandably a very demanding game, with a dynamic weather system, beautifully rendered environments, not to mention fantastically detailed buses with working mirrors and switches; things can get a little busy onscreen so the game comes with two shortcuts allowing you to run the game with its highest settings or a basic setup to allow maximum enjoyment whilst still playing a simulator that is easy on the eyes. The basic setup will run well on your mid-spec PCs and may have a few hiccups here and there as you drive through a nasty storm with condensation filling your windscreen, but generally the game runs very nicely.

So after a little trial and error you've got your bus up and running? Now is the time to start your first route, unfortunately the game makes every route available to you on the scheduler despite some of them only operating at certain hours, this means that when you attempt to run a graveyard shift route in the middle of the day, and arrive at the first stop you'll be penalised for being 500 minutes late, and despite it being the wrong time of the day you are still able to carry out the route.

Carrying out routes in a busy city will see a lot of passengers cross your threshold, and whilst you can't greet them with a friendly hello, the cockney lot of them are very happy to see you, as usual the odd one will need to pay for their fare and European Bus Simulator goes that extra mile by asking you to take your customers money, work out their change on the cash register and dispense the correct amount back. If you're particularly eager and run a few routes in your shift you may find that you run out of change, so you'll need to head back to the depot in order to replenish it, it's these little touches that make European Bus Simulator a definite purchase for those that love the little extra simulated points to their games.


Anyone that has worked in contact with the general public will know that the key to success in the world is customer service and satisfaction, and, driving a bus is no different, if you're driving a little fast or your passengers are too cold they won't be afraid to grumble, so on those cold windy and wet days it is essential to looking after your passengers by keeping an eye on the temperature inside and outside your bus and how it may affect those inside it, a great touch to a genre that usually cares more about the vehicles than that carried within them.

A feature previously unseen in a simulator before is the addition of seasons, this is attained via the in-game monthy calendar that allows you to choose to work a shift during any month of the year. So working in June or December will be very different, with dynamic weather patterns and temperature affected by the seasons, you'll even be able to notice the telltale signs of winter, autumn and spring on the trees, European Bus Simulator is almost a little self contained world.

The only real let down of the game is the very insular feeling that the game evokes, with only two choices of bus available to you practically every previous bus simulator can offer a lot more variety, and with only one bus depot in the city, it feels as though you are the only true bus driver, the driver passcodes and cards are a brilliant touch to the game, but when you are never really switching buses at depots the authentic feature suddenly goes to waste.

With a modest selection of routes taking place around the city you'll have more than enough to play around with, however if you do have a bit of a creative spark the route wizard returns, and like a lot of simulators, European Bus Simulator opens its arms to the modding community with the opportunity to create vehicle models, routes and more.

Whilst European Bus Simulator is not the Bus and Cable Car Simulator 2.0 that a lot of European fans were hoping for, what it does provide is an authentic and realistic bussing experience with beautiful graphics and truly intricate features that only the real enthusiast can appreciate, amidst a thriving city.

four stars

European Bus Simulator is available now in all good online and retail stores for the RRP of 24.99, being a bus driver has never been so close, and if you are a fan of the rather humble position, best try this game out for size.

20 comments
Comment from: Tim [Visitor]
1 stars
Tim

Having played and somewhat enjoyed Bus & Cable Car Simulator, I found European Bus Simulator a complete let-down. The city was made smaller, vehicle selection poorer and the sense of progression you got in BCCS through home and vehicle upgrades was non-existent. On a scale of five, I would give European Bus Simulator a two, at most.

11th June 2012 @ 18:59
Comment from: charlotte [Member]
Charlotte

This is true, however it did allow a deeper simulation, as I said it's definitely not anything like Bus & Cable Car, and the lack of choice of vehicles was a damn shame, but it was still a pretty comprehensive sim, and for many Bus & Cable car is pretty demanding for systems, whereas European Bus Sim was a lot easier going.

11th June 2012 @ 20:13
Comment from: joe [Visitor]
joe

tim thats wat i said

12th June 2012 @ 11:12
Comment from: charlotte [Member]
Charlotte

Very true, Joe did warn fans of BCCS that Euro Bus Simulator was nowhere near as big, sorry guys, I still came away from Euro Bus playing a great sinulator, it's just a shame that there were no business aspects involved.

12th June 2012 @ 12:09
Comment from: MeTaLL [Visitor]
MeTaLL

Hi Charlotte,

im hoping to get some recommendations and info on some aspects of bus simulator games, and judging by your patient and constructive replies im hoping to finally get it here ^^

so 1st of all i already apologize for what i sense will NOT be a short message, but its the only way i can explain things properly.

Basicaly the siutation is as follows:

I love (different countries`) buses and bus/driving simulation games. Years ago ive gotten myself "bus simulator 2" (and "driving simulator"). I wasnt able to play them too much at all (partly due to lack of time, no custom vehicles/maps to download that i could find and possibly not quiet polished enough).

So recently i was curious to check whats new (for me) in the world of bus simulations. I went to youtube and see a LOAD of custom vehicles and maps, made by users, to download for free for a game called "Omni Bus". I looked through the multiple different bus models and found some rare (east european) ones that brought a tear to my eye due to my nostalgic heritage of that region. But the game seems to be rather old, as old as bus simulator 2 i suppose (though the amount and quality of rare bus models which i didnt see for any other simulators was for me pretty impressive and the game doesnt seem to look that bad - somewhere between bus simulator 2 and bccs i suppose).
But still i thought something newer and better could be outthere so i searched further and came upon Bus and cable car san francisco. It seemed nice and has a lot of nice options but i felt the setting of san francisco ONLY was rather limited and visually/architecturally not close to home - europe. (though after reading ur review i did feel better about it but there are still couple of things that bother me, which i hope u can answer, in my concluding questions at the end of this text).

So then i see "bus simulator 2012" aka english version "European bus simulator". Visually seems best of all so far but judging by content seems least. (though i guess its more technical than others)

Not to stretch this anyfurther here's my barrage of questions :)

1. "Bus simulator 2" - i guess judging by ur review of bccs i shouldnt bother with it anymore since bccs is so much better visually, content and gameplay-wise? But IF its worth a go where can i get custom (free or not) buses and maps?

2. BCCS - where can i get custom (free or not) buses and maps? Or can i only play in SF and only with the given vehicles?

3. "European bus simulator" - the newest but is it the best? If you can only drive 2 buses then im really not interested no matter how good it looks. Where can i get custom (free or not) buses and maps? Or can i only play in given city with given vehicles?

4. How come an older game like omnibus has sooo many followers who create tons of great looking models and maps but with all the excalibur/astragon bus games i couldnt find anything custom anywhere and their websites are pretty poor comparing to omnibus as far as "grab your new free custom bus and go" goes.

5. What are the major differences between the above mentioned bus simulators? (except visually) what can u do in one that u cant in another?

6. Driving simulator - what are the major differences in DS/DS11/DS12 (except visually)? So ds11 doesnt have the cars ds had and ds12 doesnt have the cars ds11 had? where can u get custom maps/cars for any of those games?

7. So lol based on that monstrosity above and keeping in mind that id rather have lots of options of custom content rather than little or no content but better visuals, and that i like bccs game play options but not the visual setting and that my dream would be to play a nice looking bus game with my old-country, custom, downloaded-for-free bus in a european setting -

a)Which bus simulation game would you recommend me to buy NEXT?

b) Skip ds11 and get ds12 but will i then miss out on the fun or content of ds11?

c) I hear "city bus simulator munchen" is coming out soon? is that worth the wait? hows it different? will it have custom content?

Thanks,

hope its not tooo much ;)

16th July 2012 @ 16:11
Comment from: MeTaLL [Visitor]
MeTaLL

i meant OMSI bus not omni bus lol, sorry

16th July 2012 @ 18:28
Comment from: charlotte [Member]
Charlotte

Ooh, a nice big load of questions, I'll not be able to answer you tonight, only just got back from work, however I'll give your questions a good read tomorrow if you dont mind :)

16th July 2012 @ 19:19
Comment from: MeTaLL [Visitor]
MeTaLL

Wonderful! Thanks! Ill postpone my purchase till later ^^

16th July 2012 @ 20:58
Comment from: charlotte [Member]
Charlotte

Ok!

So I've had a look around, and unfortunately it looks like the communities of Bus Simulators are not very much into modding unlike the train, plane and farm simulator fans :/

So I see where you are coming from, and unfortunately from the looks of it, there is very little if no mods for Bus Simulator 2012, and BCCS, which is a shame, because a Bus simulator in such a large open world as BCCS would be fantastic which is a damn shame that the too are so different in scope.

This is actually the first I've heard of Omsi Bus Simulator, but looking around it does seem to be the biggest with modding, and unfortunately I can see why.

When it comes to simulators, people seem to get really interested the more obscure the game, and seeing as the base game of Omsi is set in 80s Berlin which is why it must have such a cult following.

If you want to get the buses you want in a game, or indeed the locations, it looks as though Omsi Bus sim is going to be your best bet.

In terms of the differences between BCCS and European Bus Simulator its sort of technicalities. European Bus Simulator gets you really involved in the little details, like giving your passengers change, adjusting your seat, and such in a simulated town.

However in compariosn, BCCS gives you the equivalent of a simulated world! Albeit it's in San Francisco you'll find yourself repairing your bus when certain issues occur, and a far more comprehensive bus schedule.

Both games have fantastic weather systems and air conditioning that must be upheld, and allow for easy modding with scheduling routes, but that's about it.

If CBS Munich is anything like CBS 2010 there was quite a good modding scene, with even some routes from my home county made, and it could be quite good for custom content.

Unfortunately I've not really answered your questions very well, after having a look into Omsi I'd definitely recommend it for modding, but BCCS for visual and gameplay.

Hope I've helped!
In terms of Driving Simulator, generally its best to get the newest one, the original was pretty poor, and 2011 was improved, but not the best simulator, I've high hopes for 2012 being greatly improved but you never know, might just be average simulator again, mods for the Driving Sim titles have always been quite a hunt to find though.

If I were to pick a bus sim, it would have to be BCCS on a visual and gameplay aspect, however if you are looking for one with a good modding community its got to be Omsi bus, whilst BCCS has a nice selection of vehicles to use it just isn't the setting that you're looking for.

17th July 2012 @ 21:35
Comment from: MeTaLL [Visitor]
MeTaLL

Thanks very much Charlotte for taking the time to answer and understand my uneasy text!

Now i pretty much know that i want BCCS and Omsi (increadibe amount of addons and has almost same (technical) features as other bus sims. Now just left to see whats driving simulator 2012 is gona bring (its out already but see not much to no info on it) and maybe get a subway and or train sim (and this other cool driving sim i found).

Anyway thanks again, and will keep checking the site for ur great reviews ^^

18th July 2012 @ 16:42
Comment from: agustin [Visitor]
agustin

link ?

28th July 2012 @ 04:22
Comment from: marquis [Visitor]
marquis

how come when i dowload the demo it frezzes on me omg its so anoying!!!!

30th December 2012 @ 04:27
Comment from: Roy [Visitor]
Roy

Hi all

I bourght European Bus Simulator 2012, the fact that there is only 2 buses does make the game boring, i was hopping for a double decker, coach etc. Anyway my problem is lag, i have tried both the 32 and 64 bit exe's and both lag. I use a wheel for both accelerating/braking and turning.

I have played around with the AI traffic and predestrain sliders and i haven't seen any difference even when the sliders are to the far left. The same can be said about the slider for customers buying sickets slider, i have it up a very small amount and its like almost ever passanger wants a ticket. If however you brake a little to late and the back doors are closest to the passangers, they will walk on without paying, as a pose to walking to the front to buy a ticket.

The lag though is what bothers me, so here are my specs (should easily play this game with all settings up max, after all it does play FSX with max settings). So i would say the coding for this game sucks.

OS: Windows 7 ultimate X64 bit
CPU: FX 6100 (6 core)
GPU: Zotac GTX 550TI (1 GB, DDR5)
Ram: 8GB's (DDR3)
HHD: 500GB's (free space 175GB's)
Slave HHD: 160 GB's (free space 100GB's)

This is the only game i have come across that lags, no matter low all the settings are. The only driver that isn't fully up to date, is the GPU, and thats because if i update that driver i can't use microsoft movie maker to edit my video's for F1 2012 (i race in a league and need to be able to edit the video's). But the GPU is on the previous driver's to the latest ones available, so they aren't exactly old drivers.

So to my question, is it poor coding, or is there a known way to fix the lagging BS2012 causes?

Thanks in advance
Roy.

14th January 2013 @ 15:06
Comment from: charlotte [Member]
Charlotte

Yeah unfortunately whilst TML's games are some of the best simulators out there, they don't appear to optimise them very efficiently. More often than not the game requires a ridiculously high processor over a high end graphics card.

However, my kit is nothing to boast about and I must admit that I did not have many low performance issues. If you google them TML Studios has a troubleshooting page, you could see if there are performance ssues that can be fixed.

Bus and Cable Car San Francisco had performance issues that could be remedied with certain graphics options, so this may be the case with European Bus Sim as well.

Hope that helps a little!

16th January 2013 @ 18:32
Comment from: dan [Visitor]
5 stars
dan

Hello this simulator is good but would you please review city bus simulator munich which is now out at amazon and first class simulator.
Tml studios and aerosoft has made this game with update coming soon
Thanks dan

6th March 2013 @ 19:27
Comment from: charlotte [Member]
Charlotte

Hi Dan!

Thanks for the heads up, we didn't realise that it had been released, we'll have a look into it!

6th March 2013 @ 19:37
Comment from: Shadoweg [Visitor]
5 stars
Shadoweg

Hello i had download this game but at time to open it says problem to enable game or so, i had installed windows ++10 and all but the problem keep oging

11th March 2013 @ 14:17
Comment from: Steve Meth [Visitor]
3 stars
Steve Meth

Hi, I have bought european bus simulator and I am trying to create my own route but how do I find the map showing the bus stop numbers I need to input into the route wizard ? any help would be appreciated
Thanks

11th March 2013 @ 22:34
Comment from: Esmee van der Wal [Visitor]
1 stars
Esmee van der Wal

Hello, I'am from the Netherlands and The game runs all the time. I had expected more from European bus simulator. is omsi bus simulator a good game? And you have ideas what I can do against crashes ?

Thanks,

Esmee

9th April 2013 @ 14:36
Comment from: joe [Visitor]
joe

omsi is a brilliant game especially with the addon buses

10th April 2013 @ 13:07