The Bus review

The Bus is a city bus driving simulation set on a real 1:1 scale map of Berlin. Developed by TML-Studios and released to early access on Steam on March 25, 2021 by publisher AeroSoft GmbH, the game continues to receive new updates and is developed at great speed. In the game, you can manage your fleet by transporting passengers across the city with various buses and bus lines.

The Bus review

I tried The Bus after Update 1.1 in April and Update 1.2 in late May. After the second try, I was convinced that I could now write an early access review. The game is based on the Unreal Engine 4 engine. I tried The Bus with both mouse and keyboard controls and a gamepad. It’s gone a long way in making you feel like you’re really using public transport. After the 1.2 update I found the gameplay to be smoother and this gave me the idea that the game will be much better in the future. I will of course revisit this review for more stable versions of the game and update it again once the game is out of early access. By the way, I took the screenshots on the page myself from within the game.

The Bus seeks to take the city bus driving simulation genre to the next level, offering a driving experience on the streets and avenues of Berlin in 1:1 scale. It promises inter-route passenger transport, with bus routes passing through the city’s best spots (vibrant districts, tourist attractions and landmarks). The developers hope to provide a “realistic public transport experience” with a digitized map of Berlin. It comes with a management component that allows players to create their own routes, timetables and tours, as well as decide on ticket sales. While actually driving the bus, players have to deal with AI-controlled traffic, which will include dynamic weather and day and night cycles, as well as different vehicles, pedestrians, and complex traffic light patterns.

The Bus gameplay

The gameplay has various optimization issues as expected from an early access game for now. However, the surrounding traffic and passengers are moving with a better AI with the latest update. The career mode of the game is not ready yet, frankly, I am very curious how it will be. The Bus aims to offer an economy system, modding tools and multiplayer mode similar to Euro Truck Simulator 2. In addition to the multiplayer mode, modding and community content will also be supported.

the bus menu

In the game, you collect passengers from the stops along the way. Passengers enter the bus through the front door and ask you to cut a ticket. The ticket cutting part was pretty fun for me. Everything is legal and you have to cut the receipt and give it to the passenger. It may seem strange to us in Turkey, but I would like to point out that in Germany, bus tickets are still bought with cash. You leave the passengers who want to get off at the stops (by opening the rear and middle doors).

As for the controls, it’s not perfect yet, but the gameplay is comfortable. It’s easier to rotate the mouse to look around when playing the game with keyboard and mouse. The spin feature on the gamepad was spinning slowly. But it’s more fun to control with a gamepad (I’m using the Xbox 360 Controller). Adjust the passenger seat by pressing Tab, because when you sit on the seat for the first time, you cannot have full control of the surroundings. It would be good to see the mirrors more easily. Since the city is real scale, the distance between the stops gives an experience as if you are driving a real scale bus.

the bus review 2

The Bus sound and graphics

The graphics in The Bus are high-resolution and quite sharp. When we look at the statements made by the company, we learn that the game depicts the state of Berlin in 2018. Photographs of the city were taken to create the map and the environment, and these photographs were used during the development phase. The team also made use of online photos.

Frankly, I may also love to play for exploration, with the idea that simulation games take us to places we may never go. That’s why the idea of ​​a 1:1 scale map of Berlin sounded so good. While I was wandering around the city, when I looked around, I really felt like I was in a settlement that existed in the world. Streets and streets, buildings and shops on the ground floor, people walking around, flowing traffic, intersections and traffic lights… It’s all thought through.

the bus review 3

This game has a really relaxing ambiance and that’s why I’m looking forward to the day the game will go out of early access. Game as early access SteamYou can get it from.

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