Bus Simulator 16 Launch Trailer Arrives Early, Leaves Without Waiting For You

I confess, the Truck Simulator thing has passed me by. I know they must be great, because my colleagues are so delighted by them, but having suffered early on in the onslaught of silver bold, italicised simulator titles, I struggle to believe. Alice already donned her straw hat, straw dungarees and straw hanging out of the side of her maw to tell us about Farming Simulator 17 today, and now we receive news of Bus Simulator 16‘s [official site] new trailer. And I can’t help but wonder, is it all a weird joke?

I mean, when I play driving games the very first thing I try to do is plough into the crowds, or drive off a cliff. Given Bus Simulator, where the very purpose of the game is to drive sensibly, efficiently and politely, all I can ever imagine doing is finding out how much naughtiness the developers allowed for.

I’m not the only one, at least there’s that. The first comment under the new trailer reads, “Can you kill people?” I like to assume this person isn’t simultaneously filling in his application for a job as a bus driver and checking the game for accuracy, but I understand the question. Because good lord, that guy was counting out change. You have to count out change?!

It also strikes me as a little under-ambitious – “6 realistic buses”. I’m pretty sure one bus is enough like another when it comes to simulating the driving, so surely it wouldn’t take a vast amount more effort to have thrown in a dozen or so different designs? Maybe some classic buses, or FUTURE BUSES? And I’m not saying this is the game’s fault, and I’m not claiming to admire myself for this thought, but I know if I played this I’d find out what happens if you drive off while the lady on the wheelchair is only half on.

The game will be out in less than two weeks, 2nd March, at around £19. So explain to me, because I know I’m wrong – what’s the appeal here? What’s the desire to play something that requires so much self-control and composure? I know Graham gets it, he’s excited to play this. But apparently for me, it just reveals an inner sociopath.

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38 Comments

  1. Jon Denton says:

    This series has never been exciting to me, OMSI has been the only bus sim that has really “got” it, mainly due to excellent physics. Exciting seems like the wrong word too.

    Anyway, it’s about a relaxing gaming experience whereby you have some challenge. I write for RAVSim and have covered simracing for over ten years, it is sometimes nice to do something different with my PC steering wheel and if you enjoy driving in real life then the perceived challenge of driving a double decker around town is a challenge worth doing virtually to test your skills. Getting it right is the challenge, driving into people and houses or shops is not challenging, it’s pointless.

    The reality is that after a couple of hours of driving it is mastered, and you can drive the bus on route 13 fine, and stop and pick up strange robo-humans quite easily. For me, that’s the game done. OMSI models the bus in flight sim levels of detail, which is also nice, and adds the the challenge of learning, it also does so in an accurately portrayed segment of Berlin, which adds a great deal to the atmosphere. This series has rarely been on the same level.

    • TWChristine says:

      “Getting it right is the challenge, driving into people and houses or shops is not challenging, it’s pointless.”

      Little anecdote: A few weeks after 9/11 I happened to be playing a flight sim (either FS2000 or Janes F-18) when my dad walked in my room. He stood behind me watching me fly around for a few minutes before he asked, “You don’t fly into buildings in this game do you?” After a second or two of me thinking to myself “WTF?” I said “Uhh…nooo..?” His response was then “Hmm. I can’t believe there’s a game where you do that.” (Which I’m sure he got from Fox news or something) So tried to explain that there wasn’t a game like that, and really, what would the point of it even be?

      • Jon Denton says:

        Seems like there is an opening in the market for “drive stuff into stuff simulator” – Or is that called BeamNG? ;)

        • TWChristine says:

          That’s true! And I guess really that’s the whole (part of? I never played it, so not sure..) premise of Carmageddon.

      • Kerr Avon says:

        “You don’t fly into buildings in this game do you?” Wow, what a moronic question. I’m sorry to hear you had to endure that. Surely if it’s a flight simulator, then you can fly wherever you want, correct? Barring surface ceiling altitudes of course. Did you at least point that out? He also obviously never watched the infamous “9/11” episode of The Lone Gunmen. Before 9/11, obviously. Maybe that’s where those who actually did it got the idea? link to youtube.com

    • fish99 says:

      Maybe the appeal is doing something that people find stressful in real life, but without the stress and with no consequences. Let’s face it real driving is often an awful experience due to traffic and other drivers. In the same way playing an FPS is probably a lot more fun than real combat :p

      Btw do I know your name from iRacing Jon – UK club maybe?

      • Jon Denton says:

        I am in the UK club but not very active right now. You might know me from RAVSim.com or AutoSimSport (which ran from 2005-2011). Or from the times when Tim Stone has been kind enough to link my work on here. :)

        • fish99 says:

          I was in iRacing for the first 3-4 years after it launched (name is Simon Brown btw), so that’ll be where I recognize your name from. I used to run the UK club races regularly, especially the skip barber ones. Fun times :)

          Don’t really sim racing much these days. Too lazy to setup the wheel up :)

    • Synesthesia says:

      Yeah, same experience here. The deep simulation, and the accurate routes, that change according to the year you pick, is crucial. Wish it looked better though. It can be beautiful in it’s own way often, though (sorry for the long link, i don’t know how to embed and edit does not work): link to images.akamai.steamusercontent.com

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      caff says:

      OMSI was so incredible detailed and finnicky it made me end up with little little bits of LCD monitor in my face as I pounded it repeatedly against it. I actually felt offended by how stupid I was.

    • Unsheep says:

      Yeah but the OMSI and Citybus games have been crashing and bugging out far too much for my patience. I prefer a stable game with lesser physics, hopefully this will one of them.

    • BoboDaHobo says:

      I think there’s quite a bit of room in the market for more middle-weight sims. I can’t help but feel like, for most genres at least, there’s arcade-style games and full on sims, but not much in the middle. For instance, sometimes I want to play something slightly more involved than H.A.W.X., without getting bogged down in Falcon 4.0. It definitely does limit the shelf-life of the product, but even if it doesn’t have the depth of a full-on sim it can still be fun!

  2. Plank says:

    We need more job simulators. I’d like to play as a secret operative, including night vision/heat vision goggles, silenced pistol, sticky cams etc. Can’t believe this type of game hasn’t been made yet but Bus Simulator exists…

  3. GWOP says:

    It’s quite a bus-y season for simulators.

    • FreeTom says:

      Yeah, they’ll need to pull out all the stops.

      • Dances to Podcasts says:

        Never one when you need ’em, then suddenly it’s three at a time.

    • Unsheep says:

      They have always been around, the mainstream simply doesn’t notice these games until media folk start mentioning them.

  4. Kerr Avon says:

    Welcome back dude, where have you been? And you’re right, it’s a bit of a joke. I’m a fan of simulated physics and mechanics but let’s look at the bigger picture with this one. The whole concept of public transport itself is the real joke, isn’t it? I mean, look at the screenshot and video of calm (dare I say, sedated?) people patiently waiting in a queue for a bus. We know this isn’t the real world, but c’mon?? An average bus queue today is mainly populated by crack heads, alcoholics, criminal gangs, homeless people, screaming children and immigrants who refuse to speak the native language of the country they are using the bus in. Not exactly “relaxing” as Jon Denton said above, is it?? Is it any surprise the first comment was “can we kill people?” That was my first thought too, the last time I actually had to use a bus the other day for the first time in 10 years. The horror… the horror…

    At least other “simulator” games like Truck Simulator and Farming Simulator have semi-believable game worlds where one might actually want to spend some time in, agreed? Realistic physics are great but imagine waking up in Bus Simulator’s fake plastic reality with those zombies and think how truly horrifying that would be? Even more horrifying, the public in general are actually allowing themselves to be dumbed-down like cattle and brainwashed into these very sedated AI zombies, being told that this is how city life today should be. WRONG. We should all be traveling on our own personal jet-packs by now in 2016. If not our own personal 1965 Black Mustang Fastbacks or E Type Jaguars, then at least something resembling the idea and concept of a Sinclair C5? In other words, the quicker that public transport is abolished entirely, the better.

    • Frings says:

      I just had this really awful moment of realization. After all this time in the internet, I’ve come to a point where I’m just unable to know whether or not this is meant to be trolling.

      • Beefenstein says:

        I think it’s even worse than trolling: it’s not very interesting or informed.

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          alms says:

          I liked this part though

          An average bus queue today is mainly populated by crack heads, alcoholics, criminal gangs, homeless people, screaming children and immigrants who refuse to speak the native language of the country they are using the bus in

          It’s like Europe is turning into the less enlightened parts of the US. Or maybe he’s American, I can’t tell.

      • Dances to Podcasts says:

        Poe’s Law.

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        teije says:

        I had the same reaction and then decided I just didn’t care enough to try to figure it out. Move on.

        • Kerr Avon says:

          Haha, looks like the personality-bypass op AI zombies from Bus Simulator were offended by my casual observation? Aww poor babies. If you don’t have anything of note to say yourself, why waste your “precious” time typing it? For the record, almost everything I write on here is in the style of Frankie Boyle. I don’t like to use emoticons so you are very correct Dances to Podcasts, Poes Law indeed. At least somebody around here gets it…

          • Don Reba says:

            You win, your elaborate ruse for tricking me into looking up Frankie Boyle has worked.

      • GWOP says:

        The Sinclair C5 bit gave him/her away.

  5. alphax1983 says:

    Why would anyone want to play a bus sim is beyond me. It’s like simulation of being a member of the bottom of the society.
    I used to be a bus driver in London. It’s the worst job in the world. From being constantly attacked physically and verbally by passengers to dodging other drivers who do their best to get ahead of the bus at all cost (and in event of a collision bus drivers is always blame worthy cause he is the “professional driver” at least in the UK) and TFL people writing reports on the driver for things like holding the wheel with one hand for a few seconds all the way to corporations who run Londons public transport who terrorize staff with threatening letters of immediate job loss unless they agree to worse and worse contracts and pay rates. Thank god I got out of that hell hole called London…

    • bjohndooh says:

      Like all games – it’s an idealized version of being a bus driver.
      Back in the day, a friend of mine would play bus driver in GTA2 – he would just drive people around while obeying the traffic laws.

      Not really my thing, but I can see how some people might find it relaxing.

      • Jon Denton says:

        Exactly. I take busses in London all the time and have a fair idea what you mean, but in OMSI you are taking a bus in Germany in 1987 and the worst you get is someone complaining about the bus being too cold.

        However, one of the things I use sims for is experiences I cannot have in real life. Whilst I probably could become a bus driver if I really put my mind to it, I’m not going to, and thus can enjoy it on a computer instead. If I was a bus driver I am quite sure I would not want to go remotely near a bus simulator unless I was being paid.

        Similarly, I doubt many truck drivers get very into ETS2 or American Truck sim.

  6. Neurotic says:

    I do tend to think that Excalibur et al. are quietly laughing every time they release a thing-with-wheels simulator.

    • Unsheep says:

      Please, as if Fantasy games and FPS are any more differential.

  7. April March says:

    I love that John, by wanting to cause vehicular mayhem in this game, is the odd man out in the RPSphere.

  8. racccoon says:

    You know What?! These aren’t just simulators!! they are future jobs! as we won’t driving in the future! we will be driverless! SO its your job to be sat at home operating all the traffic.. lol, WoW!! what a future! ..not.

  9. Unsheep says:

    If its not as buggy as the OMSI games I might just buy it.
    SCS Software made a bus driver game that I played many years ago, but which was really good (link to busdrivergame.com). It had big maps to drive around in, different kind of jobs to do, weather effects like snow and rain. Its an old game but it still has more content than games like OMSI and Citybus Simulator.

  10. bit.bat says:

    A large part of the attraction of these games for me is the constant possibility that things can go terribly wrong, even if you do not actively seek mayhem, so modelling lady on a wheelchair physics might not be that bad of an idea.

    Or, I dunno, having people ragdoll all over the place when you take turns too sharply, surely this makes the serious simulation part of the game more meaningful even if you are playing “properly” and only see this happen very rarely.

  11. WastedJoker says:

    If they release a DLC which means some guy always ends up sitting next to the lunatic homeless guy, I’m buying the bloody game.

  12. Glacious says:

    Just caught up with this after getting home from a late shift. Thoughts on the trailer.

    “Is that an electronically operated wheelchair ramp? Jealous!” I have to get out and operate ours manually.

    “Have a good one. I must have said that 50 times tonight to departing passengers. Points for realism.”

    I really enjoy my job, but no way am I playing this in my spare time. Truck sims though? Maybe…