A while back we reviewed Bus Simulator 18, and now I’m back at it again playing Bus Simulator 21 and just like its predecessor it’s a buggy mess! But I digress we’ll get to its issues in a bit. Just like the games title implies it’s a Bus Simulation game, where in you drive buses around the town, hire more bus drivers to drive people around town, and collect money to grow your company as a sustainable transportation business.
You start the game out like its predecessor designing your character from the options available. This time around however they give you three exclusively Asian only options. You then get to pick which Bus you want to drive and going through the basic tutorials such as where to pick up passengers, selling tickets, checking tickets, and so forth. Once the tutorial mode is over however the game stops holding your hand. Bus Simulator 21 then gives you the money you’ll need to buy another bus, decorate it and create new routes for your transportation service.
The best part about Bus Simulator is the fact that you can even customize your bus just like any American Game company during Pride month. Not to discredit Still Alive Studios, but the fact that Bus Simulator 21 gives you upwards of two choices of masks to wear for your character during player creation is kind of a sign that Still Alive Studios is trying to be trendy, while ignoring a lot of the same issues Bus Simulation 18 had which is all the bugs!
Bus Simulator 21, just like Bus Simulator 18 is notorious for its bugs, and at times its controls are very unresponsive. Sometimes the game doesn’t want to register that you opened the door, or put down the ramp for a wheelchair, and I haven’t tried walking on water again but I’m wondering if that’s a thing still! There are just so many game breaking bugs in Bus Simulator 21 that going bankrupt trying to move your bus out of a high traffic area is quite possible! I speak from experience on this one, although it was in the tutorial so I never got billed for all the damages I caused.
Being honest the bugs in Bus Simulator historically have been a part of its charm the fact that the game doesn’t work right. But when the core mechanics of the game are what’s not functioning properly then it becomes a hassle to play, and it becomes less enjoyable. I do have to even go as far as to question the developers at Still Alive Studios when they continue to make the games in-game currency Euros, but plaster American flags up all around their stages, well that and the cars that magically appear across the map.
Bus Simulator 21 even has very sub par animation to the point where I’m convinced my character has to use the bathroom in a game that doesn’t even have any. I saw this because of how he walks around in free roam. There is also a lot of clipping through buildings and cars generally tend to ignore the player outright when he’s not driving the bus.
But back tracking the biggest fault I have with the game is still just its core mechanics not wanting to work right. After opening the doors and letting my passengers out, then new passengers joining my bus it then became impossible to get moving again. The engine was running, the lights were on, the doors were shut, and even the ramp and parking brake was off. If they were trying for go for gritty realism for how often a transit bus breaks down. Then look no further because Bus Simulator 21 accurately depicts that as well!
There are so many things to complain about Bus Simulator 21, and where I could go on these are just the tip of the iceberg. But I’m still having fun when the game itself is working properly, and I am planning on streaming this hot mess of a simulator down the road at some point.
But thinking on the positive changes of the game they’ve now implemented a prompt on the dash of your bus to find out which button does what. In Bus Simulator 2018 I’ve had to check in the resort to loading options to try and remember the controls, with the new prompt that is given while you stare at your bus’s dashboard it makes it easier remembering the controls, and figuring out what you need to push, and when.
Ultimately if you buy Bus Simulator 21 you know exactly what you’re getting yourself into, as I’ve basically described every issue I experienced with it. But, you can still have fun with the title. Hell, I’m having fun! That might be because I’m easily amused by a game in this state but that’s what makes it fun for me! If you enjoy buggy simulation games than Bus Simulator 21 is for you! But if you prefer to have a bus simulation game that is less buggy maybe try something else, or bug Still Alive Studios but that’s your decision.
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