Bus Simulator 18 Review: A Realistic and Fun Simulation of Urban Transport
Bus Simulator 18: A Realistic and Fun Driving Experience
Have you ever wondered what it's like to be a bus driver in a big city? Do you enjoy driving games that challenge your skills and offer a variety of scenarios? If so, you might want to check out Bus Simulator 18, a vehicle simulation game developed by Stillalive Studios and published by Astragon Entertainment for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.
Bus Simulator 18 is the fifth game in the Bus Simulator franchise and the direct sequel to Bus Simulator 16. It allows you to experience the job of a bus driver in a vast and freely drivable urban area, with 12 different districts and over 1000 virtual roads. You can drive eight original licensed city buses from four great brands: Mercedes-Benz, Setra, MAN, and IVECO BUS, and transport your passengers safely and punctually to their destinations. You can also create your own routes, buy, sell, and upgrade buses, and manage your own bus company.
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But that's not all. Bus Simulator 18 also features a single-player mode where you can complete missions and unlock new districts, as well as a multiplayer mode where you can cooperate or compete with other players in real-time. Moreover, the game supports extensive modding, allowing you to create your own buses, liveries, maps, and more, or download and install the modding content available from the Steam Workshop. And if you want more content, you can also get the official map extension DLC that adds two new districts, nine new missions, and five new buses.
In this article, we will explore the features of Bus Simulator 18, how to play it, and some tips and tricks to help you become a better bus driver. So buckle up and let's get started!
Features of Bus Simulator 18
Licensed buses from four brands
One of the main attractions of Bus Simulator 18 is the variety of buses you can drive. The game offers eight original licensed city buses from four different manufacturers: Mercedes-Benz, Setra, MAN, and IVECO BUS. Each bus has its own characteristics, such as size, speed, capacity, fuel consumption, handling, etc. You can choose from low-floor buses to articulated buses, each with a detailed interior and exterior design. You can also switch between different camera views, such as cockpit, third-person, or free camera.
Large and diverse city map
Another feature of Bus Simulator 18 is the large and diverse city map that you can explore. The game features a fictional modern city consisting of 12 districts that are based on real European cities. The map is 2.5 times bigger than Bus Simulator 16's map, and offers a variety of environments, such as industrial areas, suburbs, downtowns, harbors, airports, etc. The map also has dynamic weather conditions, day-night cycles, traffic jams, accidents, construction sites, potholes, fare evaders, passenger requests, speed cameras, etc., that add realism and challenge to your driving experience.
Single-player and multiplayer modes
Bus Simulator 18 also offers two modes of gameplay: single-player and multiplayer. In the single-player mode, you can play as a solo bus driver and complete missions that unlock new districts, buses, and customization options. You can also create your own routes and schedules, and earn money and reputation by driving well and satisfying your passengers. You can use the money to buy, sell, and upgrade buses, and the reputation to expand your bus company and hire new drivers.
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In the multiplayer mode, you can join or create a session with up to three other players and cooperate or compete with them in real-time. You can share your routes and buses with your friends, or drive on different routes and compare your results. You can also chat with other players via voice or text, and use the integrated Twitch support to stream your gameplay live.
Modding support and DLCs
Bus Simulator 18 also supports extensive modding, allowing you to create your own content or download and install the content created by other players. You can use the Unreal Engine 4's modding tools to design your own buses, liveries, maps, missions, etc., and share them with the community via the Steam Workshop. You can also access the modding content from within the game and use it in both single-player and multiplayer modes.
If you want more official content, you can also get the map extension DLC that adds two new districts, nine new missions, and five new buses to the game. The DLC is called Bus Simulator 18: Mercedes-Benz Interior Pack 1, and it costs $12.99 on Steam.
How to Play Bus Simulator 18
Choose your bus and route
The first step to play Bus Simulator 18 is to choose your bus and route. You can do this from the main menu or from the garage in the game world. You can select from eight different buses, each with its own specifications and features. You can also customize your bus with different colors, decals, advertisements, etc.
Next, you can choose your route from the available ones or create your own. You can select the starting point, the destination, the stops, the length, the difficulty, etc. You can also adjust the time of day, the weather, the traffic density, etc., to suit your preferences. You can save your routes and use them later or share them with other players.
Drive safely and punctually
The second step to play Bus Simulator 18 is to drive safely and punctually. You can start your engine, open the doors, check the tickets, greet the passengers, close the doors, and hit the road. You have to follow the GPS directions, obey the traffic rules and signs, avoid collisions and accidents, maintain a safe speed and distance, use the indicators and lights, etc. You also have to keep an eye on your fuel level, damage level, brake wear level, etc., and refill or repair your bus when needed.
Moreover, you have to drive punctually and stick to your schedule. You have to arrive at each stop on time or earlier than expected, but not too early or too late. You have to wait for all passengers to board or exit before leaving each stop. You have to complete your route within the given time limit or faster than expected. Driving punctually will increase your reputation and income.
Manage your bus company
The third step to play Bus Simulator 18 is to manage your bus company. You can do this from the office in the game world or from the main menu. You can buy, sell, upgrade, repair, refuel, clean, etc., your buses from the garage. You can also hire new drivers from the job center and assign them routes and buses from the route planner. You can monitor their performance and pay them salaries from the statistics menu.
Furthermore, you can expand your bus company by unlocking new districts from the mission menu. You can complete various missions that require you to drive certain routes or buses under specific conditions or scenarios. Completing missions will increase your reputation and unlock new areas of the city map.
Tips and Tricks for Bus Simulator 18
Use the cockpit camera and mirrors
One of the tips for playing Bus Simulator 18 is to use the cockpit camera and mirrors when driving. The cockpit camera gives you a realistic view of what a bus driver sees from behind the wheel. It also allows you to access various controls and functions of your bus, such as opening doors, checking tickets, turning on lights, etc.
The mirrors are also essential for driving safely and avoiding blind spots. They help you see what's behind you or on your sides when changing lanes or turning corners. They also help you park your bus properly at each stop or at the garage. You can adjust the angle and zoom of the mirrors from the settings menu.
Follow the traffic rules and signs
Another tip for playing Bus Simulator 18 is to follow the traffic rules and signs when driving. The game simulates realistic traffic conditions and behaviors, and you have to respect them to avoid penalties and accidents. You have to stop at red lights, yield to pedestrians, obey speed limits, use the right lanes, etc. Y