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Fernbus coach simulator review and first look – updated 2017

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Fernbus coach simulator has been out for some time now, but how good[or bad] has it fared? This is an updated post to the one first review we did when the game was released in 2016. If you do a quick search on bus or coach simulator games on steam, you most probably have seen this game. It might not[and probably will not] be at par with the likes of Bus simulator and OMSI, but Fernbus coach simulator is still a nice German piece of perfection worth looking at.

Update - 2017.11.22

Fernbus coach simulator  review -updated 2017

So, what is Fernbus anyway? A game developed by TML studios and published by Aerosoft, it involves carrying of people across cities in Germany, through the autobahn and other major roads.  The idea you should have here is a game similar to the very successful bus simulator. However, once you play the game, from the amount of crap I’ve read online, you either love or hate the game. I must admit that perhaps the game was released a bit earlier than it should have. As a follow up on this, several updates and patches have taken care of this premature introduction and the game is now, as I can put it, feature complete.

Gameplay: Fernbus Coach Simulator review

fernbus coach simulator review

Having played the game for a couple of months since I bought it from Steam, I must say I do love this simulator. Even the timing itself is correct. If you look at the gaming situation currently, there is no other bus simulator in development currently leaving bus simulator with no competition at all. The reason why I love Fernbus Coach Simulator is because I still believe it its potential to become a very successful bus simulator game.

 

I think the strength of Fernbus is in the Map. They’ve got 20,000 KM of German road, therefore it’s okay to say that side of it is pretty nailed. The AI still now behaves better, but we still could do with a couple of more coaches to drive as that would be nice. Another thing they need to introduce is a career mode. Although it has a few levels where you can unlock driving distances and you have to visit a city, I don’t feel that’s enough.

 

One of the things they could also do is follow the euro truck way of doing it and sort of allow you to start your own coach company, your own drivers…Yes. That kind of thing. Another interesting thing I would like to see is Multiplayer. Do they have any plans for Multiplayer? Is that even on the cards? Are they already working on it?

 

While coaches are very quiet in real life, it would also be nice to get the audio sorted internally in the game. Compared to a similar game like Bus Simulator, their audio still needs new features and some polishing as well. One thing I really find weird is passenger interaction. While it is perfectly normal for them to complain when you hit something, you will often hear ridiculous things along the way. You might be cruising at or less than the speed limit but hear a passenger saying you’re too fast. When you slow your speed, and in this case something like over 60MPH, they will still complain you’re too slow.

Another thing they have taken care of is the continued requests by passengers for a rest stop once you have covered some few hundred Kilometers. Earlier on, there was no clear explanation on where you were supposed to pull over and let them rest. I’m assuming this, among other new features, are still being perfected by the fernbus developers and will perhaps come up with something similar to Euro truck’s rest stops.

 

      Fernbus versus OMSI versus Bus Simulator

 

Having played all games, and specifically OMSI for quite some time now, the two games actually look similar. However, there are a few unique things to each, one being the graphics. OMSI, despite its awesome gameplay and passenger feedback, cannot match Fernbus when it comes to graphics. It is based on an older Engine, while Fernbus made the switch to the Unreal Engine a few months ago. Unreal is a modern Engine, therefore graphics wise, Fernbus coach simulator is bound to give us better graphics than both OMSI and Bus simulator.

 

When you compare passenger interaction of Fernbus to OMSI, Fernbus comes second best.  Once your passengers get on the bus in OMSI, they say some of the funniest things in the journey. I absolutely love it. However, Fernbus has a stronghold too. I can get out of my bus, Interact with my passengers and book them in. That’s a really nice thing to be able to do, but you just can’t do it in OMSI. The express check-in is a great feature, as that’s what happens in real life in Flixbus coaches. I really love it.  Fernbus could expand on this, say allow us to do more things at our bus depot too. I’m not talking about taking your engine apart and doing some repairs, just some simple smart things to enhance gameplay.

 

Currently, the only I can do is walk around my bus while it’s packed at the depot, nothing else. I would like to be able to, say go to a fuel stop, get out of my coach, refuel it myself then walk in and pay. Even something like that would be nice. I would also like to see random events occurring in the journey, let’s say a passenger falls ill then you have to pull over and sort that out. As a bus driver, you are moving people, not goods, and these things do happen in real life.

AI TRAFFIC PROBLEMS IN FERNBUS

AI traffic still has issues, notably the spaces they are assigned to on the roads. Something that occurs a few times in a journey, you might experience deadlocks in roundabouts or junctions where AI crashes and cannot reset or work a way out. This is in contrast to the way similar games like Euro truck and OMSI have been designed, but it’s just a matter of time before the developers sort out such bugs.

Another thing I know will become a problem once you have a couple of kilometers under your belt is the lack of progress. The game has nothing like a career sort of thing, so what you do is you only have two coaches to drive [MAN brand only]. You can’t hire drivers, buy more coaches and establish your own transport company.

HOW FERNBUS COULD ENHANCE THEIR GAMEPLAY IN THE FUTURE

Having said all that, don’t forget that Fernbus is still fairly new. There are going to be frequent DLC updates, and that is the reason why we have BETAs. This is a good coach simulator, and you should forgive it for the few cons I have mentioned above. Nothing is static. Besides, it’s a new game, open for improvements. Whether they are going to expand to France, the UK, Netherlands, time will tell.

 CONCLUSION AND FINAL THOUGHTS

What do you think of this Fernbus coach simulator review? Let me know in the comments section below. If you’re interested in trying out Fernbus, you can get it here.