Aerosoft GmbH brought out Omsi 2 in December 2013. If you are ready for a detailed, realistic but somewhat complicated bus simulator, this could be the one for you. In this review, we’ll talk about many different aspects of the simulator that we are impressed with, as well as a few aspects that we are less keen on…
What is this bus simulator all about?
Omsi 2 Bus simulator is a hard-core simulator for people who want to learn how it really feels to be a bus driver. It reveals how stressful it is for a bus driver and also how efficient a driver has to be (for example, if you’re late during a job, customers will give you a piece of their mind!). As well as the basics of driving your bus, simply driving around the map on a designated route picking up your passengers, there is also a very technical side to this bus simulator. Best therefore to be prepared to learn all of the different functions of the bus before you take your first route!
Omsi 2 has scenarios as well. For example, Omsi 2 can demonstrate an ‘engine malfunction’ on a bus. There are so many routes that you can take part in, the more the merrier with routes, but you need precision and care if you’re to get the job done effectively. There is a very good map to start off with which is called ‘Gundorf’. For mewbies on Omsi 2, this is a good map to start of with because there is only one main route and the route only takes about 10 minutes.
The buses themselves
The buses have a real brand name (MAN) instead of an imaginary brand that many simulators use. All of the seats and windows on each bus are a good replica of the real model – this clearly makes the game feel very accurate and realistic. Every button in the bus is clickable including the air conditioning unit or even the heating functions. We know how much attention to detail the game gives because there is even a drivers sliding window! There is also a ticket machine which can be used manually.
When getting used to the simulator, we’d advise that you play on a mode where you don’t hand out tickets as this can be quite difficult. As for the exteriors of the buses, they’re fantastically designed to look like the exterior of a 1990s bus. There is rust on the wheels and even on the paint job itself – this suggests that the virtual company running the route is in dire need of a new fleet!
You can have some flexibility as to the appearance of the exterior though. When choosing your bus, you can choose the advertisements you want on the outside. You also get to choose between a double decker, a single decker or a bendy bus.
When driving around in the bus, the physics are very realistic, as well as the noises you hear. For example, when driving on a rough pebble road, the bus is jolted from side and you’ll hear creaking noises similar to how an old bus would sound. This level of detail is something that we feel sets this simulator apart from so many others; we hope SCS software are listening! Anyway, talking about noises you hear, another brilliant feature is that all engine noises and brake noises were recorded from real buses.
Despite the overwhelming amounts of positive aspects to this simulator, there are a few things that we feel Aerosoft GmbH should improve on. One of these things is the fact that there is only one brand of bus to choose from, MAN. Admittedly, there are a lot of different types of MAN to choose from but wouldn’t it be nice to have a little more variety? Also, there are a few issues with the passengers and scenery, which we’ll discuss below.
Well this is interesting one… the passengers are not very well textured or detailed and they look a bit like robots when walking around. When inviting your passengers on board, they always speak in German when greeting you or asking for a ticket. We would like some voices from other languages to be available or at least some subtitles; we’re aware though that this a German built simulator.
Our last complaint about the passengers is that there are not a large variety of passenger appearances. There are always about two of the same characters walking onto the bus so Omsi do need a larger selection of passenger skins. It’s surprising given the level of detail that has been put into other areas of the simulator that there is such a limited range of appearances of passengers. However, the passengers do what they are told to and they can also be quite amusing sometime; their German accents are quite charming!
These are some of the passengers
Map and Scenery
There are two different maps you can take your routes on. These are Gundorf, which as we mentioned is the better map to start with, and Berlin Spandau, a much larger map with more variety of route options. There is a lot of scenery and buildings as you drive around these maps but the problem is the bad texture quality and detail on the buildings and trees. Again, this is disappointing given the level of detail on so many other aspects of the simulator. Overall though, we’d say that these maps are still fun and lively maps to drive around in (especially with the AI Traffic!).
This Is the smaller map ‘Gundorf’
DLC’s and Add Ons
Omsi 2 has a large variety of DLCs available on Steam, such as new maps and buses. Even though you don’t have a large variety of bus brands and maps when you get the basic Omsi, you can still build your collection if you have a bit of extra money to spend on DLCs, which sort of makes our earlier point about the lack of choice a bit redundant! Our favourite DLC is the Chicago Downtown Add On. You get to drive through the city and suburbs of Chicago with a variety of new buses. As well as being able to buy payware content, you can also download free maps and buses online if you don’t want to buy any official add-ons.
The Chicago Downtown DLC
Is Omsi 2 really that complicated?
When getting started with this sim, the controls will take some getting used to as well as all the buttons have their own function and believe us there are a lot of different functions! However, if you don’t rush and take your time to learn the features, you should grasp it fairly quickly. In our opinion, the most difficult challenge is to understand how to use the machine called the IBIS (Displays the route number and line on the front and back of the bus) and also the ticketing machine when on standstill. If you’re struggling with this, there are plenty of tutorials available.
This tutorial video really helped us with our first journey on Omsi 2:
Even though Omsi has some minor downsides, it’s still a blast to play. Omsi 2 has to be one of the most detailed bus sims when it comes to the buses themselves. Therefore, if you want to operate a bus like a driver would have to do in real life, this is definitely the bus simulator for you. We really hope that an Omsi 3 is released, so that Aerosoft Gbmh has a chance to improve the surroundings in the maps, add more passenger appearances and give a better choice of bus brands. If they do this, then we’d struggle to find any way they could improve the simulator further!