A coach simulator at last for PC, Fernbus Coach Simulator by TML studios who produced the excellent World of Subways series. There was always talk of a coach simulator for PC by the makers of Euro Truck Simulator 2 but that project seemed to have come to a standstill.
With no competition about now, Aerosoft and TML have released the only PC Coach Simulation to our knowledge on the market today. However, is it any good? Read on and find out.
The Gaming Rig used
I7-4790k (4GHZ) 8MB Cache
Asus Z97-Pro Gamer ATX Motherboard
32GB Kingston Hyper-X Fury Dual DDR3 1600MHZ
2 x NVidia GeForce GTX 980 SLI
1TB Kingston SSD
On our first attempt to load the game, we were encountered with a Fatal Error message! Not good, the error does not really give much help on what the problem could be, however with the experience of out reviewers in IT we established that this was probably an issue with one of the other joysticks plugged into our system, It turned out that this games has an issue if the CH Fighter stick usb is connected. If you have a CH product and also have CH Control Manager you can simply switch off the joystick from the CH control Panel if you don’t want to unplug it and this should allow Fernbus to launch. Poor error message it can lead a lot of people to get frustrated if they do not have a lot of IT know how as it is very misleading. Aerosoft/TM take note you need to fix this error message!
Menu and Options
Ok once passed that first hurdle the game loads up pretty quick, and the menu interface is nicely simplistic.
At first release there were lots of issues with assigning wheel controls and controls in general , this seems to have been fixed now and adding a key for acceleration for example or steering using a wheel is nice and easy , select the action you want to change , click Add a Key and simply press the controller you want. Once you are happy with the selections don’t forget to click Accept otherwise if you just press esc or leave the menu with clicking the Accept button, your changes won’t be saved!
Career mode and Free Roaming
Similar to Bus Simulator 2016 and to a certain extent OMSI 2 there is a career mode where you can earn extra XP and points, after your journeys you are judged based on how you drove on a number of different categories. For example, if you incurred a speeding ticket this will subtract points from your overall score. It’s a great touch to have a career mode which makes a user come back again for another game. The problem with a lot of flight simulators on the market for example is that they have no built-in career mode. A plus point from us on including this in Fernbus Simulator.
Modes Arcade and realistic
You can choose between 2 modes and also customise your own modes, the arcade mode has options set for just pick up and play whilst the realistic options has additional tasks for the driver to do such as open luggage doors, engine start up etc. Customised mode allows you to set your own options
There is an option of 2 different coaches you can drive these are
You can create your own number plate as well as also choose from 2 skins for your coach at the moment, hopefully more will follow these are:
One you have selected you coach type of game and customised your coach you are ready to start
If you have selected career mode you will start at the depot, you then drive to the bus station to pick up your first passengers.
Once you pull up at the station you get off the coach, open the doors and luggage compartments and then check the passenger tickets. Since the first release of Fernbus I noticed a few things have changed, people now speak different languages when you check their ticket, I heard English , German and Italian, some passengers haven’t got valid tickets so they can’t get on, others wait for the next coach and some even ask you where they can put their luggage if you haven’t opened the baggage compartment! Good bit of detail we think
Ok once you passengers have boarded and luggage on board you can set off, you follow the GPS in the bottom tight corner to your next stop or destination.
Graphics are okay but not out of this world, there seems to be no people walking the streets and we noticed and a busy station all you see of your passengers and when you arrive at your destination stations sometimes its deserted!
Textures on the roads are too simple and flat, no uneven road surfaces all plain flat, shops on store fronts are quite simply terrible! It’s just an image pasted on a polygon with a picture of people shopping. That needs more work.
On the roads cars just appear in front of you and at times the brightness of the road suddenly changes, some cars have no number plates too, weird considering they are driving on a motorway.
Force feedback is terrible and we ended turning ours off, feedback was felt when there was nothing on the round and for some reason turning a corner gave feedback when there were no bumps in the rode. This needs a lot more work.
TRACKIR support missing and this makes it so difficult to drive a large coach when you must use keys to look left and right, this is really a must to include this in a driving game!
The positives are that the game is great fun, the cockpit buttons work and when you switch on the passenger lights a window appears showing the lights coming on, likewise when you roll your window down in the cabin you see an inset window appearing showing the window being opened.
You can walk around too, around the game world and the coach so you can walk up and down the aisle in the coach. This is accomplished by using the WASD keys to move around.
Control allocation is much improved since initial release and you can easily assign controls to your wheel and no more strange behaviour when using a wheel.
Motorway driving is good bur as mentioned earlier cars appear out of nowhere on the road but a good touch is that you see police cars stopping vehicles!
The police also ask you to stop but in our review we saw a sign about police checks but when we stopped couldn’t see what to do next, however on stopping a menu appeared and police checks were made and we were allowed to carry on.
On arriving at our destination passengers alighted and waited for their luggage. We opened the luggage compartment and then they disappeared into thin air! Another issue was that all passengers had the same bag!
Overall we feel the game is great fun but there are so many issues which need fixing especially force feedback, inclusion of tracker, stop vehicles appearing from nowhere and sort out those terrible shop from textures!
Also, the road could do with a bit more wear and tear and the coach too needs to have some signs of it being used as it currently looks brand new and untouched!
A further issue is that when you have an accident it does not show at all on the coach.
To summarise, this simulator is promising and needs fixing, it’s the only real coach simulator out there for PC now so it has no competition.
TML made a great job of world of subways lets hope hey polish this promising sim out and make it as good as their world of subways series
As it stands we give this a score of 6.5/10