It’s always strange to go back to a game many months on, leaving you frantically trying to work out what the hell is going on and what you were doing when you last stepped away from the experience. This time around it is my training as a bus driver that has come to the fore, previously having seen me through the hazy late summer days of September 2019 with Bus Simulator on Xbox One. Here and now though in 2020 I’ve soon got back up to speed, delivering passengers in a safe and timely manner while printing tickets, giving out change and telling the kids at the back of the bus to stop playing their music so damn loud. But why am I resuming my career? Well, it’s simple – I’ve got some new DLC to try out in the form of the Official Map Extension for Bus Simulator on Xbox One.
If you want to know more about the base version of Bus Simulator on Xbox One, then our full review is ready for perusal. Simply put though, this is a game that is so addictive and able to provide a mildly zen-like experience that most gamers should at least try it. But in terms of the Official Map Extension, what do you get for your money?
The area you find yourself in here has moved down south with the DLC and expanded the Seaside Valley maps. There are miles and miles of road to take your shiny bus through as you try to negotiate the roads ahead. There are two new city/town districts in the form of Kerststadt and Sonnstein too – Kerststadt has a university feel to it and is a busy hub to pick up passengers from, while Sonnstein is more like a sleepy mountain beauty spot of a town; a place where tourists will be flocking to for a break from the busy rat race. Then you have the new location of the airport to explore, which should provide a busy place to pick your passengers up from.
You can start playing around with the Official Map Extension after finishing the 12 main missions of the campaign. Or if you are level 8 and above you can explore the new areas in the sandbox mode to your heart’s content. You also get nine new missions to complete that link all the areas in the expanded Seaside Valley. There are about 20 new bus stops spread around the whole area, so you can really get your teeth into making easy, compliant routes or very complex ones. It’s up to you how you decide to play things.
The areas have a very different feel to them from the main game, especially the more mountainous routes towards the town of Sonnstein. But the roads around here will provide a hugely tough test for your bus driving skills, as it delivers a mix of narrow roads and very tight turns to master. The views will be lovely though – letting you look down across your whole bus empire.
Further to this, the new DLC drops in some additional pieces of dialogue from your bus passengers and I noticed there were some great comments about escaping from work and from those who had noticed a purple cow in the countryside. There are also new stickers and fresh new looks for your buses, and for all the achievement junkies out there you can add to your Gamerscore with new rewards.
So there you have it bus fans, Bus Simulator on Xbox One is going to new heights and with the Official Map Extension you get access to a bunch of new missions, areas, and much fun to be had, either alone or online with others. It’s a pretty neat package if I’m honest, providing some great variety to be had in terms of towns, locations, and tricky routes to master. I have thoroughly enjoyed spending some more time really exploring this new world to the full, and I hope this is the first of more expansions of this size coming in the near future. Because you know, once you get that driving fix it’s very hard to get off again.
Massive thanks to astragon Entertainment for providing access to the Official Map Extension for Bus Simulator on Xbox One. If you wish to pick it up for yourself, the Xbox Store will sort you out with the download.