HomeReviews3/5 ReviewTaxi Life: A City Driving Simulator Review

Taxi Life: A City Driving Simulator Review

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I am not the resident TheXboxHub simulator reviewer – Gareth Brierley is usually the one that takes that for the team. But with Taxi Life: A City Driving Simulator being set solely in Barcelona, it piqued my interest; what with it being a city I have visited on numerous occasions. 

But it occurred to me when driving down the side of Las Ramblas that I wasn’t aware there was a road even there. In fact, every time I had been, I had walked pretty much everywhere – down Las Ramblas, up to the Olympic Stadium and across to Sagrada Familia and Camp Nou. So now was my chance to see these sites by car, or at least that was the plan. However, many of these iconic locations are somewhat missing from the actual area replicated in Taxi Life.

Taxi Life A City Driving Simulator Review 3
The sights and sounds of Barcelona

With a name like Taxi Life: A City Driving Simulator, you shouldn’t need me to tell you what this game is all about. And if you hadn’t gathered from the first paragraph, the city in question is Barcelona. Around 286 miles of road have been recreated in Taxi Life, and whilst it is missing some big tourist attractions, it still represents a large portion of drivable areas.

As with any simulation game though, you aren’t simply dumped onto the streets with no training. A brief tutorial will show you the ropes: the view from the driver’s seat, lights, indicators, starting the car. All the standard fare, as well as actually getting to grips with the steering in Taxi Life. It feels a tad slippy if that makes sense. What I mean is, I imagine the turning circle on the cars is minute. If doing donuts for passengers is your thing.

Then once out on the streets it’s simply a case of picking a passenger from the map and heading to your destination to pick them up. Once highlighted on the map, you will be given a few details about the passenger, difficulty of the drive and estimated fare. What it doesn’t tell you is where their destination is. I get it, but those looking to maximise their fares through minimal distance may find this a bit tricky.

Money can be earned fairly quickly, and these taxi users aren’t afraid to pay through the nose for relatively short fares. In my first in-game 24 hours, I had accrued enough money to buy two additional cars and hire drivers to put those to work. There is no punishment either for working a 24 hour shift; fatigue is not a factor in Taxi Life, where I would have expected it to be. In fact, I’d go as far as to say you are actually punished for deciding to take a rest, which perhaps sounds more like being a 21st century taxi driver than we should feel comfortable with. 

Taxi Life A City Driving Simulator Review 2
Does the work pick up at night?

If you decide to take a rest, then those under your employment are under no obligation to work and earn money for you. So don’t go thinking you can doze off and let someone else do the hard work for you.

As well as being able to afford new wheels, maintaining your current one is paramount too. Expect to be paying out frequently for petrol, electric charge, car washes and damage repair. Yes, that’s right – you’ll be paying out frequently for the last one too, as the AI is terrible in Taxi Life.

I’ve lost count of how many times I have been ploughed into from the back, and it is always me that has to foot that bill. Traffic lights and junctions are a constant cause of frustration where there are zebra crossings too. These crossings act like vortexes, sucking up any pedestrian, the closer that you get. You can even see them struggling to walk in the opposite direction only to be sucked in, forced into crossing the road. But once on the other side, the vortex doesn’t release them. Often as I have been crashed into, I have been left helpless at a zebra crossing, watching the same NPCs cross backwards and forwards over the same zebra crossing. The punishment for hitting a pedestrian is steep, but sometimes the punishment is the only way out of this situation.

There is no way this can be avoided either; you can’t go travelling down certain roads for instance. And that’s because there are literally thousands of zebra crossings. Some backstreets can have upwards of ten crossings in quick succession, making it almost impossible to avoid a fine.

When not running over pedestrians (you can’t physically hit them, they just phase through the car if struck) you earn EXP for driving well and completing jobs. This is the only method of progression in Taxi Life, alongside hiring other drivers. The entire map is open to you from the beginning with nothing gated away acting as a goal to achieve. There are points of interest to tick off too, but at times, Taxi Life: A City Driving Simulator feels like you are just driving around the streets with nothing to achieve. Once you have a team of drivers working for you, it feels like you have achieved all the game has to offer. Something you can do in less than an hour.

Taxi Life A City Driving Simulator Review 1
Taxi Life can look very pretty

But you should stick around, because the day to night transition in Taxi Life is very pretty indeed. The haze of the late afternoon sun kicks in around 5pm each day, with the night hours officially hitting at 9pm. I know this because the glare of every street light being suddenly switched on at 9pm is alarming to say the least.

Taxi Life: A City Driving Simulator offers a unique experience, giving players the chance to go driving around the streets of Barcelona. However, it is more frustrating than fun. A lack of any meaningful progression is one thing, but when you are hit with fine after fine, all thanks to dodgy AI, then it quickly becomes tiresome. Honestly, there are only so many shunts in the back you can take before you end up being fed up.

What can you do about it? Nothing, because you’re stuck in traffic again whilst the same two people cross at a zebra crossing over and over again. But hey, at least your other staff are working at the same time. Just don’t even think of taking a break.

SUMMARY

Pros:
  • Very pretty day/night transition
  • A large part of Barcelona represented
Cons:
  • Still, missing a few major attractions
  • Very dodgy AI
  • No real method of progression
Info:
  • Massive thanks for the free copy of the game, Nacon
  • Formats - Xbox Series X|S (review), PS5, PC
  • Release date and price - 7 March 2024 | £34.99
Richard Dobson
Richard Dobson
Avid gamer since the days of Sonic the Hedgehog 2. Grew up with the PS1 and PS2 but changed allegiances in 2007 with the release of Halo 3.

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Andrea
Andrea
2 days ago

Why can you not use the G920 on taxi life on xbox? Do you know. I have just paid 34.00 for nothing. Can only use controller. The who point i bought this was to use the wheel. Do we have any idea when this will work? Kind Regards

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<b>Pros:</b> <ul> <li>Very pretty day/night transition</li> <li>A large part of Barcelona represented</li> </ul> <b>Cons:</b> <ul> <li>Still, missing a few major attractions</li> <li>Very dodgy AI</li> <li>No real method of progression</li> </ul> <b>Info:</b> <ul> <li>Massive thanks for the free copy of the game, Nacon</li> <li>Formats - Xbox Series X|S (review), PS5, PC <li>Release date and price - 7 March 2024 | £34.99</li> </ul>Taxi Life: A City Driving Simulator Review
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