Xbox Oldies

The Xbox Gaming Network

Taxi Life: A City Driving Simulator – Review

Share the love...

Taxi Life: A Driving Simulator has been on my GPS for a while, I’ve long been a fan of Bus Simulator (and Bus Simulator 21: Next Stop) for the mix of business management and simulation, so after the impressive Chef Life: A Restaurant Simulator, which got 80% in our review, Taxi Life looked like a game capable of providing a slightly simpler experience than the often convolted Bus Simulator, but more than your average simulation, so let’s take a closer look at the impressive City driving simulator.

When you start off, you’ll have a limited choice of character models, with some simple decisions such as name, company name, logo and colours, you’ll then be thrown into a driving school to quickly gain your taxi drivers license. This short introduction puts many games to shame, it’s quick, straightforward and does a great job of explaining everything you’ll need, without overcomplicating matters.
A few minutes later, I was taking my first fare, and while there’s the occasional pop-up to guide you through these early steps, you’ll generally be on the road and making a start to your taxi driving career in no time at all.

There’s small asepects to remember, such as keeping an eye on the fuel, condtiion and cleanliness of your car and then heading to a petrol station, car wash or garage when necessary, and while careless drivers may need to frequent these a little more often, generally, you’ll be able to keep working without too many delays.

After succesfully delivering your customer to their destination, you’ll get a prompt to automatically accept the closest available fare, but you can choose to drive around freely and explore the city as well as discovering special locations such as monuments and graffiti murals which add to your XP.
Each client is rated on difficulty (usually the complexity of the journey, such as the small, inner city roads of the Gothic Quarter) and the length of the journey. With your potential earnings increasing as things get tougher.
There are also plenty of bonus funds and tips on offer for driving well, avoiding any infringements or making your clients journey more comfortable, such as having a polite chat, turning on the air conditioning or maybe opening the window a little. It all combines well, it’s easy to control thanks to a straight forward radial menu and while you will have to take care of your vehicle, repairs, refuelling and even fines for hitting pedestrians aren’t career ending.

Unfortuantely though, it can be a bit of a bumpy ride at times, steering takes some getting used to, the system is designed to turn slowly at first and increase in speed as you turn more, but this sometimes holds as you change direciton, so oversterring and trying to correct yourself will quickly throw the car in the oppositve direction. Generally it’s easily avoided by taking turns in a slower and more controlled manner, but even after many hours of practice, it still caught me out occasionally.
The two other main complaints are more AI related, both issues that have been improved with an early patch, but are still present.
Firstly are other cars, playing the release build, cars would regualrly drive straight into the back of each other, a new update was released yesterday, which seemed to improve this and while it wasn’t happening anywhere near as often, it was still an issue, meaning you’ll occasionally get a knock through no fault of your own, which means uneccessary repair bills.

The other area of frustration was down to pedestrians, especially around busy inner-city streets. Pedestrians would just waltz across the road without a care in the world, after a little practice and perserverance, I found myself able to avoid accidents 99% of the time, suicidal lemmings thankfully seem to stick to the crossings (even if they sometimes use them just a car is approaching at 50kmph) but being aware of your surroundings and sticking to the speed limit not only helps avoid speeding fines, but also avoids more costly accidents too.
Thankfully as mentioned earlier if you do get clipped by another car, or run down a pedestrian fines are reasonable and while better avoided, a few bad accidents are easily rectified with a single taxi fare. The only thing you will lose is a little time to head to the garage when the car does need a few repairs.

Thankfully time is something you have plenty of, as there’s quite a relaxed pace and you can keep working through the day and night or just take a quick rest at any point, to pass part of the continuous day-night cycle. You will of course want to explore the city at different times though, streets are buiser through the day, but you have the hinderance of darkness and less visibility at night, but you’ll also get different kinds of clients and jobs dependent on the time.

Graphically, Taxi Life sits beside titles like Police Simulator and Bus Simulator as offering a realstic city, packed with pedestrians and vehicles. Built on a 1:1 scale of Barcelona, I cant vouch for it being 100% accurate, but it certainly feels like it and when you’re simulating the life of a taxi driver, a city that is (or pretty close to) a full real city is a perfect setting.

Audio is another really strong point, there migth be a few flat lines of dialogue but whether it’s the sounds of the city (which sound impressively different dependent on wether you’re inside the cabin of your car, or using an external view) alongside some chatty customers and mostly realistic ambience from around the city, there’s really not much to compain about.
I’m often a little critical of simulation games being stuck in the last generation and offering below par presentation, but Taxi Life sits beside title slike Construciton Simulator as one of the best presented simulaiton games for many years and manages it at an impressive price point of only £34.99 which equally makes it fantastic value.

The real enjoyment about Taxi Life is it’s accessibility, the business management of buying more cars and organising staff all comes as you progress and it’s introduced semelessly, without the messy overreliance on complicated routes early on (such as Bus SImulator).
It’s so accessible that even my 8 year old was able to sit and work through the tutorial and comfortably start taking passengers around the city with relative ease and only needed a hand with a 3-point-turn which makes Taxi Life easy to recomened to all ages.

Overall, despite a few flaws with AI, which could be fixed long befor emany read this review, Taxi Life: A City Driving Simulator is an impressive package offering a fun, rewarding and accessible take on the life of a taxi driver which comfortably positions itself as one of the more enjoyable and complete simulation games available.

Taxi Life: A City Driving Simulator

Review by Lee Palmer



Taxi Life: A City Driving Simulator is an impressive package offering a fun, rewarding and accessible take on the life of a taxi driver which comfortably positions itself as one of the more enjoyable and complete simulation games available.


About Author