Taxi Life: A City Driving Simulator (PC)

Developed by SIMTERACT Taxi Life is a new city driving sim, from the same developers as Train Life – A Railway Simulator. Set in Barcelona Taxi Life sees you run your own taxi firm throughout the city of Barcelona. Let’s have a look at this unique sim and see how it … fares!

Taxi Life sees you running your own Taxi firm in a living and breathing Barcelona, you start with just your lonesome taking small fares and setting about on your trips, upon creating your characters name and firm title you’re given a basic vehicle and off you trot.

Barcelona has been recreated to a respect, where a good amount of the cities landscapes have been faithfully recreated. Locations such as Barceloneta Market, the Palace of the Parliament of Catalonia, and even The Fish, have all been lovingly recreated. We’ve over 290 miles of road recreated here to somewhat decent amount of detail, with loads of roads and side streets all here and all looking good to a mostly realistic degree. The roads are full of other cars and there’s always hustle and bustle on the side streets with NPC’s knocking about.

We also have a good amount of laws, rules and speed cameras here too, to give a very authentic feel too. Rules need to be followed when you’ve passengers in your cars, this will be reflected in a patience system, some passengers will expect conversation from you, will critique your driving if you’re not doing too well, or will even get you to wipe the windows because there’s a bug on them. Depending on the difficulty of the passenger you pick up will depend on how awkward or strict they can be too.

Luckily from what I’ve played of Taxi Life, much like real life Barcelona looks sunny all the time, for the amount of time I played there was a lack of weather variety, even a bit of cloud would have been nice, or the occasional storm. You car does have windscreen wipers and different settings of lights but they feel very under utilised in the game, which is a shame as I wouldn’t have minded driving through a wet night in Barcelona going past loads of illuminated buildings.

With this being a taxi sim, the entirety of the game is spent inside your taxi, because of this you have a few bits you’ll need to keep an eye on, mainly your petrol/charge amount if you’re in an electric vehicle, locations of garages and petrol stations will need to be in the back of your mind as you go through. You’ll also be able to damage your taxi too, where again a garage can remedy any of your issues at your own cost. Luckily after a few more rides you’ll have covered the expenses and then some due to the huge amount of money some customers want to pay you for your services.

One of my main gripes is how Taxi Life controls, it can sometimes feel a little sluggish, maybe a bit of a feel of turning a shopping cart, however I feel the deeper you get on and unlock and upgrade the rest of the cars and upgrades this should subset a little bit. There’s only controller support so far on consoles, but PC does have some wheel compatibility if you want to go all in with a wheel set up.

Whilst on the surface we have a good entry level sim game here, with some good top level detail, a good array of cars available with each car having upgrades available, and some cars having exclusive access to customers with certain demands, such as 4 passengers, big trunks, or even having an electric car, it pays off to make sure you buy all the cars at your service. On the flip side of this, with more than 1 car being needed for certain tasks, you can also hire more drivers. This usually tasks you with hiring some additional staff with a set of different stats, whether they might be a bit rude, or might speed a little too much. However the further you get on, the better hires you have at your disposal. There’s a good level of depth here to keep you going a good while.

The main issue with Taxi Life is the AI, it’s absolutely all over the place, NPC drivers are hugely inconsistent in following the rules, they’ll happily crash into you at red lights, or get stuck in no traffic at all, it at times can be a nightmare. The bystanders also suffer from this horrible AI, they’ll happily walk into the road via the crossing at any time without looking, just as bad is they’ll half cross the road and then walk back, then walk back across, and back and forth. It can get a bit annoying, but your passenger won’t mind about this luckily. Nor will they mind as much if you somehow flip your car over (this was really difficult to do too).

As well as the issue with the AI, collision detection can be extremely iffy too, where knocking into a curb can cause you quite a bit issue, the aforementioned flipping of the car was due to a slight knock on a curb also. There was a major parade going on in the middle of the city at one point, but all the people involved had 0 collision detection, and I was allowed to drive right through the whole lot of them, instead of some barriers to stop me getting into the area.

I shouldn’t really have enjoyed Taxi Life as much as I did, there’s a lot of issues that’ll need to be addressed and with the lack of support Railway Life got post release it doesn’t bode well for Taxi Life. However it’s got this endearing charm about it, I didn’t stop playing it for good periods of time which for a sim game is what you want. Those casual sim fans might get some good time out of this, those who want a much deeper and realistic experience might struggle with the issues and lack of depth something like Farming Simulator has.



Some niggling bugs and a lack of depth set this cosy sim back a bit

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