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Taxi Life: A City Driving Simulator Review

Taxi Life: A City Driving Simulator Review

Taxi Life: A City Driving Simulator is a game that’s about, well, driving. Okay, maybe a little bit more than that, but that’s the core of the game. It takes place in the city of Barcelona, Spain and combines two genres: driving simulators and tycoons. 

There isn’t much of a story to the game: you are a taxi driver who’s trying to make a living in Barcelona. Your goal is, eventually, to have your own taxi agency and not have to work yourself for money. This lack of a story does hurt the game a little bit, but it isn’t too large of an issue for an experience like this. There isn’t much of a setting to Taxi Life, too, so it isn’t very interesting in this regard.

The main point of the game is the gameplay itself: you drive people around the city, make money, and with that money, you can buy better cars, hire drivers to work for you, and change the look and functionality of your vehicle. Unfortunately, though, that’s all there is to do with the money you receive. There’s no real sense of progression, and it gets pretty boring fast as there are no rewards for doing well — you can’t even get out of the taxi at all. There are some systems in place to keep you from just mindlessly driving and getting into accidents all the time: if police officers are nearby and you break any driving laws, they’ll fine you; if you hit anyone, you have to restart the last few minutes; and if you drive irresponsibly, the person you are driving will just give up and get off the ride. These don’t make the game any more fun, though, and the repetitiveness issue still persists.

While not exactly the developer’s fault, there are a lot of problems with how the map is built, mainly that seeing the traffic lights when reaching an intersection is impossible. They are right above where your car is, and there isn’t one across. As the map is a 1:1 model of Barcelona, it’s more of a problem with how the city itself is designed, but the developers could have changed a little bit to make driving easier in Taxi Life. The AI is also really bad, and civilians might just walk back and forth on a crosswalk, not letting you ever drive.

While not a particularly important aspect of this sort of game, the graphic quality was a bit of a bother. It’s not very bad, but noticeably unappealing, and everything looks really weird. The animations are also an issue — they don’t look natural at all and ruin any immersion in the game. The optimisation is also pretty bad, and for a game that looks like this, there isn’t a good explanation for that. My mid-range computer should be more than capable of running this at least on medium settings, if not high, but unless I played on low, there were stutters and FPS drops.

Sometimes, the person you’re driving might start a conversation with you, which can be pretty interesting. It might be about Spain’s history, nature, or anything intriguing for a tourist visiting Barcelona. These conversations have voice acting, and while it’s not perfect in how it sounds, that’s much better than making me read through conversations with people while driving in a busy city. There are also multiple music options to listen to when playing, as there are a few different radio stations you could listen to while driving, and sometimes, the people in your car might actually ask you to turn on the radio.

There are some control issues in Taxi Life, which make turning a real pain. Sometimes, the car turns too much, and sometimes not enough, with the same amount of force put on the controller joystick. While it might be better with a gaming wheel, these are not common, and from what I understand, there are a lot of those unsupported in the game. Playing with a keyboard is almost impossible, as everything will be at 100% force all the time, so the game really isn’t balanced for that.

Overall, Taxi Life: A City Driving Simulator isn’t a very good game: from gameplay getting stale fast to annoying control issues, it’s hard to find something really worthwhile about the game. After the first few hours, you will probably find yourself bored or frustrated, and sometimes confused about why Barcelona is built like that.

4.00/10 4

Taxi Life: A City Driving Simulator (Reviewed on Windows)

Minor enjoyable interactions, but on the whole is underwhelming.

Taxi LIfe: A City Driving Simulator is a really good idea for a game ruined by a lack of goals, bad area design, optimisation issues, and awful controls.

This game was supplied by the publisher or relevant PR company for the purposes of review
Ariel Chloe Mann

Ariel Chloe Mann

Staff Writer

Plays too much Counter-Strike 2, unless you count her alternate account then hardly any

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