Recently we covered the news about the console port of Gas Station Simulator and the game has finally launched on all console platforms. For the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S versions it is currently running via those systems’ backward compatibility features. The PlayStation listing does state that to be able to play Gas Station Simulator on a PlayStation 5, “your system may need to be updated to the latest system software”. Also, some PlayStation 4 features may not be available see here for more information. The game is being played with Xbox Series X/S backward compatibility for the purposes of this review.
With this being a simulator it’s not a game you’re picking up for a strong storytelling experience or to play with or against friends. The story side of this is you’re renovating and running a gas station and trying to make a profit whilst doing so with an added family interest. It’s a location that has family connections as you find out in-game. What it does offer is well-designed and very fun to play. It is also rather simple to learn and play. Another benefit I discovered while playing this game is that it is really relaxing to play.
Gas Station Simulator And What To Expect
We have to at the start of the game get power to our station. Then we have to go and get things cleaned up as our new business needs to be renovated and expanded. Before too long you’ll be cleaning more regularly. After all your Gas Station is located in a desert. You are meant to be open 24/7 but you can close up to perform renovations, take delivery of stock and fuel and get rid of rubbish. Though it’s recommended you don’t stay closed for too long which you’ll find out very early on. Your station is yours but it doesn’t feel completely yours. When you get introduced to your Uncle you’ll discover you want to be turning profits quickly. He provides help via hints and advice or financially. Though get any loans dealt with fast. You don’t have to micromanage everything either if dealing with stock supplies isn’t totally your thing. The in-store PC lets you do all this and navigation is fairly straightforward.
The game looks pretty detailed considering the location you have. It really makes you feel you’re in the desert with the lighting, textures, and particle effects. I did encounter the odd glitch when putting rubbish in skips such as planks slightly going through the side of the skip. Yes it shouldn’t happen but it’s not easy to recreate and doesn’t harm the gameplay. I’ve also had delivery trucks end upside down and partially under the ground. Character models aren’t anything special. However, this isn’t unusual in simulation games. So let’s break the game down though we won’t be discussing multiplayer as it’s single-player only.
The game is really easy to pick up and play. And you’re able to put a shop in the station it adds more revenue to your station. Though selling snacks and drinks means you have to play a small mini-game. I found it really frustrating to pick up and scan items and items scanned don’t give a price. When customers come to fill up their cars, that mini-game is much more user friendly. You also get mini-games for entertainment such as racing a small buggy around the station. The jump feature on this was not the most fun to control with not the best physics at play. You even have a lock pick feature similar to various RPGs. Switching the various tools is fairly straightforward. Though throwing rubbish into the skip can be straightforward or frustrating as it can literally fall through the skip at times.
Not really a lot going on, we have various sound effects from car horns to environmental sounds. So nothing groundbreaking at all, it’s best described as functional but effective. The background music plays a basic but effective score. Basically, it does what it needs to and that’s it.
Not a strong area for the game, but it’s also not a key area. The story in this adds a slightly different perspective. You end up getting help from your Uncle who turns out to be a character you don’t want to get on the wrong side of. It adds some incentive to your task of getting this station back to its best. However the sooner the better as the game presents to you. It doesn’t compete with games like The Forgotten City, Kingdom Come Deliverance, or Mafia in terms of story strength. However, you should not anticipate award-winning writing from stories in a simulator.
It’s a fun game and addictive and relaxing as well. It plays very well if you discount the minor glitches. The two mini-games mentioned however don’t work brilliantly on a console. For example the scanning items after maybe a dozen efforts with half a dozen items per customer roughly, I successfully scanned a couple of items. It could use a different setup on consoles as at present it’s one of the game’s negative aspects. Overall, you can see why it’s been a success on Steam, and at the time of writing the UK-based Xbox customer reviews on the store are fairly positive. I do recommend it if you’re a fan of the genre and it’s reasonably priced at £14.99/$19.99.