If a Double-decker Omnibus Crashes Into Us…
Omnibus is impossible to truly experience without looking into the context. Advertised as an original launch title for the Atari Jaguar and eventually production costs shut down the project. Now, in 2016, gigantic game developer Buddy Cops (cough…two guys) have resurrected the project for PC so that the long wait will be over. Let’s hope it turns out better than Duke Nukem Forever, am I right? Boasting glorious PSone style graphics and a physics engine that would make God weep, Omnibus is a game with very little to prove outside of its own nonsense.
Logic would tell you in driving games you push a button for gas and another for brake. The folks (dudes) at Buddy Cops decided it would be more fun to neglect that all together. Once the level starts, the bus starts and it doesn’t move slow. I would say it’s hard to pin down what Omnibus is about but the basics of the game are smash into stuff or avoid smashing into stuff. This seems pretty simple except everything in the fucking game is out to get you and your arch nemesis are gigantic bus-sized pinball bumpers. Fly off the map? Done. Land on your back like a turtle? Done. The longer you drive around a map the faster the bus goes so it just keeps getting more and more difficult.
As it is, the story mode is one different objective after another. Sometimes you have to smash into some coffins without falling off the map, other times you have to plant corn and harvest it on the moon. Everything is more or less destructible, if destructible is the best word to describe what the objects in Omnibus are made of. The buildings and other structures are about as thick as a Parappa the Rapper characters and you can cruise right through them without much trouble. As you cruise along to each new world you’ll earn new buses with different characteristics. There was a double-decker bus that’s great for flipping over the second you try to turn it. Another bus had a gravity drive on it to keep you flying through space. The bosses are a real treat after multitudes of frustrating flying off the map. For the most part your objective is smash into gigantic boss until it dies.
The short nature of the levels and stupid subject matter this covers will hit a sweet spot with a certain audience. Omnibus is good for a laugh and a nice return to games that care very little about realism or shooting. There are a couple other modes in its current state. A free mode where you can do mad tricks flipping and tossing your bus wherever you’d like. The last mode is a versus splitscreen which currently only has a survival mode. Drive around and try to smash your rival bus driver into oblivion.
There’s no official release date for Omnibus yet, but the authorities at Buddy Cops note it will be sometime in Spring 2016 so you won’t have to wait much longer with any luck. Crack yourself a Crystal Pepsi and see what the full release has in store.