We mainly know Aerosoft from their sim titles, but Autobahn Police Simulator 3 is a game that promises to blend simulation with a narrative-driven campaign and arcade-like chase sequences. Here’s a look at the PlayStation 5 version.
We never played the previous two Autobahn Police Simulators, but when you think “Autobahn” people usually think of highways where you can drive at really high speeds, which potentially makes for some exciting police scenarios. Or, maybe it makes you think of lots of construction and “Stau”, which we learned is the German word for “traffic jam”. Either way, people have associations with the word, and it’s enough to make us interested in seeing what this franchise has to offer.
First appearances can be deceiving, but in the case of Autobahn Police Simulator 3 we were surprised we were playing the native PS5 version when we got to the character select option. It lets you pick between male and female characters, but both options just look very doll-like, not too unlike PS3-era character models. Having recently played The Quarry and remembering PS4-era games like RDR 2, the visuals are far from impressive here.
What’s nice is that the characters are fully voiced though, which does add personality to the campaign – even though we couldn’t find a way to switch their voices over to a German dub for added authenticity. But while the audiovisual layer of the game is just a bit ‘last gen’, the technical performance wasn’t acceptable even two generations ago.
Even though Autobahn Police Simulator 3 looks far from the next Need for Speed (when driving) or GTA (on foot), the framerates are oddly jerky when playing on a PlayStation 5. We also had issues with non-responsive controls and even full-on crashes, so it’s needless to say that this one needed a bit more time in the oven. And no, just to be sure, when we say crashes we’re not talking about head-on collisions here.
What’s nice about Autobahn Police Simulator 3 is that it actually gives you a good deal of variety in terms of the tasks of a “Polizei officer”, and it’s not just trying to be today’s version of Chase H.Q, the arcade classic. If you look past the technical issues, there’s an interesting slice of life simulation here, highlighting tasks you don’t normally think of right away – some of which involve cattle on the road!
It’s hard to ignore the issues we’ve mentioned though, because they’re so interwoven with the gameplay. The driving and physics model feels very primitive, with odd collisions and cars that bounce around like they’re made of rubber. As interesting as the life of an Autobahn Police member may seen, the unpolished gameplay here doesn’t do the job any favors.