Farming Simulator 15 Review
Farming Simulator 15 is not a widely heralded titled. It is definitely not selling as well as games landing this summer – most notably the Witcher 3 – but that doesn’t mean you should brush it off. If you don’t own a PC, the Xbox One / PS4 version of Farming Simulator 15 is an excellent addition to anyones gaming library.
Lets get something out of the way. This game is better on PC. It will ALWAYS be better on PC, and for one reason: user created mods. Mods in the PC version bring farming to life in ways that the Xbox One and PS4 versions will never realize. But this review is not about the PC version.
What worried me most when I loaded up Farming Simulator 15 on my Xbox One was how the game would control. From playing the version on PC – as well as previous games in the series – I knew the control scheme would be hard to map to a console controller. The developers have knocked this problem out of the park!
Using a button combination that usually begins with pressing the Left or Right Bumper to bring up additional options, it doesn’t take long to get a hang of the farming lifestyle. Yes, be ready for a steep control learning curve, and it will not be for everyone. But for those willing to put in the time, the game provides many rewards.
What I did not like about this title was the notice board that gave you tasks usually under a specific time frame. After the first few hours, I’m not sure I ever returned to the board to see what was posted. I just wanted a Sandbox farming game. And, this title delivers. To be fair, ignoring the notice board is probably not a good idea because it is a portion of the game that should be explored. I wasn’t that I did not want to go back to the board; I was just too busy having fun on my farm.
Outside of John Deere, almost every other popular farming brand is represented in this game. Their are small tractors and big tractors, combines, trucks, and many attachments for various chores around the farm. For those with a farming background or live in a farming community, a lot of this game will be common knowledge. I never was really questing which attachment or tractor I needed, and when. For others, however, there is an intellectual learning curve.
Fortunately, the game does an excellent job showing you the ropes of running the farm. Everything from planting crops to tending to animals comes with a quick yet informative tutorial. Kudos to the developers on making sure the groundwork was laid early in the game to keep players engaged for hours after.
The game launches with two maps: one from Norway and the other from the United States. I personally would have enjoyed a third, randomly generated map where you could select the city and the country. Perhaps we might get something like this in the future. Whether or not that happens, this game is still worth your time.
It is not all good however. There is a fair amount of graphical tearing, although it should be noted that the 2015 version is graphically superior to previous releases. Audibly, everything sounds great and nothing is overtly fake. While this may not be an issue for some, true farmers will appreciate the developers desire for complete authenticity.
Multiplayer is another great feature of this title. Having a friend with you via Xbox Live to help around your farm is an excellent idea. After a while, I began playing exclusively with a fellow reviewer as we found this an even more enjoyable experience. It ever resulted in a few decision related arguments on what we should buy, plant, or harvest.
Farming Simulator 2015 is an excellent simulation game that is definitely targeting a niche audience. However, even if you have a distant interest in this, it might be worth your while to give it a try.