Farming Simulator 2017 Review
If you don’t think farming would make a great simulation title, than think again. Although very few people would actually want to be a farmer in every day life, there are tons of people who would love to simulate this experience in a video game. The long running Farming Simulator franchise is back with another installment which is bigger and better than previous titles. Giants Software did an excellent job bringing this title to market, and should be commended for making something so unappealing, so appealing.
The Life of a Farmer
There is no dirt under your fingers, no manure on your boots, and no stress around finances. It’s all pretend in Farming Simulator 2017 and that is exactly what everyone wants. Like real farming, Farming Simulator does have a fairly steep learning curve. A short, albeit descriptive, tutorial only scratches the surface of what the game has to offer, and having a great understanding of different tractors, harvesting equipment, and more will be required to really be successful at this title.
But that is what makes this so appealing. Real life farmers have very little margins for errors, and everything small decision could come at a great cost. That is NOT the case in Farming Simulator, especially if you are playing in real time. Experimentation with your farm is the least accurate element when compared to real farming, but a necessary one to make the game as enjoyable as possible.
Get Those Crops in the Ground
Reviewing Farming Simulator 2017 is going to be a tough task. Ultimately, I’d love to write a few short paragraphs and recommend the game, but everyone wants more out of a review than that. Sure, I can – and will – touch on the audio and video, as well as the controls, but actually talking about how the game plays is incredibly difficult without causing lots of confusion.
To sum it up, you plow or cultivate, sow, fertilize, harvest, and sell or store it. There are many ways to get through that progression path, and you’ll have to decide that for yourself. What tractor will you use, and what fertilizer spreader? What will you plant, what will you do with your harvests? Will you sell the bales of hay or save them for when you can afford animals? There are tons of questions to answer, but if you acknowledge and expect a steep learning curve, you will slowly manage.
It’s more than just sowing and harvesting, however. As crops come off the fields, you will have to keep an eye on the local market place, to see who is paying the best price. At times, no one will be paying well so storing it will be ideal. Knowing how the markets change will help you maximize your income. Since money can be difficult to come by early on, it’s important to get every dollar you can.
There is more to decide outside of when to sell. Will you buy your equipment – better if you plan to use it frequently – or rent it for a short job? The title is as much an economy simulation title as a farming simulation title, which only increases its appeal for many players.
For the most part, the game looks fantastic. From what my actual farming friends tell me, the tractor representation is pretty spot on, and very few were able to point out seemingly impossible tractor designs. At times, crops within fields disappear for seconds, and a few areas of the map suffered greatly because of framerate drops. To be honest, I only played Goldcrest Valley, so I can only speak to the visuals in this environment. Overall, top notch stuff with a few missteps here and there.
The game also sounds great, which creates a higher sense of realism within the player. You’ll hear different noises as you move across different types of terrains with your vehicles, and the tractors sound authentic and real when powered up. It really is impressive to see how much work went into creating a realistic farming experience on consoles and PC. The amount of work necessary to make everything sound right must have taken years. You can easily see how the developers have built off the previous releases.
When something doesn’t seem real…
Turn to mods when something doesn’t seem real. One of the great bonuses to Farming Simulator 2017 is the addition of mods. Not only can new tractors and toys be added to the game, but more realistic features as well. Most notably is a modification that will turn on crop destruction, making the tractor you choose for specific fields all that much more important. Pick the wrong type of tractor, or the wrong wheel width, and you could end up destroying a large portion of your crop.
Other mods also make the game more enjoyable, including the ability to place new ‘decorative’ items around the farm. As time goes on, and more mods are created, expect things as grandiose as new maps!
It’s a hard game to review, not because it is bad, but because writing about it just doesn’t do justice. This is something you really need to experience to enjoy. It can be therapeutic as well, and although you might be sitting on your couch with kids screaming around you, somehow you feel like you are outside, away from the world, and in your own happy place. This game has that power, and deserves to be played.
Are you ready to rev up that tractor? We cannot recommend Farming Simulator 2017 enough, and give it a resounding 9.0/10!