The Farming Simulator franchise has been around for a while now and in doing so proves that there is a market for simulated farming. Who knows, with all the millions of dollars of equipment replicated in the game maybe it is real farmers just wanting to play with the fancy tools of their trade.
As a pretend farmer I was so awesome with this expensive equipment, even managing to fell a tree right over a busy road. This could be a sign to introduce Traffic Management and Health & Safety into the next release…
The Good – Toys! Lots of big flash farm equipment to play around with and admire. Of course it is all real world equipment so to a suburban guy like me much of the high end equipment came with a genuine ‘wow’ moment as I realised that is actually how it is done out on the farm these days. And all this machinery is very nicely represented with some beautiful vehicle models, if somewhat clean for a working farm.
The Bad – Unfortunately the control of these machines varies between touchy and down right painful. I play with the y-axis inverted so changed to this in the settings. This made my time on foot easier but really messed with the vehicle cameras. It also doesn’t help that a lot of the equipment is so complex that it doesn’t translate to a single controller nicely at all.
The Ugly – Now they say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so this ‘ugly’ will be a very subjective one. But the pace of the game is slow, real slow. I drove 15 minutes just to dump some grain, I guess that is the simulation though. Also the variety is fairly limited. Ploughing, sowing, and harvesting the same paddock requires the same tactics, a different tool, but the same method. It’s a bit like watching grass grow…
Great machines in a mundane environment. In the age of fast action games it is nice to have something slower paced but I have to admit I did try and drive my tractor through fences and the odd building, more than once.