Farming Simulator Review
Who wants to be a farmer? Gamers, apparently.
One can ponder as to why these games are so popular ‘till the cows come home, but GIANTS Software’s Farming Simulator series of games has been the country life simulator du jour on PCs for some time now. Now that this series has made the jump to the PS3 and 360, is a trip to the countryside in order?
Never heard of Farming Simulator? Not to worry — with a title like “Farming Simulator,” it’s easy to quickly become acclimated. Taking the role of a local farmer with their own farm (and a mountain of debt, depending on your difficulty setting), it’s your job to manage everything and handle any and all tasks that may come your way.
Farming Simulator is a carefree sort of game, one where you can turn your brain off and get absorbed into the tasks that needed to be done. The thought of building an empire and becoming the ultimate farmer is quite the appealing one, and it also offers up an endgame (and a way to fail) for those looking for a little more structure. Collectible horseshoes also appease the inner hoarder in all of us, encouraging players to scour the land for achievements and Trophies. It’s superfluous (and optional), but still welcome nonetheless.
Of course, managing a farm isn’t a straightforward affair. Farming Simulator requires the player to use a number of different pieces of machinery each and every day. Each requires different combination of button combos, but helpful menus make things second nature after a while. The help menu does lag for two to three seconds (on the PS3 version), but mastery comes through repetition. Waypoints make it easy to find the next objective, as does a fast transport system from machine to machine. Everything is in place to make your farming experience a streamlined one, even if there are enough button inputs to rival a fighting game.
However, not everything in Farming Simulator is polished to a shiny sheen. Keeping your speed down while farming is a given, but running into a tree or other object brings things to a screeching halt, requiring upwards of 10 seconds to recover. In addition, the collision detection is not ideal, making it downright infuriating to line up the proper objects to achieve your objective. A little more time in the cooker could have alleviated these problems, but these can also be remedied with a heaping helping of patience.
Farming Simulator is definitely not for everybody, but you no doubt already knew that. Those looking for a methodical, low-key experience will be right at home in Farming Simulator’s world, which is just a ringing endorsement as any. Farming Simulator knows full well what its target market is, but it gets the job done.