Title: Farming Simulator 15
Platform: PC / Mac / PS3 / PS4 / Xbox 360 / Xbox One (Reviewed)
Developer: Giants Software
Publisher: Focus Home Interactive
Release date: Out Now
Family Focus: Click here for more information.
Sit down folks, and let me tell you a little story that I was told back in my days of working in games retail…
It was a busy Saturday’s afternoon (in a different store to the one that I worked in) and many people were coming in to pick up a game or two or even check out the new games that were coming soon. One chap was clocked by the store colleagues as a bus driver; The uniform was a big giveaway. This gentleman walked straight to the section of the store where all the PC back-catalogue games were kept. Casually browsing, he eventually made a decision to purchase one game in particular.
What was that game, I hear you ask?
Bus Driver Simulator. Yep…
Hearing that story made me think for a while on who is the target market for Simulator games. Is it the group of those who already work in the trade, like our friend the Bus Driver? Or is it those who are tied down in an office job and want to experience the thrill of another job? Or, is it purely for those who wanna mess around with a chunk of big machinery and tear stuff up in a farming playground?
If you’re in the latter, then Farming Simulator 15 might not be for you. Unless you are blessed with enjoying the mods on the PC version of course.
In this game, you are rigidly tasked with what farmers do: cultivate resources that you can sell for cash in order to get equipment to cultivate more resources. Emphasis there is on the word “rigidly”. Tomfoolery of any sort isn’t permitted in the console version that I played. You could (at a stretch) go for a leisurely drive in your tractor, although the vehicles are realistically reduced in their speed capabilities. ~30mph is roughly the limit with tractors, so no tearing up tarmac in those beasts sadly.
I also say rigidly, because nothing can be destroyed in the game. Once, I thought I’d take a shortcut by driving through a small fence en route to delivering some grain that’s ready to be sold. Sadly, that fence appeared to be made of a much stronger material than I anticipated, rendering the seemingly wooden obstacle completely indestructible. The fence managed to stop a heavy tractor dead in its tracks. Well then…
So what is there to enjoy in Farming Simulator 15? Well, there is the incentive to earn more cash in order to get bigger vehicles and open up more options of cultivation. I suppose that’s ok, but the amount of hand-holding in this game is minimal beyond the initial tutorial you receive. A lack of hand-holding can be fine in places, but with the amount of things that you need to know how operate efficiently, sometimes it makes even the simple task of figuring what to do incredibly intimidating to those unfamiliar in the ways of the farm. In some cases, being a bit generous in your spending could leave you in a potential pit-hole if you’re not careful.
In situations like those, you might want to revert back to an earlier save, so long as you remembered to save your progress manually. Yep, no auto-saves here folks. Be wary of that little niggle should you decide to jump in with this.
As you’ve probably guessed, when it comes to Simulator games, I’m the kind of person that likes to mess around. Give me a flight-sim game and I’ll do loops and unstable turns that would destroy a normal aircraft. It’s breaking from the rules of reality which makes this genre of games fun. With Farming Simulator 15, I’m not really seeing that aspect of fun at all. If figuring out the correct method to efficiently harvest crops sounds appealing, then awesome! I can recommend Farming Simulator 15 to you. Sadly though, it wasn’t for me.
What Rocks! :)
- Wide range of vehicles to choose from.
- Lots of options for cultivation
What Sucks :(
- To me, it just wasn’t fun. Get the PC version for mods, then you can mess around.
- Destructible objects are not a thing. A tractor failing to go over a fence broke the immersion.
- No background music at all. In the day-job I like to work to music; I’d therefore hate to be playing a game in silence!
Farming Simulator is rated PEGI 3. There’s nothing at all threatening about the game and it may even give the kiddies a glimpse into what the working life of a farmer is. I guess that’s what can make this game appealing, but don’t expect a barrel of laughs over it with the weans.