GAME NAME: Farming Simulator 15
DEVELOPER(S): Giants Software
PUBLISHER(S): Focus Home Interactive
PLATFORM(S): Xbox One (Reviewed), iOS, Android, Kindle,Microsoft Windows,Mac OS, PlayStation 3,PlayStation Vita,Xbox 360, Nintendo 3DS,PlayStation 4
GENRE(S): Farming Simulator
RELEASE DATE(S): May 19, 2015
There’s nothing like being outside in nature. Being outdoors with fresh air and beautiful scenery has always been enjoyable for me. I don’t know what drove me to want to try Farming Simulator 15, maybe it was the nature aspect of it or the curiosity of how the title is so popular they made an actual tractor controller for it. My desire to want to try Farming Simulator came to fruition when the code came into GameGravy HQ here, so I jumped on it because it looked great and intrigued me. I didn’t quite know what I was in for, how hard could it to run a farm right?
Looking over a beautiful field with the sun at your back is what you’ll have to look forward to with this title. You start off with a few plots of land and the world is a pretty nice size, which you can go around and explore. The graphics are super clean and crisp with high texture value especially when it comes the fields, grass and trees. When you first enter the world you’re guided in with a nifty tutorial where you are taught the finer points of harvesting, the one thing you’ll spend a majority of your time doing within Farming Simulator 15. The game is very slow at first but eventually opens up. You’ll catch on to the rhythm of cultivating a field, sowing the field, waiting for crops to grow, and waiting even longer for the crops to grow. The game requires a lot of patience. If you have none, then you’re in for trouble but if you value some hard work, then you’ll see the results of your labor. Apparently it’s pretty damn tough to run a farm.
Farming Simulator 15 doesn’t cut any corners; it feels like an accurate simulator to the core. There is almost no automatic simulation in this game. Which means you break your digital back doing all the hard work, all of it. I’m not one to shy away from a challenge though so I put my head down, pulled my pretend overalls up ( I don’t ever condone actually wearing them) and got to work.
The one problem I noticed pretty quickly is that the tutorials only cover the bare bone basics. I definitely was able to plow my field, add seeds to it and harvest it as well as a few other farm hand tasks. Aside from that Farming Simulator 15 assumes the average player has way more than average knowledge of what every piece of farming equipment is and what it’s used for. I was definitely at a loss more than a few times.
It was easy enough in the beginning though. I had a small debt after I bought some entry-level equipment and life was definitely simple. I plowed many a field, up and down. I planted a lot of seeds that also entailed driving back up and down that same field I just plowed. There is a lot of driving. After going through this cycle a few times, I thought I would be banking and unfortunately you work hard for little money, which was disappointing. You can however speed up the game time by 100x+ unless you want to wait long for your crops to grow. This helped a lot but made it so you have to drive a lot more to harvest. See how the game is played? There is a log of work hence simulator. The best feeling was to drop off the yielded crop for cold hard cash. I later discovered that you could hire AI drivers (for a small fee) to help you harvest. It came in handy for all the hard work however, you have to sit and wait for them to finish (face palm). Also, changing the game time only affects the in-game clock it doesn’t affect the AI drivers and how fast they work.
When the AI drivers were done with their work, no one could be bothered to drive the trailer to the drop off point to claim the harvest. I had to go out of my way and do that myself, over and over, and well over again. There were a few occasions were the AI would disappear and I would find my harvester off to the side. I’m not sure if that was a glitch or my error for being lazy and hiring incompetent AI drivers. It was funny until I had to go retrieve the harvester.
While I learned quite a bit about farming I realized more about myself. I found that I play video games to relax, unwind and to be entertained. I’m definitely not the demographic for this title but I did have fun. With that said I could see things from an objective point of view. I’m just not into games that require a lot of hard work, I do that plenty in real life. While I see the definite appeal, this could be used for training Farmers to be, it didn’t hold my interest too long. It was relaxing on occasion harvesting the field while listening to music in the background though so somewhat therapeutic. Farming Simulator 15 will appeal to those whom have a special love in their heart for simulators. If you’re one of those brave souls who I admire, then you should definitely pick up this title.