I’ve somehow managed to get myself a reputation on ThisIsXbox – I’m the go to guy for the Farming Simulator titles as soon as review code comes in it’s sent my way, not that I’m complaining. Each year I load up the game and I always feel the same, ‘it’s going to be a bit boring this’ but each year I’m pleasantly surprised at what Giants Software have done to make the game a little bit better each time.
Yet again, with Farming Simulator 17 they have made enough improvements to make it the best of the bunch.
There are two new locations for your to manage your farming empire in, Goldcrest Valley and Sosnovka You start with different equipment in each one, personally I preferred Goldcrest Valley. As you begin your are given the chance to go through a tutorial, if you haven’t played the games before it’s a must, I’d forgotten a lot of the controls so it was worth going through as a refresher. I felt the tutorial could have been a bit more detailed, at one stage it briefly explains what to do but I didn’t really understand what it fully meant, once I had closed the dialogue box there was no option to bring it back up, I’d have to start a new game for that. It’s the same for the tutorials outside of the single player, for the uninitiated they could be easily put off playing.
Once you do get going though, you goal is simple, make money through all the different farming techniques – whether you are growing and selling crops, breeding animals and selling animal produce or making money through forestry. There is so much to do, so it might be wise to stick to one discipline at a time, I got into a good routine with my crops but If I had started trying to do much more I really would have struggled. I actually got some playing the co-op version of the game this year and that’s one way to run a farm more efficiently.
The amount of equipment in the game is staggering, and some of the machines you get to use are awesome and this year it includes trains, that’s right, trains! They give you the ability to move good around the map in a more timely fashion, they also don’t cost anything to run which is good to know. There is a massive amount of stats to go through, from monitoring the prices that produce is being bought for to how well you are looking after your animals, analysing the trends is key to earning more cash to pay off that big loan you have at the beginning.
As well as looking after your own farm, you can visit other farmers around the map and perform tasks for them, to earn cash and most importantly, discounts on the items they can sell you as your relationship improves. You have the ability to hire workers to perform tasks on your own land while working for other people.This year also sees the introduction of Mods in the game, they are well laid out thanks to a good use of filters and are very simple to install, each time you load a game you can switch your downloaded mods on and off easily.
This is the best looking Farming Simulator game I have played, Giants Software have put some real effort into the two locales, Goldcrest Valley is a beautiful American farming town while Sosnovka is a Russian looking rustic farming area, both have their own unique charm though. The game isn’t issue free, despite the introduction of radio stations, the game awkwardly freezes every time the song changes. Also, despite clearly putting in lots of effort into the machinery you’ll use driving normal vehicles like the pickup truck are awful. The same could be said for the map, I’m pretty forgetful about here things are and what certain icons mean but FM17 doesn’t do much to help, it would be nice to be able to set waypoints too.
Farming Simulator 17 is a much improved title, it’s very addictive and can wipe hours of your gaming time without even realising it, there is lots to do and discover and it truly gives a representation of just how hard life can be when actually looking after a farm. It’s clearly not a game for everyone, but I can see why so many do!