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Farming Simulator Review: Watching the digital grass grow

16 December 2013

Ah, the simple life. 5.00 a.m. wake-ups, 12-hour days of seeding and threshing fields, and then the long weeks and months of waiting to reap what is sown. Welcome to the farming life in Farming Simulator on the PlayStation 3…just without the cow manure.

As the name of the title suggests this is a farming simulator game. There are lots of sim games ranging from hospitals and prisons to schools and even life, so why not create one for farming? Well, as it is quickly realized this is more in the old-school, computer flight sim category than the Sim City variety. You start off with a quick tutorial about how basic functions of the game works and then are left to do whatever you want.

The problem is there is not much to do in the game. Driving farm equipment and lugging your goods to the market is all you can do. Sure, seeding, threshing and helping complete tasks are available to tackle if the right equipment is owned, but it gets very boring, very monotonous quickly. All core functions, like seeding and threshing, can be done automatically by hiring a worker but selling goods has to be done manually. It took over an hour of driving back and forth to clear my starting field, which didn’t amount to much money earned at all. That is it. Not to sound rude but literally the game could have been called Tractor Driver and it wouldn't have been misleading.

The AI is atrocious and barely gets the job done, only with fear that it is screwing up in the back of your mind. Equipment can't be managed on a menu to automatically do certain tasks, or go to certain places. Instead it must be driven manually to the location, lined up on the field, and then put on auto. To do otherwise would mean the vehicle goes in a straight line until hitting the game boundary. It is a lot of needless work that adds more unneeded monotony.

Contined overleaf...

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