Farming Simulator 17 Review
Don’t expect farming to have changed much!
Farming Simulator 17 is a game that will not appease everyone. It is much like its previous iteration in that it takes its key word ‘simulator’ to its heart. It offers some great farming, but it is a hell of a learning curve, especially if you are new to the series or far from a farming enthusiast.
This time round you are able to choose a female as a playable character and pick the colour of your clothes before you start. The game similarly to the last one only has two maps and it throws you in at a deeper end then most would prefer. Sure, if you accept the invitation to learnt at the beginning, then you will be taught the basics of farming.
The game eases you into using its farming gear from the combine harvester to the simple tractor and trailer. Each vehicle has many uses and the game tries to hammer home the button combinations for each action. In all honesty, it does this well and once learnt the button combinations make sense.
If you have played the game before, the controls are identical to the last game. Simple, intuitive and fairly easy to grasp.
Visually Farming Simulator 17 is really not much different to the previous game. It looks alright with some solid lighting and visual effects. More detail has been added to vehicles as well as the crops and farm items. Head outside of the farm though, and the game tends to look a little basic. It’s not the worst looking game by far but it certainly isn’t the best, Most of the eye glam is clearly seen in the vehicles, machinery and crops rather then the actual environments.
The vehicle roster in Farming Simulator 17 is also very similar to the last game. In fact, there are many similarities with the last game. It sometimes feels as if it is exactly the same game, albeit with a few more additions. Sound wise the game is solid as always, machinery and vehicles sound good with clear variation. Multiplayer also returns and works as intended.
Farming Simulator 17 does do a few things different to its similar predecessor besides its clear option of a female. It adds the addition of mods. Upon closer inspection though, the mods may or may not please everyone. It seems to be approved or official mods as opposed to completely user generated. There are some available right now in the form of new farming vehicles, but no maps or much else to be had. One can only hope that more will be approved for console use at a later date. Mods also rely on a dedicated community which the Farming Simulator franchise luckily has.
Pig farming is also a nice new addition to the franchise and there are a couple of new crops to be grown. Farming Simulator is all about making money and enlarging your base of operations so it’s nice to see a couple of new ways to do that.
Sadly Farming Simulator 17 fails at giving you guided tutorials for much more than the basics. If you delve into the menus there are readable tutorials that explain the much deeper mechanics of the game, but these involve taking time out of actually playing the game to just read. This is just unacceptable in this day and age when games from the last generation opt for the learn as you play approach, games today should certainly opt for that too. It is far easier to learn on the go and develop your skills whilst enveloped in the experience on offer. I often found that after a lengthy read of how to do something, I forgot once I hopped into my trusty tractor.
This makes the experience seem extremely daunting for newcomers. Farming Simulator 17 offers a deep sandbox farming experience, but it will only be utilised fully by farming enthusiasts or hardcore fans of the series.
There still isn’t a story either, this is to be expected as it is a simulation, but perhaps one day a small story will be added with a little NPC interaction that has been missing from the entire series.
Overall, Farming Simulator sets out and intends to accomplish solid farming simulation for another year. It succeeds in its endeavour by offering an extremely deep farming experience that no other game currently offers. It also slightly improves on its previous iteration which makes it the best Farming Simulator game yet. Sure, it isn’t as charming and as simple as any Harvest Moon game, nor does it have a compelling story to follow but it doesn’t claim to be. It is purely a game about real world farming, which certainly won’t appeal to everyone.