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Farming Simulator Review

They took his money, they fed his kids to the pigs and his wife left him, but there is on thing they couldn’t take, John Giles passion for farming. Well at least that’s the story in my head as my nameless checked shirt farmer toils away on the sun baked fields. Yes, the surprisingly popular Farm Simulator series finally makes its way onto the home consoles, giving all of us the chance to experience some hard and honest farm work.

For those looking for a laugh, rest assured there is no irony at all in this game, with Giants Software taking things very seriously and creating THE farming simulator of choice. Set across two huge maps the goal is quite simple, you start with relatively little, a couple of tractors, a few tools like a cultivator and a harvester set around some very small fields and a bank loan to start you off and that’s it, off you go. The game pretty much just leaves you to figure out the rest, which for the first couple of hours of play is a real slog, chugging around in your 13mph tractor, trying to make sense of all of the icons on the PDA map and working out what you can do. Farming Simulator 2013 does come with a tutorial; however that really focuses on the functions of a few machines so at least you won’t be losing a foot to a windrower.

With the free and easy approach not really setting the game off to the right tempo, it is not helped by the slow pace of the early days of your farm, however once you have figured out what you are doing, the tasks become that little more enjoyable as they have purpose, connecting your tractor to a plough or cultivator, driving across the soil in preparation of traipsing over to the seed shop to fill up your planter then returning to sow and then you wait. Thankfully not as long as real time as with some tinkering of the options you can speed up growth time and before you know it, your crops are ready.

It is not all about growing and cultivating in Farming Simulator 2013 as there are also livestock to tend to, with cows to milk, sheep and also chickens to collect their eggs to sell to the local market. You even get requests to carry out odd jobs around the town, like mowing the grass at a golf course or helping move some pallets across town, which does help break up the waiting time for your crops to be ready and earn a little extra cash but sadly not having much of a variety.

As you start to harvest your crops there are a few business decisions to be made, by checking your PDA you can view the current market, are beets in high demand, does the port desperately need potatoes or has the market dropped for corn sales. Watching this information closely can reap you great rewards for your bank balance, so careful planning is required; so if the market is poor you can always store it in your silos, waiting for the right moment to empty them out with your trailer and transport to the best buyer, or if you are looking for new equipment, which early on is a must, you can just sell up what you have and visit the local shop to see what they have on offer. This is your one stop shop for all things farming, accommodating the starter upper with basic tractors and front loaders that can have tippers, plows and sowing machines attached to the more successful farmers with huge machines for harvesting potatoes and beets and a variety of fertilizer and manure spreaders.

Even though there are day and night cycles, your farmer is part man, part machine, all farmer as hour after hour, day after day he defies everyone to prove he can be the best darn farmer there is and you are along for the ride, with either a third person view letting you see all around you and getting a good look at the many tools being used or a first person view, trundling along in your assortments of tractors.

The multitasking involved in Farming Simulator 2013 is full on, with many jobs requiring your attention all at the same time, some are automated like owning a beehive or green house with money automatically being generated but as you start to purchase more fields it can get hectic. To help with the workload you can hire other workers, with you setting up the machinery and then letting the AI take control; however even then they require a lot of attention, like when a harvester is full they will just sit in the field and not attempt to empty in the nearby trailer. It is a little annoying but thanks to the very handy quick travel, a tap of the d-pad will send you into the seat of any of your vehicles wherever they are on the map.

After the early hours of the game, when you start to settle and have more to do the game does start to hit its stride, however it’s here that you become aware of far too many oversights and even though Farming Simulator 2013 has no real problems with everything working as it should, there are a few issues that make it less enjoyable, especially with what console gamers have come to expect like there being no real ability to organise your workers or set up rules for them to just get on with, leaving you to still having to do many of the jobs around the farm. The sound, whilst realistic with lots of engines and metal clanging will start to grate after a few hours, especially with no music in the background. Finally the graphics are very basic, however there is a fair bit of attention to detail with the vehicles and tools themselves, with a real pleasure gained when watching certain tools unfurl, ready for the day’s work and it is here that it will capture the imagination of the player.

Farming Simulator 2013 is in no way a bad game but it has an awful lot of promise; however a rather slow first few hours and a lack of basic farming tutorials will make this one for those ready to put time in and will be ready to ignore its many shortcomings.

Words by Ash Buchanan.
(Version Tested: PS3)


+ Drive and use a huge assortment of tractors and farm tools
+ An open ended campaign


- Not enough in the way of tutorials
- Graphically sub-par
- Focused more on driving tractors than the running of the farm

Edited On 06 Sep, 2013

( 5 )
Dead's avatar
Dead 3 years ago
Why does this have a picture of Miley Cyrus on it?
Loli-Nox-Tan's avatar
Loli-Nox-Tan 3 years ago
O no you dit-ten
JoeToots's avatar
JoeToots 3 years ago
i wish it did have a picture of miley cyrus on..
Robichoico's avatar
Robichoico 3 years ago
Harvest Moon is out in 2 weeks time. And that always feel it has a game attached to the farming. Unfortunately these games are nowhere near as accurate as they make out to be. At no point can you drive VERY slowly down the road and annoy regular people trying to get to work.
FeedTheOcelot's avatar
FeedTheOcelot 3 years ago
Started this yesterday with my mate and we just had the best time.the game has its downfalls but if you're a fan of farming simulator you should know what to expect, and if you haven't played one before then be warned this is not some 3 hour campaign easy 1000 points jobby it's time consuming and totally serious about itself and the fun you get from it, is from the sense of accomplishment and making your own fun things to do like deciding whether or not to take a shortcut across a mountain which you could get stuck on or drop the cargo and have to spend time picking it up again when you're up against the clock and you don't know where your going. Overall we both love the game but just wish it had co-op.

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