Simulator games have been around for as long as I can remember. Flight simulator was a big one and many other games strive to be more simulator-like with each outing, such as majority of the racing titles like Assetto Corsa and Forza Motorsport. These are all more mainstream titles and if you were to delve deeper into the simulator-genre you would be surprised at how many people want to simulate everyday mundane jobs in gaming. Games such as Euro Truck Simulator and Construction Simulator are taking realism to the next level including every inch of detail. Simulator games caters to the inquisitive side of the human nature. Have you ever wanted to drive a truck, fly a plane, build a roller coaster, race a F1 car… There is a simulator for everything!
Focus Home Interactive has been at the forefront of the Simulator genre with their various outings of Farming Simulator. This time around they have made huge improvements which really makes Farming Simulator 19 something special. Featuring a complete graphical overhaul ,which is immediately evident, Farming Sim 19 takes gets you elbow deep in the real farming experience, from starting up your tractor to sowing every seed.
Right from the start it is advisable to work through all the tutorials, and they are rather extensive. Farming is not easy, and there are many steps involved if you want to be a fruitful farmer, in real life or in the game. After the extensive tutorials you will be able to start your first farm. This is where you will get your first glimpse of the new reworked graphical system. Every inch of farming from the mechanical aspects to the graphical are meticulously copied and the results are amazing. walking through grass or crops will have them bend and sway according to the way they are manipulated.
Farming simulator 19 gives you, the farmer, the freedom from the onset. If you want to become a logging mogul, you can grab your chainsaw and build your empire one tree at a time. If you are more interested in being a livestock farmer, which is one of the newer features of the Farming Simulator franchise, you can focus on chickens, sheep, pigs, cows and even horses. You can also go the more traditional way of crop farming which will have you planting and growing crops and then selling them at the store. All of these realistic options comes as a breath of fresh air as many Simulators create rather ludicrous scenarios.
The options don’t end there, apart from the above mentioned, you can also simply hop on your tractor, a John Deere if you’d like, which is the newly included brand by the way, and meander about the vast countryside and even do a few fetch-and-deliver or lending a hand on neighboring farms. It’s a worthy side note that neighboring farms are few and far between in the rather barren countryside. When you get down to farming your own land is when the game becomes interesting. Without really any sort of direction or mission you are literally left on your own with no clear objective apart from farming and amassing money.
So, there you are, fresh from your tutorial, ready to face farming head-on, but what next… And that is one of the biggest challenges of Farming Sim 19, for greenhorn farmers who have not spent time on previous titles the UI can be extremely challenging as well as having absolutely zero cues on what you should do next. This is a double edged blade tho. Nice in the sense that it will allow you to do whatever you want, but frustrating in the sense that even when you decide what you want to do, you might not know how to do it. After some time you should at least be able to find your way around the UI and the magnitude of steps that go into any process that you take on. Even a simple task like growing wheat takes many steps before you will see your very first head of wheat starting to appear. From cultivating, plowing to sowing, to clearing weeds, fertilizer. The list goes on. Same goes for all the other types of farming you can try on farming Sim 19 and the 300 plus types of heavy machinery at your disposal, which sounds great but for a non-farmer knowing what 90% of them do is a challenge in its own.
A nice touch that players can be thankful for, unlike real farming where you need to wait months for your newly planted wheat to grow you can now simply speed up growing times which makes the longs waits slightly shorter. Now all of this seems rather hard work, thankfully you can hire someone to do the monotonous work for you. You could tune into one of the numerous radio stations while riding your tractor up and down but if you need someone to plow your fields, simply hire a helper! If AI help is not your thing jump into the 6 player multiplayer! This lets you join a few buddies and work the farm… The multiplayer did see its fair share of problems joining other gaming sessions but the first patch is set to sort all of that out. It is also good to note that multiplayer farm sessions don’t carry over to your single player sessions.
Farming Simulator 19 takes all the good aspects from previous titles and improves in every way possible. Graphics have been reworked and really looks great. Farming Sim 19 is a extremely fun game to play and will have time flying by faster than you can imagine. Hours will become minutes. To new players tho, Farming Simulator 19, like its predecessors will cause some frustration during the first few hours as the UI is not very intuitive and does not offer much in terms of guidance. Looking past that, Farming Sim 19 is a enjoyable title and shows improvement and expansion on previous outings.
Special thanks to Apex Interactive for supplying the review game