Farming Simulator 17 Review – Xbox One
Rating 2

Probably the worst game we’ve ever reviewed. And we’ve reviewed some proper crap

Summary 2.0 Garbage
Rating 7.2
Summary rating from 8 user's marks. You can set own marks for this article - just click on stars above and press "Accept".
Accept
Summary 7.2 Great

Farming Simulator 17 Review – Xbox One

Farming Simulator 17 marks this year’s instalment in Giants Software’s annual agricultural showcase. For those of you that don’t know, Farming Simulator places you in the shoes of a farm owner in Goldcrest valley; you are to manage a farm, whilst taking part directly in the day to day tasks and chores. Drive tractors, sell goods, breed livestock and even chop down a couple of trees – the day to day life of a farmer has never been rendered in so much detail, and with such little charm.

Writing that introduction to this review was weird. “For those of you that don’t know” probably doesn’t belong in the body of a piece being written about Farming Simulator games. If you are reading this then you are either steeped in video game culture enough to understand it exists as an entity; an enigma on the fringes of popular gaming’s consciousness, or alternatively you are interested in Farming Simulator as a series, and are anxious to understand where the current iteration sits in terms of quality.

Farming Simulator’s audience is made up of two groups. One group is here to engage with a series they are already invested in. They will enjoy the upgrades and additions to the formula for the most part when compared to last year’s version because they enjoy the rather laid back gameplay of a farming sim. The second group, is a combination of YouTubers trying to make funny videos of the latest gaming oddity. Although I don’t really fall into either of those camps I may well fit the latter category more directly, not only because I will sometimes curiously watch a short “Let’s play” of a bizarre franchise like Farming Simulator, but also because I once aspired to make that kind of content. That is less of a shameless plug, and more a self-referential admission that we all make mistakes.

FarmingSimulatorTractor

Farming Simulator 2017 does little to entice an audience outside of this already established player base. The game is unapologetically ugly, and still suffers from the drab sense of cheapness that has plagued the series, and indeed the entire genre since the dawn of the flight simulator. From animation to physics engine, everything is clunky and awkward and feels like an early generation Xbox 360 title. The UI is cluttered, and the controls are so unintuitive that there are multiple contextual control menus on screen at all times; an unfortunate by-product of trying to move something as inherently complicated a simulation game to console.

I dictated to myself that I had to spend a good couple of hours with the game as a minimum before writing up any impressions. I wanted to absorb the minor details and look past my surface level perception of the game, which is difficult when it has a face and UI only a mother could love.

After all, I found Eurotruck Simulator surprisingly relaxing and compelling when given enough time to sink into it. However, I felt no such feelings when it came Farming Simulator 2017. Everything feels hastily slapped together, with no love or affection. Vehicles feel inconsequential when you drive them; their interaction with the environment feels lacking in weight with the Pick-up zipping around like a cartoon rocket, whilst Tractors feel sluggish yet lacking in weight or substance. Farm workers seemingly teleport in and out of their assigned vehicles, and feel like little more than 3D representation of pre-programmed macros, whilst live-stock look about as animated as the earliest 3D NPCs of the Playstation era – their repetitive sound bites just as frustrating, un-engaging and repetitive.

FarmingSimulatorSunset

The whole front end experience is charmless and dull. And don’t get me started on the damned radio stations and their music. My wife actually asked me to play with headphones because it was so generically awful. On the up-side there are several stations to choose from; rock, country, techno. Unfortunately they are all just shit.

Beyond this, I played through the rather limited tutorial and began to harvest grain and move it to the local sales depots. Here, I was met with a bug where I couldn’t unload my product into the silo. Having to Google a gameplay video to understand if I was doing something wrong, or if the game had broken was not the best first impression. One reset later, and I am finally selling my grain for a profit. I purchase some cows, chop down some trees and begin to try and understand the micro-economy within the game, and my objective.

The over-arching objective of the game appears to be repaying your mortgage on the farm through good business practice, favours for other farmers and savvy sales of your produce. I gleaned this information from the achievement list and a forum post, more so than any in game indication. The lack of direction is frustrating.

I have always assumed that the appeal or draw of a franchise like Farming Simulator was to have a relaxing play experience, but to actually achieve anything I felt like I had to begin micromanaging workers, movement of grain (which didn’t appear to be able to be automated) and playing the agricultural ‘stock market’ with observations of pricing fluctuations between buyers.

Ultimately I grew tired of the repetitive task of sow, reap, move and sell. The whole experience was frustrating, cyclical and unexciting.

Why the developers don’t spend some time and resources in making the series more enticing or accessible is absolutely beyond me. I found myself driven to boredom, unwilling to invest anymore time into seeing if there were anything more rewarding beneath the murky, last-gen experience that appears upon the surface. The appeal of the series to its core fan base eludes me, but each to their own. In terms of a recommendation, unless you are already invested or find repetitive agriculturally themed-tasks with no charm enticing, stay well away from this steaming pile of boredom.

Editors Note: The Screenshots are taken from the press kit and look much better than anything found in game. Be sure to like Voletic on Facebook and Follow us on Twitter if you like our content, and comment if you have any thoughts.

Related posts

A.R.E.S. Extinction Agenda Ex – Review (360)

A.R.E.S. Extinction Agenda Ex - Review (360)

When I agreed to review A.R.E.S. Extinction Agenda Ex, I had no idea what the game was about and was afraid of what I had let myself in for. My main concern was that I have little reviewing experience and no confidence in my own abilities, if you’ve read my Lego Marvel preview then you’ll...

Rogue Legacy – Review (PC)

Rogue Legacy - Review (PC)

With a little patience, you'll realise that genetically-deficient spelunking is more rewarding than it sounds in Rogue Legacy. “My father has been slain. The legendary knight Johannes -- gutted by some abomination in a castle brimming with death. The family manor, once a safe haven, is...

The Banner Saga Review – PC

The Banner Saga Review - PC

The Banner Saga is an apocalyptic Oregon Trail remake-come-Viking depression simulator and Kickstarter success story by Stoic Games, a trio of developers that jumped ship from Bioware after it got ensnared in the deep, writhing tendrils of EA. A tactical RPG, the game has you giving commands in...

SUPER AMAZING WAGON ADVENTURE – Review (PC)

SUPER AMAZING WAGON ADVENTURE - Review (PC)

It seems that the games I’m reviewing are following a theme. My last two reviews, Escape Goat and Eldritch, show off all that is lovely in half a dozen pixels per character model. More a limit of talent and budget than stylistic choice, this does seem to be the most obvious marker of an indie...

Hot Tin Roof: The Cat That Wore A Fedora Review – PC

Hot Tin Roof: The Cat That Wore A Fedora Review - PC

Hot Tin Roof has a lot to offer in terms of personality, but is held back by a range of issues.

Poof: Versus the Cursed Kitty Review – PC

Poof: Versus the Cursed Kitty Review - PC

Poof feels like the logical conclusion of a combination internet cat humour and a generation of people who grew up on Mario Bros .Cat jokes appear to  permeate our internet faring generation, it is typical of sort of bizarre cultural zeitgeist propagated by /b/, Reddit and a variety of other...

Chaos Domain Review – PC

Chaos Domain Review - PC

I'm not sure I get this one guys, I'm really not sure. Chaos Domain by Holy Warp is a seemingly straighforward side-scrolling gun 'n' run platformer. You play a mech-suited Anubis (yeah, the Egyptian God) and you have to, for some reason not disclosed, run through various levels killing aliens...

The Book of Unwritten Tales 2 Review – PC

The Book of Unwritten Tales 2 Review - PC

If you love point and click adventure games and want something that is less serious than The Wolf Among Us you could do much, much worse than this game. It's just a shame that the bugs are what is holding it back.

Bioshock Infinite: Burial at Sea – Episode 1 Review – PC

Bioshock Infinite: Burial at Sea – Episode 1 Review - PC

  Irrational Games, the creative team behind the original Bioshock and Infinite return to take their latest engine and descend to the depths of the ocean, taking us back to where the series began. But can they recreate that magic a third time, in a pint-sized episodic format? Read on to...

Leave a Reply