Farming Simulator is a farming simulation video game series developed and published by Giants Software, which allows players to farm, breed livestock, grow crops and sell assets created from farming.
As a true first time experience of the Farming Simulator series, the game baffled me for a good while before I even remotely got the hang of things. It’s definitely not the kind of game you can just fall into without going through the tutorial unless you’re familiar with the mechanics from previous games. Once that’s out of the way though, the patience really pays off.
The amount of crops that can be farmed is almost exciting. All of which require special care, but some more than others. Crops like cotton, sweet potatoes and beets all need special machinery to get them going. There is, of course, also the logging route. If you’re not too keen on harvesting things, why not chop them down? Logging is an entirely different experience compared to the normal farming one, but it’s every bit as satisfying.
It’s delightfully educational too in that if you ever do decide to quit your day job and go into farming, you’ll have more agricultural knowledge than the average Joe. Sprinkle in the importance of picking the right kind of fertilizer for the machine into your next conversation and see how that goes. On top of it being a great way to learn new things, Farming Simulator has a relaxing feel to it that you could only truly understand by playing it yourself. It’s soothing in the way that repetitive tasks are soothing. It gives you the same buzz you get after falling into a quiet productive lull.
However, some people would swap out the word relaxing for tedious. While waiting for your crops to grow or letting workers do the grunt work for you, there’s very little to do for money except for filling contracts. Filling contracts is a good way of getting your cash up while you build your farming empire, but it’s not always the most exciting way to spend your time in the game. Repeating an essentially identical contract can be very annoying, especially considering how time-consuming it is to lug around heavy farm equipment.
It is worth taking the time to save up some money to start keeping livestock. Being one of the newest features to the franchise, farmers can now keep the classic farm animals like cows and pigs, and also horses. Horses that you can ride. It really does take some time to get to the point where you can keep and provide for all of these animals, but it’s worth adding more animation to an otherwise lifeless farm. There’s also the added benefit of having a dog, not to do anything really, just to play catch with every now and then.
There is an enormous amount of machinery to choose from and it can get pretty overwhelming if you’re not sure what you’re actually looking for. Google is your friend here. Even better if you have someone with farming know-how on hand to explain to you why you can’t possibly pour liquid fertilizer into that thing that looks like it has a sieve at the bottom. Previous Farming Simulator experience is very handy, but you don’t absolutely need it to get by. The tutorials do a good enough job of explaining the basics. Figuring out the rest of the machinery is up to you.
Farming Simulator 19 is a worthy addition to the series. You don’t have to have played its previous iterations to really know what’s up, but it does help. It’s easy enough to figure out your way around your land and once you’ve got a hang of things, it can even be relaxing.
Where it could have done with a little bit of mayhem and hijinks, especially on the road, it definitely makes up for it with realism and beautiful landscapes. The graphics of said landscapes could be nicer, but they’re still nice enough to make you want to own all of it so you can have cows and horses literally everywhere. Everywhere.