Game Guys review - Farming Simulator

8:14 PM, Dec 11, 2013   |    comments
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  • 'Farming Simulator 2013' video game from Focus Home Interactive.
  • 'Farming Simulator 2013' video game from Focus Home Interactive.

For those who are tired with all of the over-the-top action and pulse-racing antics of the majority of today's video games there's Farming Simulator, an agrarian video game developed by Giant Software and published by Focus Home Interactive.  While watching the corn rise might be appealing to some, it (and everything that comes with it) makes every crop sowed a bad crop.

Upon sliding onto the seat of their favorite agricultural vehicle, players will cultivate fields of seemingly everything from traditional crops to livestock.  The "action" doesn't only exist out on the farm, however, as it extends to the pocketbook.  That's right, players will need to manage the farmstead's finances with keen attention being paid to reimbursing the bank for the loan it's apparently provided you.  Sound exciting?  If you said "no", you'd be correct.

Then again, this game isn't made to be exciting.  That's what Call of Duty and Madden are for.  And it weren't for some mission-based gameplay, Farming Simulator would be a complete snooze fest.

Part of the problem is how things are presented.  The Maxis-developed SimCity might not be the most exciting game, but it's typically laid out well.  Farming Simulator is not.  While the graphics are noticeably underwhelming to begin with, the sheer amount of over-information displayed on the television screen simply gets in the way of what little there is that's worth seeing.  Some HUD items, such as the map, can be turned off though inconveniently so in most cases.

Actual controls, thankfully, aren't half bad.  In contrast with gameplay and presentation, they come off as the lone highlight of this title.  Controls are clearly explained and are simple to learn.  It's too bad that this isn't a game worth learning how to play.

Outside of cleaning up the visuals and making the game more game-like, there is one key omission to this title that would have saved it a bit of face.  While this style of game begs for it, there is no multiplayer option.  Things might have been nicer had farms been able to have a co-owner to play co-op with others or if players had the option to trade crops and resources with other players.  Alas, this is not the case and the game is that much more dull because of it.

Agricultural games can be fun and can be popular.  After all, the immense following the Harvest Moon series and social games like Farmville don't happen because people don't dig the genre.  The difference is that those games make farming fun - even if it's just farming in the arcade sense.  Farming Simulator reminds players that the actual running of a farm is a chore-ridden, dull tractor ride down a lonely dirt road.

11/25 12/25 02/25 05/25 15/25 43/100

Version tested: Xbox 360 (also available on PS3 and PC)

(Focus Home Interactive supplied a copy of this game for review.)

See how what our review scores mean and how the math adds up.


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