Logging, cropping, bailing, milking, sowing seeds and animal mating. If these things get you moister than a farmers gusset in the middle of August then the newest title in the Farming Simulator series may be just the title for you. With some new day farming fun such as the logging industry , lots of shiny new P’s – the graphical version not the vegetable, although you can do that too – Farming Simulator 2015 is as well groomed as a prize winning country show bull.
Unlike its Simulator counterparts, Farming Simulators big appeal is its management side and your ability to plan out your farming business. Should you grow hay or grape seed? Should you leave the land as is and wait for the next season to grow straw or should you use the field for logging or even keeping cattle? Finally making the business decision as to when you should sell your harvest in order to maximize your profits.
You can employ minions to do tasks that you don’t fancy or just find boring (a bit like my father-in-law when he tells me to turn the hay) but for many the fun aspect is the ability to drive every single bit of equipment in a first person view. Much like in real life, expertly maneuvering said equipment is a skill I do not have but on the plus side I am not costing my father-in-law in new fences when playing Farming Simulator. The more in depth intricacies will allow you to buy a power wash to clean your tractors of all that shiiiiiiiii….mud that you have churned up from your field.
Every 5-10 minutes a challenge will pop up on one of the many noticeboards around the map. These can involve anything from simplying moving a pallet from A to B or selling a set number of crops within a predefined time limit. Each of these challenges have a little back story as to why you are doing them – a town fair needing some round bales for an assault course for example. These break up the simulator feel a little as you find yourself breaking away from your farming duties to see what challenge awaits.
Not all aspects of the game are darling buds. Some are actually like the manure you spray on your seedlings. The walking aspect for example. Yes I know the majority of the game is played inside a vehicle but having to search for collectible coins on foot is nothing short of awful. The speed you walk coupled with the ridiculously slow speed you turn your head with the right stick means that when on foot, rather than feel like a strong and confident farmer, you feel like you are in charge of a drunk octopus and I’m sure we have already had that game.
Two people that didn’t mind any of these problems were my two kids. They absolutely loved driving around in tractors like granddads and the slow paced relaxed gameplay allow them to get used to holding a controller and pushing 3 buttons at the same time without the panic of something “killing” them. They didn’t need to pick up or complete challenges, they were more than happy just driving around plowing the field, and the fence, and the roads, crashing into a few cars etc.
If you love simulators then this will certainly scratch that next gen itch. If you have young kids then this is a great starter game to get them involved in gaming. If you only h ave a passing interest then I would recommend waiting for a sale or price drop. Either way you will end up with a fun, relaxing title that breaks up the onslaught of continual triple A games.
MLG Rating: 7/10 Format: PlayStation 4 / Xbox 1 / PC Release Date: Out Now
Disclosure: Midlife Gamer were provided a copy of Farming Simulator 2015 by the publisher for review purposes. The title was reviewed over the course of 10 days. For more information on what our scores mean, plus details of our reviews policy, click here.