Farming Simulator 17? Waste of my time!
I was skimming what came out on Xbox Game Pass for this month’s new releases and Farming Simulator 2017 caught my eye! I always thought I would like to play it and since it was on Xbox Game Pass, why not?
When starting the game, I was excited about all the possibilities I could do as a Simulator fanatic but the introduction is very already very complicated. Right from the beginning a lot of instructions with extensive wording is pushed at you and at this point I was turned and Farming Simulator was no longer a fun experience. However, luckily I had a lot of patience to help me get through this part.
I was looking forward to actually playing the simulation when I customized my character, wasn’t expecting much but the options were a reasonable selection. Could pick between, either female or male, the race you want to be, and what colour lumber shirt you wore for the game. Short but sweet!
A good ground to begin with
The game starts by going into a simulated countryside on a typical American North East farm (very flat, green and full of trees.) I was amazed at the realistic graphics of the game, it was a really nice to play in. You basically start off with your own small farm as a new farmer, then you get the bog standard farming equipment to help you.
My issues began with the tutorial being the introduction. I did not like this at all! I am a practical learner and therefore I learn by doing, but found the controls were tricky to locate when doing practical tasks in the game and I ended up making mistakes a lot.
As a beginner, the tutorial was forced on my and I wonder how annoying it must be for advanced players that know the basics and want to explore the more deeper lying technicalities in the late game. After struggling through that beginning section, I finally got to start playing the game on my own.
It was horrific, you need extreme patience for everything you do. For example, I tried to harvest the already grown for me crops with a combine harvester and it took for ages to even get the harvester going, it’s not like I can multitask in the game like you can for example with The Sims. I ended up watch the harvester for 30 minutes whilst it harvested crops. Tested my patience. There was also the option of hiring someone to do it for you, but what is the point if I wanted to do everything myself.
While the extensive map and different ways of spending your time inside of Farming Simulator are vast, sadly lots of the fun that could have been created by going through the motions of farming, are lost by time spent travelling between those actions. One highlight though was the train portion of the game in which you can ride the train yourself to get from A to point B, unless you forget the controls again after a nice ride and don’t know how to stop the train anymore.
Overall, I would only recommend this game if you’ve got the patience for it. I think my attempt was quite flakily done as it was rather boring to me and I didn’t really get a real feel for the game. The aspects I did like was the fact that you can drive around in it, it had great graphics and there was nothing holding you back, in terms of playing and development. Entirely different with the tutorial. You have to be able to have a lot of time on your hand for this game to invest your attention and develop in it. It might also be easier to play on PC, as the controls are easier to locate whilst playing compared to the Xbox controller. I hope to see some development in the beginning part and progression with the tutorial and the complicated control system for people like me that are coming from a more outsiders perspective and want to give the game a nice try without being turned off from it being overly complicated right at the beginning.