All hard work and no fun make “Farming Simulator 15” more dull than anything else.
If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to work on a farm, ”Farming Simulator 15” will answer that question all too quickly. Sure, it may not be a lot of fun, but if you’re able to break your back and stick with it, it can have its moments. Thanks to a slew of authenticity, from real farm equipment to plenty of things to do, this year’s edition of the “Farming Simulator,” thanks to the addition of logging, has more to tend to than ever before,” but it’s still not the series that’ll catch the eye of casual gamers.
If you’re a real-life farmer, you’ll appreciate the attention to detail here, but that doesn’t mean you’ll want to play it either. Although it’s sold over two million units since its inception in 2009, the majority of those units were sold in Europe, making the game more of a cult-fad here in the states. With all of the bells and whistles and focus on realism, “Farming Simulator 15” feels like a slab of driving mini-games and endless fetch quests all thrown into one.
Although simulation games are a unique niche and the farming simulation genre has been well-represented for decades, from “Harvest Moon” and “Farmville,” to “Animal Crossing,” this game is just not fun. Sadly, you’ll have more fun picking up bags of cash from your money tree in “Animal Crossing” than you will have doing the real thing in this game.
Regardless of your affinity for farming, this game is dense. There’s almost too much to do and even for some hardcore gamers that love the series, they may not have the time to do everything there is to do in this game. Luckily there’s plenty of appeal, thanks to an interesting first-person view. It’s cool to walk around your farm and tend to the wheat fields, as well as your cows and chickens. Perhaps the most fun experience in the entire game is to tour your farm once it’s up and running, basking in the fruit of your achievements. But getting to that point, is a chore.
“Farming Simulator 15” is a test of patience. If you’re the type of gamer that wants something quick, this is not going to be an experience you enjoy. It’s virtually incapable of being played in a short-burst way as the average chore, like seeding a field, could take 15-20 minutes, to do properly. The fact that it takes time to do even the most menial of tasks takes away so much fun the game could have had. In all fairness, the emotional and physical investment in the game is one on-par with an intricate and vast role-playing game. Ironically, as stated before, the payoff is a similar one. Checking out all of your hard work feels eerily similar to showing off your level 100 Pokemon or awesome create a character in “Diablo III.” Just this time, even fewer people will care.
In the end, the game makes you work too hard. Just navigating around your farm is a mess, thanks to a crappy map. While traveling from vehicle to vehicle isn’t tough at all, using just a press of the D-Pad, operating machines never feels fun- it’s virtually just driving in straight lines. Had more time been put into how to make all of these tractors and motorized machines feel different, “Farming Simulator 15” would have been a lot cooler. But maybe it isn’t supposed to be. Maybe farming is this cut and dry.
While its attention to detail should be heralded and possibly applied to other games in the simulation genre, Giants Software’s newest title is ultimately stuck in the mud because of it.
Good-Looking: Walking around your farm is easily the best part of the game, thanks to good looking character models.
Tons to Do: There was already plenty to do in last year’s version of the game and the addition of logging in this year’s version adds even more depth.
Super Sim-Heavy: There are real equipment manufacturers and the process in which everything has to get done would make every farmer proud.
Not Fun: Everything seems like a chore, mainly because it is. You can only spice up driving in so many ways. In the end, “Farming Simulator 15” ultimately feels like a much of driving mini-games.
Shoddy Map: Once your farm gets large, it becomes increasingly harder to get around, to the point where you’ll end up getting lost and even more frustrated.
Requires Too Much Patience: This is a case where there’s so much of a focus on realism that the fun factor just isn’t there. Farming is plain old hard work and good video games just shouldn’t be. If anything they should be an escape from that.
At the very least, in spite of a few flaws that drag out the gameplay experience, “Farming Simulator 15” is an in-depth and realistic farming experience that is educational and informative. It’s just not a lot of fun.