I was the most qualified to review this game. How am I the most qualified you ask? I grew up on a farm and worked and tended my own field before I took the life of technology. We grew, cotton, melons, sugar beets, alfalfa, and silage corn. Needless to say, I was fairly excited to see and compare this game to Central Valley California farming to the digital plots of land. Oh and if you missed the stream…I dressed the part.
During the stream it was my first boot and blind play-through of this game. Immediately I was impressed. The menus were easy to navigate and there was a multiplayer button on the front menu…WAIT WHAT?! Multiplayer? Yes. Multiplayer, I will get back to that. I jumped into the first tutorial and jump into my first tractor of the game. The graphics were very pretty and detailed. The farm was basically within the foothills surrounded by evergreens and a great view. The tractor itself was very detailed and well designed. It performed just like a tractor, in all levels of speed, turning, and towing. After the stream I dove back into the game and finished the tutorials and they helped a ton. Especially how I wanted to plan my dominance within the game, did I want to plant crops to feed cattle and just sell the cattle afterwards? Strictly crops? There were a ton of options available and it was fully open to what ever you wanted to do. I definitely recommend starting on easy or medium. My stream demanded for me to do ‘Hard’ as I had real life experience…Yeah that didn’t carry over well.
As for the gameplay it had everything for the simulation fan out there. Detail reports of your farm, costs, and markets. You could do all of the work yourself going back and forth up the fields until the job is done. You could also hire help and they will take over the duty for you that you were presently doing. Another huge detail was every piece of equipment performed differently. Some you had to unfold for it to work, some you had to move the mouse to raise and lower the booms, and some you had to make sure it was turned on or nothing would happen. It was never a hook up and go feeling. You had to plan ahead. Wanted to work the field? You had to make sure there was a weight in the front to keep all four tires on the ground, just like in real life. You can sell and buy from who ever you want in the local town. You can also upgrade and purchase new equipment from the town as well. Another slick feature was the option to help other farmers out and get paid to do so. So if you’re low on cash you can easily get money for your next investment. Trains also can play a large role in move massive quantities at a time, even if your not hauling stuff from place to place, its still fun to cruise around in one.
Another great feature was the online radio you could turn on within a vehicle. There was an online country station I turned on that was playing some hit songs and I started singing along. It did warn you that the music is not rated by the ESRB and listen at your own risk.
There is a great mod community as well. Yes there are mods for this game. Some helpful ones such as a compass, others being new buildings or equipment. Each that could help you dial in your farm the best that you can. Speaking of mods, the servers can be prepped with mods as well. There were quite a bit of multiplayer servers but most of them were locked. There were a couple of public ones I jumped in and looked around to see what people were doing. Some were really impressive with multiple fields being ran by multiple players all working together cooperatively which was awesome to see. These servers are private and not ran by the company. Think Minecraft. Also think Minecraft where assholes can come in and destroy your progress. How? One had all of their tractors underwater in the river. Not cool, they were not retrievable. The ones I did pop in (and had tractors) I jumped in and worked some of their fields as a thank you for having an unlocked server.
There were a few glitches here and there but nothing game breaking I came across. I really enjoyed my experience within Farming Simulator 17. It was beautiful and brought me back to the old farming days, with less stress. It did get lonely at times without other people running around like most games today but I was busy enough to not notice. This game is definitely based more towards European farms and players. Many foreign brands and tractors including Lamborghini (yes that Lamborghini), with no John Deere in sight, which could possibly be a licensing thing. Also in California farming we have a lot to do with irrigation; canals, ditches, *cough* droughts. None of that was present within the game, but I wasn’t expecting it to be.
Very well done simulator, especially with the farming theme
Beautiful graphics and details
Realistic modeling and functionality of equipment
Open world with no limitation on how you want to farm
Online radio added to the depth
Lonesome without other players
Gameplay is not for every gamer