Game Review: Farm Simulator 2011
Release: 29th of October 2010
Developer: Giants Software
Available Platforms: PC
Players: 1 but can be played online
ESRB Rating: E
Website: http://store.steampowered.com/app/90200/ Website: http://www.farming-simulator.com/index.php
Every now and again there are some games that everyone wants to play, some games that reviewers fight over, and some games where the world waits with antic…pation. When Farm Simulator 2011 arrived at Platform Nation there was a massive scuffle and I (thanks to my years of training) jumped on heads and emerged the victor.
When you read the title of the game you pretty much get an idea of what the game will involve. You are a farmer and it is your job to run the farm. You can choose to run the farm however you want, you can focus on cultivating your crops or on breading livestock. You can even be the jack of all trades and dabble with a little of everything.
You will find the majority of your time is spent behind the wheel of some heavy machine; each piece of machinery is designed to do something different. However it normally consists of driving in a straight line across a field in order to: Prepare the land for seeds, planting seeds, spraying your fields and collecting your crops to name a few of the jobs that you can do.
Unlike most games that start you off slow, Farm Simulator drops you right in the deep end with a thousand acre farm, all the tools you need and even some starting cash. However this can seem rather daunting when you have so much that you can do, it is difficult to decide where to start.
There is a lot of depth in the game, a lot of detail some of which I would have missed had I not been told beforehand. For example names like DEUTZ-FAHR, KRONE, HORSCH, PÖTTINGER and VOGEL & NOOT mean nothing to me and may meaning nothing to you, but these are all big name brands in the farming world all of whom have allowed Giant Software to replicate their machinery down to the smallest detail. To me one combine harvester looks the same as the next, but to the target audience, those who live and breathe this world, it is details like this that separate Farm Simulator with the Farmvilles of the world.
As in real life there is a lot of work that is required on a farm to keep things going. Farm Simulator allows you to team up with a friend in order to tame the landscape and maximise your profit.
Farm Simulator 2011 is a game that keeps on giving, with a build in tool for downloading and installing new mods. What these mods will be I am unsure but there is bound to be a creative person out there who will do something with this tool set
As a first time player, the game is a little unforgiving. You start off in a farmer and can move around your farm as you see fit (on a side note it is very strange to be playing from a first person perspective without seeing a weapon of some sort in front of you) However there is little explanation of what each piece of equipment does or where you could use it. I also still can’t tell you the difference between one piece of equipment and the next.
There is a “mission mode” on the main screen; to most people “mission mode” would imply an extra feature or an extra challenge once you have completed the main game. In Farm Simulator 2011 this actual serves as your tutorial and guided you through the various things that you can do on your farm. If you want to play this game, spend some time on t he missions first, skipping these missions and heading straight into career mode is really not an option if you want to have the faintest idea of what you have to do. Every time you get close to a vehicle you get a text box appear on the screen that tells you to press a button to enter, and when you are in a vehicle you get more controls in the same text box. I would like to see the name of the vehicle or a brief description of what it does in this box. This would make things a little more user friendly as you could instantly see what a vehicle does and how to use it.
The driving controls are either the best or one of the worst ever made. I have never driven a tractor or a combine harvester so I don’t know how they handle in real life, what I can safely say is that in Farm Simulator 2011 is all the vehicles drive like a shopping cart with a missing wheel. So if a real one behaves like this then it is a job well done. This really wouldn’t have been such a problem if so much of the game didn’t rely on you driving one of these machines accurately. You can use a controller for the game which may make things easier to control but I imagine that it would still be hard to neatly and accurately manage your farm.
Simulation games by their very nature are a little bit of a niche market. What seems over complicated and repetitive for me may be exactly what someone else is looking for. However if nothing else, everyone should play this game for 1 hour to get an idea exactly how much hard work and effort is required to make that food appear on your plate every night.
Hey look I did an entire review on a farm simulator without going E-I-E-I-Oh bugger.