Grab your wellies, dungarees and a straw hat boys and girls because we’re about to take a journey into the farming world with Farming Simulator and you’re going to get your hands dirty! The name of the game is quite simple, you are a farmer and you must take control of the fields you start with and expand to something much larger.
Career mode is where the fun is at and you can choose which difficulty you wish to proceed with, easy being the preferred choice for beginners. The game eases you into farming life with a friendly tutorial, but if you wish you can just jump straight in and get started on a farm of your choice. The tutorial teaches you how to use the vehicles you have in your possession along with other useful tips you may find handy during your time out in the crop fields. You start with limited vehicles and zero livestock, which doesn’t bring in much of an income, but to get the ball rolling the game teaches you the importance of harvesting wheat and selling it in the local towns nearby. Here you can also sell eggs (from your chickens), fill up your vehicles with gas (there are more locations on the map) and also purchase or sell equipment to help you expand. Speaking of expanding, you are also able to take loans from the bank to help you through any hard financial time you may encounter but be warned, you’ve got to pay all of those loans back eventually so use them wisely!
There are many types of vehicle to purchase depending on which direction you wish to go. From harvesters, trailers, tanks, portable tanks, potato harvesters, tractors, and mowers etc. You don’t have to purchase them all, which is a good thing.Instead, you can focus on certain areas and build on the things you enjoy most. Harvesting wheat was a chore but it very simple to do and I could harvest a few fields using the vehicles I had from the start, so crop growing wasn’t going to be much of an issue. Switching from vehicle to vehicle isn’t hard either, pressing left or right on the d-pad takes you from one to the next, but if you wish to travel to a particular destination on the map then you have to do so manually which can take a while especially in slower vehicles.
You can purchase livestock from the local town but there isn’t a wide variety. You can purchase cows for milk, sheep for wool and chicken for eggs. The more you purchase, the more you have to spend daily in order to keep them in top condition and well fed. The positive of owning livestock is they can create a healthy income, so it’s something I would suggest thinking about early on in the game.
During your time playing the career mode you will receive missions from the local communities around you, these range from local businesses asking for their lawns to be mowed, delivery of items or the movement of items for those that don’t have the equipment. If you wish to do certain missions you will have to purchase particular vehicles, but it’s good to know that some of these missions are repeated, so for example you can use that mower again if need be rather than buy it and then sell it at a loss soon after. Doing side missions gives you extra money to spend on your farm, so the more you do the more income you get, but losing track of tasks needed to be done back on the farmland is easily done, so completing missions sparingly is best. You can set how often you wish to receive missions in the options menu, setting them to every two minutes is not ideal as they disturb you from your current objectives/workload.
Visually the game is not a beauty. Textures take a while to load and sometimes you wonder if your crops or plant life are a little sick due to their thinning complexion. Whilst the environment was plain, the vehicles all had their own unique features and all felt different to drive and use even though the controls were similar. With over 100 vehicles to use in the game, they’ve done a fantastic job at making this farming simulation feel, despite gaining no serious damage after rolling down the side of a hill and bouncing like a ball to a stop.
Needless to say Farming Simulator 2013 isn’t going to be for everyone. If you have no interest in simulation games then I would say don’t waste your time, you’re probably going to insist on changing games quickly. Whilst starting this title for the first time can be fun and challenging it can soon become a chore and boring to play. The sim maniacs in the crowd will find hours of enjoyment, but for the majority of us we’ll soon find a shelf to home it on.
Originally posted on Push-Start. Updated for Amber Plays Games.