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Farming Simulator 15: Review

Not every game is about racking up kill counts or dominating enemies with massive armies. Sometimes you need a break from all the shooting. OK, maybe not need but at times a change of pace is a good idea. Management games fill that gap well, as do simulators.

Enter Farming Simulator 15. Many people raise their eyebrows at the idea of running a virtual farm and, quite frankly, the market that this game would appeal to is certainly one that could be described as niche. But the market and the appeal is there, so developers Giants Software have put in the effort to bring the game up to date, with the latest and greatest in farming equipment on offer to the eager virtual agriculturalist.


In Farming Simulator 15 the player gets to choose between two sprawling maps, one in Europe and one in the USA. The States map is a familiar one it was featured in the previous version of the game while the European map is entirely new. Each pose unique challenges, particularly in terms of the size of areas that can be cultivated. In the US, the fields are large, for example, while the European fields are smaller.

By planting crops, tending animals and harvesting produce, the player earns money, which in turn can be spent on more fields and better equipment. In this way, Farming Simulator 15 is a management title, although the management model (while solid) isn’t particularly deep. And, in keeping with the title, there is a lot of micromanagement going on, because the player needs to play the game as a simulator. That means ploughing fields, harvesting crops, and driving produce to the grain silo, among other things. This adds a pedantic nature to the game even if the player hires workers to do the ploughing, planting and harvesting, they still need to manually sell whatever they grow.

The biggest win in this iteration is the inclusion of multiplayer. A group of players can get together to build a farm as a group effort (although finding enough players to create a bustling enterprise may be a bit of a challenge). This makes for a fairly enjoyable experience, removing some of the more time consuming tasks or, at least, spreading them around.

In terms of equipment, Farming Simulator 15 offers a wide array of agricultural implements to choose from. The more expensive stuff, naturally, tends to be more efficient, but it will take many hours to get to the point at which you can afford to equip a farm to perfection. In addition, maintenance costs cut into profits, so the player will need to make sure that they balance things fairly well in order to succeed.

Farming Simulator 15 is, like its predecessor, surprisingly enjoyable. The game runs smoothly, and looks decent enough, although the graphics aren’t going to blow your mind. The controls on PC are simple enough, with ever present prompts helping the player along. But the real drawcard here is the fact that the game is massively addictive, and even when you’re curing at driving your tractor down to the grain silo for the umpteenth time, the idea that every bit of effort will help build you towards your self-imposed goals keeps you going.

It certainly isn't for everyone; its slower pace and attention to detail may well frustrate some, and the repetitive nature of farming might put others off. But those that give it a chance may well be surprised by the fact that they enjoy it.

7.5/10

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