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Farming Simulator Review (Xbox 360)

Barrie finds there’s more muck than brass down on the farm.

Farming Sim - BannerNow this is one title I really didn’t know how to approach. For one, I have grown up around farms and know any kind of simulation of farming could be a very long and tedious process. And then there is all the potential influences that can alter your methods and process, weather, pests, fiscal instability… The list is endless. Surely all this would be included in a simulation of farming, right? Nope. This Farming Simulator is more akin to a five year old playing with his tractors in a sandpit.

Farming Sim - 1It is never a good sign when the full install of a game on retail disk only requires a few hundred megs, so as you can imagine, this was my first ‘uh-oh’ moment with Farming Simulator. And as expected with a game of such a small install size, it is nothing flash to look at but even worse was the incredibly short draw distances. I mean when you are harvesting a crop and the field you are in hasn’t even been fully rendered, that is pretty poor. And lets face it, that is the core mechanic of the game. Whether it harvesting, sowing, or ploughing, it is exactly the same laborious task with the only difference being the equipment you are in and speed at which you can travel without having your implement fall off. Even if you can then load up your trailer with the harvest and travel at full speed down a 60 degree incline and not lose a single thing…

Farming Sim - 2I guess the key thing to remember here is the second word of the games title, ‘Simulator’. Real farmers spend hours preparing fields, just like you will in this game. Unlike real farmers your in game workers don’t have the need to eat or sleep, allowing you to work them round the clock. Pretty unlikely you will want to play for that long though. Even going Grand Theft Auto on the farming community doesn’t allow you any fun as pedestrians pass straight through you hulking farm implement and damage to anything is impossible. So really Farming simulator hasn’t got a lot going for it really now has it. The one glimmer of interest is if you are into farm machinery. The library of equipment is pretty good and is all modelled of real world units. So there you go, you tractor spotting fans…

Farming Sim - 3Mum always says ‘If you haven’t got anything good to say, then don’t say anything.’. But If that is the case then this review wouldn’t exist. The whole concept is an odd one, and when it has so many technical failings as well, there isn’t much that can save it. Honestly, create one of those little Japanese Zen sand gardens in your back yard and spend an hour each day raking it into patterns, it will be time better spent and may even add a few dollars to your property.