Name: Farming Simulator 19
Developer: Giants Software
Publisher: Focus Home Interactive
Released: 20.11.2018 Platforms: Playstation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, Mac OS
Reviewed on: Playstation 4 Acquired: A copy of this game was provided by a publisher for review purpose
Let’s be real, farmers are everyday heroes. They get up at ungodly hours to provide food and materials for the masses, and they operate all sorts of intimidating machinery to do so (Have you seen a harvester? Good lord!). A city slicker like me may have no idea what it’s like to run a farm and truly rock that flannel, but at least I can give it a whirl with a virtual one in Farming Simulator 19!
What is there really to say about the story in Farming Simulator 19? Its premise is, of course, running a farm, but other than that there really isn’t enough story to warrant a score, positive or negative.
This is the highlight of Farming Simulator 19, in my opinion. Both farming locations offer some great, scenic surroundings. I chose Felsbrunn because it had a castle in the picture, which automatically makes it cool. I’m a simple person like that. Looking around, the mountains and lakes looked great and made me feel like I was breathing that crisp Norwegian mountain air.
A bit of a drawback for the PS4 version, however, is the loading time. It was hard to be motivated into playing much of it when the loading time was reminiscent of some PS2/3 open world games (not mentioning any names), no matter how nice the interface looked. Side note, the interface did look really nice.
Prep land, plant things, weed things, harvest things, rinse and repeat. Boiled down, this is the bare-bones premise of most of the gameplay. If you’re not the patient and meticulous type, you’re going to have a bad time, which does not necessarily translate into this game being bad.
What might be a bit grating, even for some fans, could be the movement speed of your farmer compared to just how much land they need to cover, but that’s what they’ve got vehicles for! In fact, I’d say most of the game takes place in a vehicle, and here is also where you get most of the customization options! And these are real brands, as well, which adds a bit of extra satisfaction.
Another option for the more “lumberly” types is forestry, planting and cutting down trees for those sweet logs. Playing through the tutorial, this was the part I liked both the most and the least. The manual logging worked great, but for some reason, I was unable to pick up any logs by machine. Whether this was a gameplay or a control error I don’t know, but I’m putting it under gameplay.
Now, this is the part where I don’t know if it’s the controls or me that are wonky. As I said, a lot of the gameplay takes part in a vehicle, usually a tractor. Depending on what you need to do, you attach various gear to the tractor, which is done pretty simply by just driving up to it and hitting X, easy peasy. Then comes the actual driving. If it wasn’t clear why I shouldn’t get a driver’s license before, it certainly is now. It took several tries to line up with the orchard, and even then my tractor usually ended up swerving all over the place. Needless to say, the aftermath didn’t look very pretty. Now, most of this is likely due to me being absolute butts at driving, but there were still some moments where I stayed within the fields and the tractor ended up going at a snail’s pace without anything significant happening to explain it…
The chainsaw wielding was fun, though, and I might have spent a significant amount of time being a horrible person to trees.
To be honest, I’m not really sure what to say about the replay value. You can choose to play in three different modes, where you’ll start out with either a fully stocked farm, money but no equipment or from the bottom with little of either. This, along with two different areas to farm in, allows for some variation in different playthroughs, but the gameplay stays the same with little apparent variation. In conclusion, a great deal of things to do, but a lot of it is essentially the same.
Graphics - 8/10
Gameplay - 7/10
Controls - 6/10
Replay Value - 7/10
Farming Simulator is one of those game series that fits within a certain niche. Not everyone is going to fall for these games, but not everyone has to, either. This rings true for Farming Simulator 19, as well. It’s worth delving into for fans of the series, or of this sort of simulation games in general, but it’s probably not for people with a short attention span.
- Beautiful scenery
- Real-life brands make the game feel more immersive
- Awkward steering
- Bad loading times on PS4