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Farming Simulator Switch Edition Review

November 15, 2017 | Posted by Stewart Lange
Farming Simulator Switch Edition
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Farming Simulator Switch Edition Review  

Farming Simulator has hit the Nintendo Switch, with a modified version of the 2017 release coming to the handheld hybrid console. It’s a tough game to review, because this does exactly what it says on the tin, this is an extremely faithful simulation of running a farm, for better or worse. This is not a game that you’ll want to pick up on a whim, I’d certainly suggest doing some research and watching gameplay because despite it being a relatively stressless game, it’s absolutely not going to be for everyone.

After some short tutorials explaining how to operate certain bits of machinery, you’re dropped on your farm, in amongst all of your empty fields with $25,000 in your account and very little additional information. There are literally pages of information to read to help you on your way, but there is no real objective or to do list. It’s time to start planting crops and rearing cattle. Thankfully, the game does help you out with what you’re actually having to do in the moment with control prompts. Because of this, it becomes quickly apparent that this game is not going to hand you anything on a plate. As a result, it’s hard to really understand who this game is for, specifically. For better or worse, this game will make you work hard like you are really working the farm. If you have to spend and hour ploughing a field, then so be it. Nothing is automatic here, and while it’s good we have an alternative to the more lighthearted Stardew Valley, FS will make you feel like you’ll have to get up at dawn to milk the cows.

Graphically, Farming Simulator isn’t the most inspiring game I’ve ever played, although it’s not exactly bad looking either. It runs just nicely either handheld or on a big screen and despite not looking quite as good as the other versions of the game, it’s not going to make or break your enjoyment that it’s not running at a full 60fps in 4K. The level of detail is quite astonishing though. Every single brand and model of tractor you could possibly imagine has been recreated in game and they all look very different, I’ll assume they’re all faithful to real life. It’s basically the Forza 7 of tractors and combine harvesters. The animals all look good, as do the the different crops. There shouldn’t be any issue with even the farming novices amongst us telling our corn from our carrots.

Given how many farming novices there are in the world, it does suggest this will alienate a vast number of it’s potential audience with just how in depth it is. The time and dedication you’ll need to achieve anything here is staggering and while it’s very impressive what has been achieved here, it does beg the question as to who the game is for. I can’t imagine that someone who works in a call centre would want to play a game based on that, for example. If a farmer has spent 10 hours working backbreaking labour in the fields of their own farm, why would they then want to spend the rest of their evening doing it virtually? I understand the draw of certain simulation games, such as Football Manager or games like EWR but given the absolute complexity of Farming Simulator I feel we’ll see a lot of copies traded in for being just too much like real hard work.

This is what makes it such a difficult game to review. In every single way, Farming Simulator achieves exactly what it sets out to do. And what is does do it does very well. This is categorically the most intensive and best farming simulation series out there, but it’s just not going to be for everyone. It’s too hard to be a relaxing jaunt like Stardew Valley and there doesn’t seem to be a reason to get off your sofa to cheer. But despite all this, it ticks every box that it’s potential audience could possibly ask to have ticked and as a result, it’s extremely hard to give this a negative review just because I’ll not stick the course with it as I prefer my games to be a little bit more exciting. If you do like farming or are looking for something to engage with for some time, this will be worth every penny. Given the fact there’s a choice of farming simulators on a 7 month old console, it’s an extremely good time to fall into either of those categories.

The final score: review Very Good
The 411
The level of depth and accuracy presented here is astonishing and while this game isn't going to be for everyone, there is nothing wrong with aiming a game at a particular niche. This has achieved exactly what it sets out to do and provides the most true to life simulation of running a farm you could imagine, with the ability to take it on the go with you. Don't like the idea of it? Don't buy it, but don't think it's bad because it's not for you.

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Farming Simulator, Stewart Lange