With a sweaty brow and dirt under my nails I dove into Farming Simulator 2019. You can really tailor your farming, harvesting crops, raising animals or simply get your axe out for some forestry. I chose cropping for my first attempt and for awhile it felt like watching grass grow, but I soon left my fields to reach for the sun and took a look at the tasks spread all over town. These not only filled in time but provided a lot of funds that I could spend on more machinery, which was rapidly growing into a farming fleet.
The day in the life of a farmer, with many jobs to get done before you get tired. If you want to farm the land, you’ll have to do all the steps in order to harvest a crop, from ploughing, to sowing, then eventually harvesting. You can choose to do all this yourself but with so much to get done its much easier to hire labor to help out. And while tasks may seem repetitive, this is what appeals to the core audience of this game, one task will lead to another, and if the farm is well worked and kept in order then the rewards and money will pay off. However, with no real end goal its really up to the player when to give up.
This year the visuals have improved, that’s the first thing you’ll notice, but honestly, I still think the graphics need to be significantly improved. Fields are still all done with 2d textures and even with the settings turned up to very high I could see the grass render only 10 meters in front of me. Even though this is an open world game, its quiet. When driving through town you’ll see the occasional car which really just gets in the way, also there are people walking around who you can’t hit or interact with in anyway, think of them more like a mannequin. This is a shame, because it takes so long for your crops to grow there isn’t really any reason, apart from the tasks, to explore around town.
There is one glaring omission, seasons. It’s hard to see why they’re not in this game, farming since its birth has evolved around the seasons, even a day temperature gauge would be nice so that crops grow faster when it’s the perfect temperature. To be honest there is barely any weather, a storm or slight flooding wouldn’t go astray. In 2018 having a farming game that only has a day night cycle isn’t good enough especially when Indie games Stardew Valley, Farmville and even Rimworld have seasons that affect your crop growth.
With this title now being a yearly release, I don’t think we can expect huge leaps and bound from year to year, maybe just refinement. There is something compelling about building up your farming empire, its going to take a lot of time but as the title says this is a simulation game and if you’re looking for edge of your seat action then this isn’t it. Its more a meticulous and thoughtful play style, and this game does well to highlight an industry that we all should pay more attention of.
Farm Simulator 2019 is a 2.5 out of 5 ‘Good Play’.