Farming Simulator 2013 was a complete new and unexplored genre of gaming for me. Before installing I imagined Tant Sannie en Oom Koos in his flannel shirt sitting on the stoep having “koffie en tuisgebakte beskuit”, while I gathered some eggs for the morning and milked the cow in my jean pant dungarees. I would come home to a peaceful place and get ready to start the day’s chores before the rest of the sane world woke up. Unsurprisingly, the boere dream didn’t come true.
I was given a farm with a house I couldn’t enter, one piece of land and some vehicles and not that much money. There are check points all around the farm; the game takes you on a tour explaining what they all are. This was semi-helpful. I wasn’t impressed by the game’s inability to familiarise new players to the business sim or farming sim genre. I felt completely lost. It took be a couple of tries and some curiosity to discover that the missions I had been getting the whole time couldn’t be completed because with my very limited amount of knowledge I didn’t know off the bat to reset all my vehicles once exiting to the main screen. This of course is not a prerequisite, but without doing that I’d never know how many vehicles I actually had and wouldn’t have been as sure as to sell some duplicates to buy the right vehicle for the missions.
This got me properly started. At least for 20 minutes a day before my brain turned into a pudding like goo, rendering me useless for the remainder of the day/evening. My conclusion on how newbie-friendly the game is: it isn’t, at all. Trying to have fun while playing this game is like watching a horse trying to hump a chicken. It just ain’t happening. It would have been much better if the game wasn’t presented in such a bland way with generic NPC’s aimlessly wondering the streets and everything else resembling cardboard cut-outs. It kind of reminded me of a digital “Children of the Corn” with absolutely no horror in it whatsoever. That’s if you exclude the glitches. The most amazing thing I’ve seen about this game is MORTAL KOMBAAIIINNN. Queue Mortal Kombat theme song and rock out!
For players who enjoy the Farming Simulator franchise, it would seem the game is a pleasant addition. And I truly apologise for expressing my lack enjoyment in previous paragraphs. You should start reading here. Given the amount of hours you can spend playing the game, the fact that it’s moddable, and the laid back multiplayer community, you get great value and a well rounded business simulator.
The game is different than objective driven games, it’s not completely without consequence when it comes to failure, but it would sure take a lot to fail if you’re actively playing. You have a great variety of investments to choose from, including a focus on livestock, more or bigger fields, and faster machines. And OH MY SHEEP do you need faster vehicles. Starting vehicles, as to be expected run’s from about 13mp/h to the thirties and forties. What was odd to me as a gamer though is that as the farmer, you could probably outrun most of those vehicles on foot. If you are a regular to the genre, you will harvest long, and prosper and make sweet farming harmony regulating capital in and out of your business while still making a good profit. You will be able to enjoy a great career mode as well as multiplayer experience.
Many people have asked how Farming Simulator 2013 compares to AAA games, the answer simply is, it doesn’t. With better graphics, a better system, to teach new players with and maybe some kind of soundtrack, it could have had the potential to do so. Sadly it doesn’t have any of that. Even though it’s a business simulator, it doesn’t give the developers an excuse to settle for bad graphics and nothing whatsoever to make the game even remotely interesting to new players.
Graphically the game looks bland and vehicles as well as attachments often get stuck or sink into the ground. There’s no soundtrack or any sounds apart from the vehicles and livestock and no incentive to get immersed in the game. The attempt at planting AI into the game to make it seem more alive is a complete failure as it still feels completely deserted. I feel very let down by this game and feel that if more effort was put into it, to make it more interesting and attractive, it could command a bigger audience, just the same as games like Cities XL and maybe even Sim City.