Farming Simulator 17 is the latest in the franchise from Giants Software. Boasting over 250 vehicles and equipment, with brand names such as Massey Ferguson, Fendt and Challenger, and for the first time ever on consoles there will be mod support. Is Farming Simulator 17 worth ploughing your money into, or should it be put out to pasture? Read our review below to find out..
Having played the previous two console versions of Farming Simulator, I can honestly say this is the best yet. There’s a few note-able changes and additions that have been made to the game, the biggest being mod support for consoles. Mods at launch only include a handful of vehicles and machinery, but expect the selection to grow over the coming weeks, with the inclusion of maps and placeable items, this should increase the longevity of the game for those that are really into it, and having seen the mods available on PC for previous Farming Simulator titles, I am really looking forward to what becomes available in the mods menu over the coming weeks and months.
Vehicle upgrades are another new introduction to the game, with various tractors having different upgrades available, from engine upgrades to wheel and attachment upgrades. These can be purchased either at the same time as the vehicle, or later if required with a quick trip back to the shop or by buying your very own vehicle workshop which can be placed anywhere on the map. This upgrade system is great for buying tractors on a budget and upgrading them later if needed it can also work out cheaper than buying a more powerful unit.
Gameplay offers the usual single player career mode, where you control and manage your own farm on either of the two maps available. with save game space to run both maps and more should you wish. There’s all the usual harvesting of different crops available with a few new ones to boot including soy beans and sunflower seeds. It’s thoroughly enjoyable working your way from a small farmstead, earning money to purchase new and bigger machinery, and fields to expand your farming empire. You don’t have to struggle alone in single player either, there’s AI workers that you can hire to help cultivate, sow and harvest your fields. Although you will need to keep an eye on them as they sometimes get stuck if objects are blocking their path, meaning you’ll need to take over and get them sorted and on their way again.
Missions have also had an overhaul for Farming Simulator 17, gone are the mission boards from the previous games, along with the need to own machinery to complete tasks. Now you simply visit a field you don’t own, and aside from being able to purchase it, the current owner will offer you a job for which you will be provided the necessary equipment, complete the job to be given payment, and if done under the allotted time, you’ll also receive a time bonus cash reward. A great way to start the game to get a feel for some of the equipment and how it all works before spending your hard earned money. It also gives the game a bit more atmosphere as previous titles felt a bit empty.
You can also take your single player game online, or start a new one for up to 6 players. you get to play every aspect of the game except the previously mentioned missions, you can set your game privacy to friends only, password protected or open it up completely for anyone to join. Online performance is vastly improved over Farming Simulator 15 notorious for the lag caused when cutting down trees. This is no longer an issue in 17.
Animals are also more prominent in 17, with the addition of pigs to the already available chickens, sheep and cows. you can now transport them when purchasing or selling. You also have to spend more time taking care of them, keeping their feed and water topped up and their pens clean, to maximise their production and reproduction. Driveable trains are another addition to the game, these can be used for transporting large amounts of crops and wood around various parts of the map, giving more options to how, and where you farm.
The controls can seem a little daunting at first, but there’s an onscreen menu for those that are new to the game, and before long it starts to become second nature. visually the game is well detailed and improved on the previous game, and at times can look stunning, although the draw distance is still low and detracts a little from the immersion. Audio is spot on, with everything sounding as it should, there’s even radios in vehicles this time around too, with various stations to listen to, from country to electro. They’re nothing to shout about as they’re generic sounding tracks, but all the same they can detract from the monotonous drone of your tractor while out and about on your farm.