Farming Simulator 15
Farming Simulator developers are very quick to release new versions; but it means that the old ones don’t get obsolete at once. Though (as for August 2018) FS19 is about to be released, FS15 is still a thing.
What’s the most admirable about FS’s design is the designers’ attitude towards the tech. MANs and Caterpillars, Horsch’s and New Holland’s – they are all recreated in slightest nuances, close to the original. As all the vehicles in this game are licensed, the design is not “like”: it IS the original.
The environments may lack some realism, but that’s no problem: we know it’s all conventional. What matters is fields and animals at the farm, rocky roads with steep ups and downs and workers you may hire to care for your fields and farms. And this part is quite even.
The game is all about the farming process as it is. Control various farming vehicles to do different jobs – sowing or harvesting, cutting trees and transporting loads. While there is a kind of economy (though not too logical), the main pleasure of this game lies in technical details. Control these machines; drive them through fields; cut trees; harvest, buy and sell.
The only confusing thing that in the beginning, right after the first mission, you feel completely lost. You have to learn for yourself what you can do and what you should. A little guidance would fix it, but the developers either didn’t bother or thought the discovery would be part of the fun. Maybe it is, but many would like to concentrate on tractors and harvesters instead of this unimpressive economic part.
While the original control system includes a great lot of keyboard shortcuts, it seems not easier than mastering the real farming vehicles. Default Windows input and output methods allow just that. If you use a touchscreen device, it won’t help; for Windows games, touch controls haven’t become a must.
If you have an Xbox controller, you can connect it to your PC and activate on the game settings. Alas, Microsoft only supports its own controllers in Windows, so other vendors’ hardware won’t do.
Replay Value: 1
There are two factors making the game almost unreplayable. First, as you master some vehicle, you find no fun in upgrading your skills with this one instead of exploring another one. Second, as you progress, you unlock new missions and objects. The further you go, the less interesting it is to start over.
As one of the reviewers said, it’s “tractor porn”, and that’s what we should keep in mind. This game is perfect for shaking off the urban stresses while driving harvesters, wheel loaders, telehandlers or tractors. The economy is secondary; the working process is primary. And that’s what FS15 is good at.
- Graphics 5
- Gameplay 4.5
- Controls 3
- Replay Value 1
More jobs to do and more vehicles to ride
Xbox controllers supported (if you’re not a keyboard maniac)
The economical part seems strange and unfinished