This title was reviewed on PS4, but is also available on Xbox One and PC.
Are you ready to party? Are you ready to have fun? Are you ready for the craziest, hottest, most radical, most agricultural title of the year? Well look no further because Farming Simulator 2019 has dropped my dudes! If you crazy party animals haven’t had enough of real life job simulation from the likes of EuroTruck Sim, Farming Simulator’s got you covered so that the party can go aaaaaaall night.
“But why would I want to play a game about a boring job like farming?” you say. Well, why would you not? Your life’s a mess and contributes nothing to society and you know it! Why not at least pretend you’re doing something important, one neatly cultivated field at a time? Sure you could try to find fulfillment in relationships, education or your career but can it really compare with the feeling of perfectly harvesting your field in neat, organised lines with a smooth continuous drive over the field without leaving any patches anywhere or doing a 20 point turn to reorient yourself? I think not! I guess pulling the tabs off of a notebook page cleanly can compare but we all know that’s physically impossible and we’re not about chasing fantasies here, we’re talking about REAL fake farming. Your job’s a dead end and you grow more bitter by the day but Farming Simulator 2019 is here to offer some semblance of order and control. Your relationship is crashing down in front of your eyes, but hey your farm is running like a swiss clock!
Okay, all jokes aside, Farming Simulator 2019 is a good game. It manages to do what any good sim does, help you chill and get you invested in something that would otherwise sound boring. You can choose between two maps, an American and a European setting, and each contain a number of fields and amenities. Your job as a farmer is to tend to the fields as well as carry out various odd jobs related to the farm. The game offers comprehensive tutorials, and you can start out in three different ways, with a farm and equipment already set up, with nothing to your name but a big starting capital, or start with nothing if you’re hardcore like that. If you dive into the settings there’s a host of gameplay and realism options to tailor the game to your liking. You can work for yourself or take contracts and work on behalf of others, the former being high risk high reward and the latter the opposite. The bulk of the work is cultivating, growing and harvesting but there’s also delivery missions and various other, technically non essential, tasks that can maximise your yields or protect them in adverse conditions, as well as livestock.
Τhere’s a great degree of freedom on how you build and run your farm. You can choose what goes where, what you buy, what you grow etc. There’s also the option of hiring AI workers to increase your farm’s productivity and also avoid having to do certain jobs for the 100th time in a row. Farm equipment requires maintenance, and damage or overuse will result in visible weathering as well as reduced functionality. Also there’s horse riding, a new addition to the series. It serves a purpose in horse training but it also proves a very good alternative to cars for exploring the map, and there’s good reason to need an alternative.
Unfortunately there were a few issues with the game. Driving mechanics are not good, especially for controllers. It’s not much of an issue for fieldwork where you keep low speeds but delivery missions where you have to drive on the road will more often than not end up with your truck spinning spectacularly out of control into a ditch. The graphics are a big step up from previous titles though unfortunately not everything has gotten the same amount of attention. That means that on one moment you’ll be taking in the beautiful sunrise gleaming off your tractor as morning comes on the farm only to start spraying your field with lime with textures that resemble a visual glitch more than anything else. I also encountered frame rate drops quite often. In general, it is my humble opinion that sims are strictly a PC affair. Reviewing a game full of trees, grass and all sorts of foliage on console is a very bad combination. Antialiasing is limited and trees look like scotch brite pads. There’s also talks in the community about missed opportunities in fixing issues from past titles but I have not played other FS games so I cannot speak on that matter.
Overall Farming Simulator 2019 is very much a competent sim. A perfect game to start up any time and unwind while listening to your favorite tunes, and maybe learn a thing or two about farming along the way.