Having played Farming Simulator 14 on 3DS, I became hooked into the world of Farming Sims. From here I threw myself into the much larger Farming Sim 15, and my love for the game and genre increased. This year however, Techland Publishing have thrown a curve ball into the Farming Sim game with Pure Farming 17: The Simulator. As a direct competitor to Giants’ Farming Simulator, I was eager to see both of these games at Gamescom, so early Friday morning, I set out to do just that.
Looking at my schedule, many chortled at the fact that I had both Pure Farming 17 and Farming Simulator down on my list. Mostly the question was “Why?!” my response was simple: I just love the relaxed nature of farming sims. Easy.
However, those of us who love Farming Sim games have a dilemma on our hands in the near future. Do we stick with what’s familiar or do we dive into the unknown? Is there more to offer over on the Pure Farming 17 camp than Farming Sim 17? Fortunately for you, I’ve asked those hard questions and hopefully I have some answers.
Both Farming Simulator 17 and Pure Farming 17 offer similarities in terms of gameplay. They’re both farming simulators which allow you to tend to your own crops, livestock, and more. While Giants Software / Focus Home has experience under their belt, newcomers Techland hope to make their game the ultimate farming simulator by offering a level of depth that Farming Simulator doesn’t.
So lets jump straight into what we know. Farming Simulator is the latest game from Giants Software which, for the most part, offers a fair few familiar features. The game brings the return of the lumbar yard and the various tools which comes with. There’s also the addition of some new crops such as Soy Beans and Sunflowers. In addition, there are over 70 brands available in the game as well as the ability to now customise your ride.
Largely sandbox, aside from the task of tending to your own farm, Farming Simulator will offer the ability for you to help your neighbours by completing tasks such as tending to their crops as they suffer with injuries or illness. Unlike before, where you were required to already own the equipment in order to complete this task, these new neighbourly tasks will also come with the ability to borrow their equipment. Completing these tasks will ultimately make it easier for you to purchase other farmers’ land.
Speaking of which borrowing equipment, Farming Simulator 17 will also give you the opportunity to rent equipment and vehicles giving you a chance to test them out before purchasing. This of course comes at a cheaper price than purchasing the vehicle, but you’ll have to watch out – rent the vehicle for too long, and you may be paying over the odds, so you’ve got to decide whether it’s worth renting, or just waiting to purchase the tool.
Other new equipment includes the ability to drive trains, so you can easily lug tons of crops, wood, and whatever else, great distances saving you tons of time. In addition, transportation comes with another new feature – tension straps. These straps hope to tackle the problem of hay bales and more rolling off your trailers and causing a right mess in the middle of the road.
For the most part, Farming Simulator 17 is just an improvement on an already great game. Sure, there is a learning curve for new players as they need to understand what equipment is needed for certain tasks, but it’s still very enjoyable.
That being said, during the presentation Focus Home Interactive held Friday morning, others attending were treating the game as a bit of a joke and repeatedly referred back to PewDiePie and others who have played the game, adding that “this is a great game for YouTube” and repeatedly asking whether pedestrians can be run over, or whether the player character could drown if they went into the lake.
Unfortunately, Farming Simulator has been given the reputation as a bit of a joke thanks to a number of Let’s Play videos where the game has been ridiculed rather than being looked at as a serious simulator. That of course hasn’t stopped over 5 million players playing the game, so that’s something.
So what about Pure Farming 17: The Simulator?
There are no jokes here. Techland are going to town with Pure Farming 17. Whereas Farming Simulator 17 is largely a sandbox title, Pure Farming 17 offers a full-on campaign mode which has players taking the role of someone who has just inherited a farm from their parents, and has no clue what to do. Throughout the campaign players will expand their farming empire and also branch out to other locations which can only be unlocked through this mode.
The campaign has been designed to teach players what to do and how to do it. Throughout the campaign, players won’t just be following a linear story, they’ll actually have a choice as to how to expand their farm, whether it’s with green houses or orchards. Depending on the direction players’ go with their campaign, the game will dynamically offer you different quests based on those choices. There’ll also be dynamic events which are time-limited and can help boost your bank account, if you so wish.
Once players establish their family farm into a huge business, opportunities to expand to other countries will be presented to them. These will offer more specialised farms each with their own unique crops to work with, further extending the gameplay. These locations are Italy, Japan, and Columbia. In Italy players will tend to olives and grapes, in Japan it’s cherries and rice, and in Columbia it’s coffee and industrial hemp.
Already, I’m invested in this game, but there’s so much more that Pure Farming 17: The Simulator has to offer, this includes the Scenario mode, a sort of challenge-based mode where players are offered one hour to complete a certain task, whether it’s providing a school with milk, but they don’t own a single cow, or producing a certain amount of energy with two different energy sources.
Pure Farming 17 is also incredibly deep, with players needing to not only care for their farms, but also caring for there equipment. As things deteriorate over time due to usage, players will need to ensure everything is in tip-top shape, and will manually be able to tend to and repair their vehicles. All of this effects efficiency, something that’s crucial in the game. From choosing the correct soil composition for crops, even down to the feed you offer your live stock, if the balance isn’t quite right, your yield won’t be optimal.
It’s this level of depth which makes Pure Farming 17: The Simulator stand out from the crowd. Techland have aimed to make the ultimate farming simulation game, and from what I’ve seen from Pure Farming, it could be well on the way to doing that.
So in the battle between Pure Farming 17 and Farming Simulator 17, there has to be a winner, and I genuinely think that from the previews I experienced, Pure Farming 17 could be the one for me. The level of depth within the game is enormous and I just can’t wait to explore, in comparison Farming Simulator is just sitting back sucking its thumb holding a log and hoping mods are enough to keep people glued to the game.