PMC Farming Simulator Review

Too Long, Didn't Read

Farming Simulator 17 is excellent game. Highly recommended for everyone :-)

My Background

When I was a child back in the late 70's like under 10 years old or something, two of my uncles owned large farms. My family visited there often and I liked the "farm sim" stuff like driving tractors, harvesting and making hay bales etc. I did actually drive a tractor there, first on my uncles lap obviously, but lateron there was times when I was alone cultivating or something like this (I can't remember anymore its been like over 30 years heh). Also as child at that time or before I used to play with toys like all children did and my toys were mostly farm sim stuff like tractors and such equipment. So I have a long history (or rather history long time ago) with farming stuff, however farm sim was first released back in 2008 but only as recently as past 2010 I found out about it and at that time I thought "what stupid game haha!" heh.

So fast forward to early 2017 when I was watching my favorite Elite Dangerous twitch streamer who to my disappointment started to often play Farming Simulator 17, which time I usually stopped watching. Eventually I decided to watch some and it then grew into me actually wanting to watch him play this "stupid game" heh. Well finally the time came when I decided to try Farming Simulator 17 the first time, this was May 7th, 2017. I fell in love right at that moment, then Big Bud DLC was released two days later. I spent over a month (at the time of writing of this review) playing non-stop every day 16hrs+ to the point of my life becoming halted while I was like a drug addict junkie just getting my next fix on farming sim heh, crazy stuff maan...

Base Game

Anyways on with the review. I'm quite bad telling the good stuff as to me its kind of obvious, so there is a lot of the not necessarily negative but just not the hyperventilating boasting about the excellence stuff. But as this review was started; Farming Simulator 17 (FS17) is excellent. Now lets begin...

Game performance is great, I run it on i7 4790K, 16gb ram and GTX Titan X. Worth to mention that game is installed on old and breaking down Western Digital green 3 terabyte HDD (so not at fast SSD). All settings to max and using 4k resolution my framerates are rock solid 60 never ever dropping from there. Actually I find it odd why they are locked to 60 (according to FRAPS) because I have vsync off, hmm. Anyways it is just very enjoyable to play a game with no hiccups and 60FPS constantly, the responsiveness is excellent.

Lower quality than ArmA 3, but that is not a bad thing, just an observation.

What you can do is drive all the vehicles like tractors, harvesters, telehandlers, front loaders, trucks and all kinds of user made mod vehicles.

You can plant seeds to grow crops, cut trees in forests (either by a chainsaw heh or large forestly equipment), caretake animals (base game; chickens, sheep, pigs and cows).

Environment

At night you can't see anything, which is realistic ... however the vehicle lights are really bad, they literally show 10 meters in front of you so they are useless. When you top that with the lack of other senses you would have in real life darkness, its is very difficult to play at night time. Most likely you play in daylight and time scale fast forward clock until next morning.

There is moon in the game but I never seen the sun, there is some bright spot in the skybox but there is no real sun so to speak.

Weather is just horrible, I mean there are couple of different skyboxes and shades but its "sunshine or rain" basically. For game like this which is outdoors environment with living, breathing, growing vegetation, you really need to put some effort on it. I guess this is enough now, but its really a drag how lousy the weather system is.

Unfortunately the environment is quite bad visually. The fields and grass / crops looks fine but the lower resolution levels of detail and textures look really bad even though game runs solid 60FPS on 4k.

Vehicles and Equipment

Vehicles and equipment is excellent quality, giant software modding guide stated that some more complex models could be as high as 50,000 triangles which is quite crazy amount of detail for a computer game 3D model. Textures are only max 2048 x 2048 but that is not a bad thing, capable UV unwrapper and texturer can fully work with that resolution.

TrackIR 5 is supported in vehicle first person view. I'm used to have it supported in 3rd person view also in arma series so its bit odd not to have it here, but still trackir5 support is a must. Great to drive those tractors around and use your head to watch upcoming 90 degree corners or when backing up to link up with trailer etc.

Gameplay

It is pretty boring at times. When you have few field harvests in rotation that they all get into the sowed and fertilized growth stage, but you still have one more to do and you have to wait until its done before you can commence time scale to skip into the harvest time. It is really boring to watch one single tractor fertilizing or doing whatever before you can continue. And no, its not a good idea to time scale when player is bored, because then one field might have parts still being fertilized while other part is already harvesting, that would be pure crazyness.

Plowing, fertilizing, cultivating, sowing and harvesting a field, then taking the grain into the silos or directly to shops for sale is so very satisfying feeling. Real accomplishment feel to it when you go through all those hoops and finally unload tipper / trailer into the shops grain purchasing silo / spot :)

For single player use, OK for any larger scale single player use Courseplay is absolute must. It is truly great to build those course paths and let AI drive vehicles while you do something else, perhaps AI is driving overloader while you harvest or whatever. Just a great mod in general.

FS17 is very relaxing gameplay, you just can chill and drive tractor around those fields calm maybe listening to music etc, instead of most of the other games which are high paced first person action or critical time sensitive skill requiring flight simulators etc. FS17 is just so relaxing.

While relaxing, its highly addictive hehe. You probably get hooked for this and spent the next weeks or even months just playing this game all your free time. Obviously if you don't like it then, well you don't like it.

Downloadable Content (DLC)

At the moment of writing this review KUHN and Big Bud DLC's have been released. I'm not expert on that stuff or even what the DLC's contain actually, but overall experience is that both have a lot of larger type equipment especially Big Bud being the insane worlds largest tractor and those seedhawk things are just out of control hehe.

Big Bud DLC causes some stutter when many of the fancy new models are present (no wonder with 50k tri's models heh, especially if they have crappy LODs or the game handling LODs badly). Well kind of obvious and I didn't go overboard to add everything in one spot, but just buying the best plow, cultivator, seeder + tank and both big buds causes some stutter when coming to that area where they are located. This was on North West Texas 4X map, I played there for days perfectly smooth 60FPS but once purchased the above, some slight stutter.

Modding Community

Large modding community, although most of the stuff is on non english languages like often german and there has been some odd spanish or whatever languages too. Most of the community mod sites seem to be copies of each other made with the same content management system, often download links leading into shady file sharing sites with obnoxious popup ads and crap. News are usually posted almost identical copy pastes to each of the sites. This goes as far as that it feels like most of these sites are created just for fishing hits and ads revenue, maybe even the same person... but who knows.

All the sites link to external file hosting sites, some have links to shady sites which have aggressive popup advertisements. Its horrible to sometimes click five (5) times through all kinds of useless click this click that crap before you reach the actual download link. Its truly a disgusting experience downloading FS17 mods, again emphasizing the fishing for hits / ads revenue stuff. I mean come on guys, have none of you heard of google drive? torrent?

Most user made content releases are horrible (not the content but the release), little or no description or description just changelog and nothing saying actually what the release is about. It is easy for mod maker to lose track of the people who aren't community inbreds who don't know everyone by first name etc. It is really frustrating to search for mods when the descriptions are this lacking or non english language. How short sighted do you have to be to only release a mod with non english language?

User made maps with objects has various quality models and textures, meaning usually low quality almost to the lego style by todays standards, especially textures are horrendously low quality.

Game has inbuild system to browse mods and download them from Farming Simulator Modhub which is the official FS17 developers web site. Game does not search mods from other sites. You can even update mods if game detects newer version released.

Summary

Overall Farming Simulator 17 is excellent and highly recommended to everyone!

Yeah in this review I pointed out several flaws or "negative" issues, but after saying the game is excellent its good to give some context for the bad stuff.

May 22nd, 2017.
Snake Man, PMC.