I have a long history with UIG and in all honesty we both(UIG and me) would admit it has not been a great relationship. I was given pre-release access to this game so that, as I quote from UIG "you will be pleasantly surprised". Well as I played it....I was pleasantly surprised. You can find a thread labeled 'CE - This game delivers' in the profarm forum if you desire more info into all of that. Now with the review.
Technical: Currently at the time of this writing there are about 5 people saying they have bad frame rates. This means this game runs fine for 99% of all buyers. Which when you think about it, is a pretty darn good ratio. No crashes have been reported from what I have seen. From my side of things it has run very well with only some minor technical issues that I would think will be fixed in upcomming patches. These issues include odd and overly bright reflections from the sun at sunrise/set and from headlights. The occasional piece of texture floating a few inches above the ground after plowing (only noticable when you have camera at the right angle. Some controller mapping issues. All in all though no serious techinical glitches or bugs that break gameplay or the fun level.
Graphics: Graphics are better than FS13 for comparision. There are seasonal changes and with that the foliage and trees change colors and drop leaves ect. It is this area that you will find the small little glitches like I mentioned above. The skybox is well done, have not seen any weather yet so not sure how well that is done.
Playability: The game plays very well. the career mode starts off with a tutorial that takes you through your first year and explains everything like how to use your multi-geared transmissions. Most of the complaints seem to center around these kinds of things. As many players have said why can I only go 24kph, only to get the reply on how to use the gears and achieve 42 kph. So if you do purchase this game, play career at least until the tutorial gets done after the first year. The map is good sized and pretty well done. There are only a single sales spot for crops and bales which is another source of some complaints. I don't mind since in say FS13 you go sell at the best price anyways so in the end your still only selling at one spot most likely. Which leads us to the area this game shines the most. that is farming realism. What I mean by that is with the seasonal structure of the game, the single sales point, the unhurried pace, is more the life of a farmer. I am surrounded by farms in RL and there is only buyer within about 500 mile radius. The seasonal change makes the whole game slower and more relaxed, much like the life of a farmer. Only under extreme situations a farmer might be in a hurry to get something done but the reality is hard work but not necessarily hurried work. Where I find myself in FS13 in a race against..something(time ect). There is no hurry here, no real need to hire helpers even if you own the whole map (although invisible helpers that charge per job are available). Basically it's get up, work til sunset, rinse/repeat. When your work is done you advance the season and start your work again. So maybe more simulation feel? I am sure some out there will not like this in comparision to its rival game. I myself find it a nice fit for a farming game. The equipment is well done on the inside but could use a bit of improvement on the technical/physics side(little things like tires momentarily going in terrain, sliding on a hill a few inches when you come to a stop ect). The amount of equipment is on the smaller end but there is always room for improvement(DLC,maybe modding ability in the future). For the price though there is nothing to complain about as you have everything you need and larger versions to upgrade to. There are 7 crops with one that is a winter only crop(i think) and this one cannot be stored. Crops wheat,barley,canola,corn,soy,peas,luvin. Animals are non interactive and just provide an additonal seasonal income per animal bought. All animal models are well done.
Sound: This area could use some improvement. Some sounds are good some not so good so it is a mixed bag. there is a nice sound feature though. When you enter a vehicle your radio starts to play and you can insert your own music with justa little effort(for info on that how to ect see the "CE - This title delivers' thread I mentioned above. So probably if I were to score this game by catagories this is the one catagory that would have the lowest score.
All in all it is a good solid release at frankly a pretty darn good price. The devs at the moment of this review are active and it looks like they have the will and time/money to address issues. Hope this review helps those looking into this game.
Posted: November 29th, 2013