I work in a big city, glass, steel and concrete, that’s my environment.
Sure I live in the “leafy” suburbs, I see the occasional tree or patch of grass during my commute, but it’s quickly replaced by high rise buildings, traffic and thousands of other suited and booted clones all bustling around doing “business things” and generally getting in each others way.Urban Ninja
To me, countryside is something you see rushing passed the window of a train, a blur of green glimpsed at the edge of my vision whilst I sit, smart phone in hand, pretending I’m a ninja and that fruit is my mortal enemy.
I’m vaguely aware that some of the fruit I’m so deftly slicing with my virtual blade could well be growing in the real world fields flashing passed the window, but only in the sense that I’m also vaguely aware that I’m not really a ninja.Rural Recognition
Sometimes the fields change colour, yellows and browns instead of greens, different crops growing I guess but I couldn’t tell you what they are.
I’m a little better at livestock, I can tell the difference between a cow and a chicken and I know they’re both tasty, but their journey from blissful ignorance to yummy burger is something I don’t really want to think about, so I keep slicing the fruit and eating the burgers as ignorant in my own way as the cattle idly watching the train rush by.Trip to the Country
Spending vacation time in the countryside provides some pretty scenery; it helps fill a rural gap in your soul.
There are tractors trundling around with all sorts of alien looking machinery attached to them which probably have something to do with converting the fields full of colourful plants into what you ate for breakfast.
It’s all very curious in the same “I don’t need to know” kind of way that a cow watching a train go past might be curious for a moment and then go back to eating the grass. (Do cows eat grass or is that sheep?)Cows Don’t Eat Sheep!
Sure, it’s a pleasant break, you come away rested and relaxed but likely still just as ignorant to the workings of the patchwork fields that made up that rural vista you enjoyed so much.
This is where Farming Simulator 2015 steps in, with all its clever rural knowledge, its open world countryside to explore and a whole host of those strange “Farming Machines” for you to drive around, best of all, you don’t need to get up at 4am and put on your wellingtons to enjoy it.
(Although you can... if it makes you happy!)Pretty as a Picture
The Farming Simulator franchise has been around for a while now, each iteration bringing a new open world to explore, new game mechanics and updated visuals.
I’m happy to say the latest outing doesn’t disappoint.
This is by far the most visually impressive Farming Simulator to date, the countryside is lush and colourful, the day and night cycle is suitably impressive and the vehicles are all beautifully modelled.
(I used to think that if you’d seen one tractor, you’d seen them all – not so!)Let’s Get Physical
Physics in the game have been updated too, this time around your vehicles will leave deep tire tracks in the mud, ploughing and tilling soil will create troughs and ridges that you don’t want to get stuck in, we’re not talking “Spintires” levels of muddy terrain here, but enough for you to notice its impact, The physics in Farming Simulator 2015 really do help add to the sense of realism when driving around in the world.
And what a world it is, you get two maps with the game, one in beautiful Bjornholm which contains a built in tutorial to get started working the land, the other is in wonderful Westbirdge, both maps are well designed and provide equally interesting open worlds to explore.FPS
For the uninitiated to the franchise, Farming Simulator is exactly what is says on the tin, A simulation of a working farm.
You start the game with your farmhouse, a few low end tractors, some basic machinery and a couple of fields.
From there you’ll be preparing the soil, planting and harvesting a variety of different crops and either using them yourself as a resource for another farming related activity or more likely loading them onto a trailer, hooking it up to a tractor and driving it to sell at market.
You can control each vehicle from a third or first person perspective depending on your preference and drive around the open map to your hearts content (or at least until you run out of petrol).
You can hop out and walk around freely too. What we have here is an FPS (Farming Person Simulator).Bovine Buddies
In addition to all the ploughing, seed sowing and harvesting of crops, which is much more fun than it sounds, there are several other agriculturally related activities for you try your hand at.
Buying some livestock might be a good way to make some extra money; if you feel the need you could also just hang out with them in their field and watch the sun set (and if you’re the person getting up at 4am with your galoshes on to play farming simulator then I expect you’ll also be the one who feels that particular need.)I’m a Lumberjack and I’m OK
Forestry has been introduced officially into this 2015 instalment too, so if you’ve always fancied yourself as a bit of a lumberjack then you can put on your chequered shirt, (not literally, my early rising, welly wearing friend of the cows.) grab your chain saw and go ruin a trees day, no one will stop you, you’ve got a chainsaw!Piggy Bank
So now you’ve dabbled in all these activities and you’ve got some money saved up, maybe it’s time to expand the business.
You could buy another field or two to increase your crop rotation, you could hire some workers so you don’t have to do everything yourself too.
Another option might be to visit your friendly neighbourhood farming store and invest in some better machinery, your old tractor is having troubling pulling a full trailer up the hill to the silos after all.Farming Financials
The business tycoon element of the game is surprisingly comprehensive, the prices your produce will fetch at market will fluctuate, if a crop isn’t fetching a fair price you might be able to put it to a better use or store it in a silo and wait for the market to pick back up.
The locals never run out of odd jobs for you to do either, these missions pay relatively well when you’re just starting out as long as you’ve got the right tools for the job.4X
That’s farming simulator in a nutshell. You work the land, tend your animals, chop down the trees and try to make some honest money.
Money which you can then invest in more land and more animals to make even more money, which you’ll need to pay for the hired help and the extra machinery needed on your growing agricultural estate.
You “Explore”, “Expand” and “Exploit” the land, just don’t mention “Exterminate”, it worries the cows.Escape to the Country
So whether you want to enjoy the management side of the game, the free drive option of taking a tractor for a spin GTA style or just want an excuse to get up at the crack of dawn wearing nothing but wellingtons and a chequered shirt to watch the virtual sunrise with your animated cow friends, this game is for you!
Farming Simulator 2015 is by far the best outing for the franchise and it really is an enjoyable, memorising game to play.
Take a trip to the country, you’ll learn something and its fun!
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