Professional Farmer 2014 Is A Game, And Has A Demo

By John Walker on December 2nd, 2013 at 3:00 pm.

I don’t know what’s a joke any more. When people are championing Euro Truck Simulator as a genuinely good game, it’s made everything far too confusing. Is it really? I’ve not played it. The slew of ludicrously meticulous mundanity sims with italicised white lettering was something I thought we could just poke fun at. But now what? Professional Farmer 2014 is a thing. That’s the name of a game. I feel like I should be safe to tip my head back and laugh. But I’m not, am I? What if it’s brilliant? What if cats ARE dogs? Well, there’s a demo so we can all find out.

What are the latest farming techniques for 2014?

Just the demo for this farming simulator is 2.6GB, but let’s take a look.

A loading screen… nothing else… clicking doesn’t do anything… Escape? Oh, no, that takes itself literally and I’m back to desktop. Let’s try again.

Ooh, this time it’s remembered to load the buttons. So, profile created, selected, then selected once more, and I’m in.

This game has three types of animals, I’m told. Chickens, ducks and cows. And this game also doesn’t take kindly to task switching. Let’s just launch it again.

Once I’d been shown around my farm, I was then given my first task! Plough a field.

Plough a field?

No.

No I won’t plough a field. Oh my goodness, this isn’t entertainment! This is work! I HATE work!

I have this weird thing, this weird irrational fear, when I drive past a farm and I think to myself, “Oh God, I don’t want to have to work on a farm, I don’t want it to be my turn to work on a farm,” before I realise that it’s relatively unlikely that this will occur. I really do this. (I do it for building sites too, where I panic about when it’s my turn to have to carry so many heavy things and work so hard doing difficult manual labour.) This game is like that nightmare coming true for me, willingly creating the job I fear within the job I love. What madness is this?

Ploughing a field takes AGES, and tractors go REALLY SLOWLY. And apparently this isn’t the approved method:

So in summary: what? This might be amazing, according to the new laws of physics that now seemingly apply. It features first-person on foot sections, where you can run and jump about your farmyard, mocking the penned in chickens with your abundant freedom. It’s also a simulation of farming, and not a simulation of flying a spaceship into the Sun, then parachuting back to Earth, which it could have been.

You can buy Professional Farmer 2014 for £15 right now.

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78 Comments »

  1. Faldrath says:

    But Euro Truck Simulator *is* a genuinely good game, John :(

    • Hodge says:

      It took me twenty minutes and about a dozen three-point turns to get the truck out of the depot at the start.

      It’s brilliant.

    • Keyrock says:

      I concur. I’ve put some 70 hours into Euro Truck Simulator 2, and I’ve enjoyed it the whole time.

    • DuneTiger says:

      Seconded. It *is* a fantastic game. It’s what I like to call casual elite; not very twitchy, but once you get the hang of driving around, it’s such a great, fun, relaxing experience. The only thing that I wish was in the game were traffic cops. It’d be a lot of fun to manage your speed and look for cop traps rather than errantly run too long on the road and get an automatic ticket.

      Back in the day, PC was riddled with games like this. I remember the first trucking sim I ever played was an old one where it was parser-based and you were moving stuff all across Canada. You’d have to manage your time, your fuel, whether or not to put chains on your wheels, and of course, trying not to get caught by the cops for doing all sorts of things that would speed you along but broke road rules.

      • Leb says:

        Cross Country Canada!?!

        We had to play that in school.. it was supposed to teach us.. something.

        We had no manual and we figured out the commands as we went, I remember laughing maniacally when I found out that there was “speed” command, and then crying when I crashed off the road because of it

        • DuneTiger says:

          That’s probably it. I honestly can’t for the life of me remember the title of the game. I only remember the “dik-dik-dik-dik-dik” of the PC speaker as you drove along a dark two-laner in the wee hours of the morning. That game taught me the word ‘commodity’.

          Speaking of, parser games were really good at teaching me new words when I was growing up.

      • Syphus says:

        On the other hand, I am extremely thankful the game lets me turn off fuel and tiredness if I want.

        • Canadave says:

          But why? I love plotting out where my next stop is going to be, and occasionally tensely gambling on whether I make it in time or not.

          • norfolk says:

            I have to agree with John here. From the outside, it’s really, really hard to understand how you aren’t being ironic here.

          • hemmingjay says:

            I know, but it’s true. It is fun oddly enough.

    • sleepisthebrotherofdeath says:

      Merging this article with another from earlier today – Euro Truck simulator is at about number 40 of the steam most played stats (just above Torchlight 2 and Arma 3). Seems that people really do play and like the game.

    • fish99 says:

      Agree, it is genuinely fun.

      It doesn’t have the depth it should have though, once you’ve done a few of the long distance deliveries with dangerous/valuable cargo, and own a few yards and trucks, you’ve seen everything the game has to offer.

      The game is ultimately too forgiving. It’s almost impossible to lose money no matter how badly you drive. The difficulty should have kept ramping up – with denser traffic, tighter deadlines, worse weather, more roadworks, unstable loads etc.

      As is though, it’s still good for 30+ hours.

    • dE says:

      I used to dismiss this game. A truck simulator… hah, how tedious can it be. Until someone told me to think of it as the Prequel to X. Your infinite space is essentially europe, but you’ve got plenty of roads to explore and you find truck dealers, towns and other small things along your road.
      You control your pre-warp age transport to deliver goods from one place to another. Ultimately with the goal to buy your own fleet of trucks and build up a trade empire spanning the entirety of europe. After giving the game a try, I even found the long roads to be similarly soothing as the long multi-system treks through the cubic sectors of X.

      Needless to say I bought it. I paid in € and had to hand in my hardcore gamer license. Not that I’d ever need it anyways.

  2. Gap Gen says:

    I’m tempted to make a game called “Unprofessional Farmer”, where you can drive slowly down A roads in your tractor without pulling over, shout at hikers walking on public footpaths, and demand that the government cull badgers despite evidence that the policy is flawed in every respect.

  3. Anthile says:

    I prefer amateur farming these days. More authentic.

  4. Syphus says:

    Euro Truck Simulator is in fact a genuinely good game. I was not expecting it, but after hours of driving a truck places, I can honestly say I enjoy it for some reason.

    • mouton says:

      “Life used to be good” said an unnamed driver “not easy, but good”.

      “Then that damn game came out and all of sudden truck driver labour market went to hell”

  5. womp says:

    “I have this weird thing, this weird irrational fear, when I drive past a farm and I think to myself, “Oh God, I don’t want to have to work on a farm, I don’t want it to be my turn to work on a farm,” before I realise that it’s relatively unlikely that this will occur. I really do this. (I do it for building sites too, where I panic about when it’s my turn to have to carry so many heavy things and work so hard doing difficult manual labour.) “

    Oh my god I thought I was the only one

    • Gap Gen says:

      It’s fine, in the UK the countryside has mostly been gutted of people who actually work there, and is largely populated by middle class professionals who wear Barbour jackets or old people who like living three fields away from the nearest bus.

    • The Random One says:

      When the zombie apocalypse comes I’ll put both of you to grow an orchard in the hotel swimming pool out of apple seeds, potato salad and Brussel sprouts.

  6. bit_crusherrr says:

    Euro Truck 2 is genuinely a good game. It’s really comfy putting on the radio and driving around the UK and Europe. The rpg elements serve as a good goal too, building up your trucking empire, hiring more drivers, moving to a bigger garage, painting your Renault Magnum red with white racing stripes.

    All it’s missing is dekotora and it would be a perfect game.

  7. SanguineAngel says:

    You know it’s probably quite a good game for younger kids who are really into tractors and the like.

    • DuneTiger says:

      The ever-present Farming Sim definitely is. I know a kid who pours hours into that game due to his obsession with farming machines. There’s an audience for everything.

    • Sharlie Shaplin says:

      My six year old niece loves Euro Truck.

    • hemmingjay says:

      If you are the type of player who likes to provide support roles in games, like hauling ore in Eve online and such, then you might enjoy the Farming Simulator/Professional Farmer games. I have an incredibly stressful job and I find it soothing to take a half hour to plow and cultivate a field while having a beer and listening to some music.

      I can’t explain why it’s fun, but for me it is.

  8. SuicideKing says:

    Come on John, don’t tell me you haven’t seen this.

    EDIT: Mildly NSFW.

    • Njam says:

      Whew, i was beginning to fear no one would post this.

      Not being sarcastic, i was genuinely worried. A farming simulator post, and no 360 Crop Rotation yet?! Is… is something wrong? What is happening?

  9. drewski says:

    If it was really a professional farming simulator, you’d just sit in an office all day, plan crop rotations and hire contractors to do all the working bits.

  10. Inzimus says:

    having partly (i.e. about 15 years) lived on a farm; I’ve ploughed my share of fields, fed chickens, ‘herded cows’, gathered hay, worked at the sawmill and everything else in-between and… those years may very well have been the best of my life

    that, however, does not mean that I’d like to do it in a ‘simulator’, it’s hard, hard work – from morning to late evening and (if the cows manage to make a break for it) in the middle of the night

    I don’t blame your ‘fear’ of having to work at a farm, but trust me, once you get used to it; there’s just no other job(s) that can measure up (IMO), if nothing else because of [the genuine feeling of tiredness] from having worked all day, being able to sit in front of a warm fireplace after having had a real dinner and just lean back with a hot cup of cocoa/coffee and relax, in ways few people can ever imagine [relaxing]

    • dogoncrook says:

      This. I have the other one, whatever it is, and even though it is exactly as tedious as you’d imagine, it is ridiculously enjoyable because of nostalgia. I also really got into red dead redemption for similar reasons, they nailed the flora and I realized I was actually dodging the Damn cactus plants instinctively on my horse. Not sure about this one, but the other one hit the spot for me. I doubt I could ever play it for extended periods of time, but the hours I tossed at it brought back a lot I figured I had forgotten. My muscle memory kicked in and I was using techniques I hadn’t bothered to think about for 15 years like I had never stopped.

  11. President Weasel says:

    Back in the day us gamers used to spend hours and hours playing transport tycoon and Super Duper Railway Owner Man ™ on the Amiga. I don’t see how these games are fundamentally different from those, or why it’s OK to poke fun at someone putting hours into creating their own imaginary trucking company or farm, but not to mock people creating an imaginary empire or fighting an imaginary war.

    Now if the game’s a shoddily put together budget bin piece of crap, that’s entirely different.

    • Viscera says:

      “shoddily put together budget bin piece of crap”

      Yeah, that’s actually a pretty accurate description for these (mostly Astragon-published) “games”.

      Not all of them are bad, of course. As mentioned, ETS is good. But most of these simulators are cheaply made shovelware, only designed to make a quick buck. Sometimes, a game is published under two different names, trying to fool customers in buying both and some don’t even have 9/10 of the features they claim to have on the box.

  12. Viscera says:

    It is to note that most of these simulation games are published (and apparently partly developed by) Astragon, a German publisher/developer whose greed matches that of EA. The difference is that the latter actually cares about using developers who actually have skills (even if it doesn’t amount to much eventually). Just look at this impressive list of unimpressive games: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Astragon_games

    Euro Truck Simulator is different in that it was made by Czech developer SCS Software, who actually know what they are doing. I never played anything else than Euro Truck Simulator 2, but I heard their other games are rather good too (although ETS 2 seems to be their magnum opus so far). Astragon had no hand in this (and SCS would be too overqualified for them).

    So please, don’t lump ETS with the stuff that Astragon (more a garbage disposal than a game company) pukes out.

    That being said, they don’t have a monopoly on awful simulators. UIG’s backlog doesn’t look very impressive, but not quite as bad as Astragon’s (they published Leisure Suit Larry Reloaded here, which is not bad, I guess?). I still can’t say that I have much hope for this one. It doesn’t help that the description here reminds me a lot of Astragon’s farming games (of which I saw a LP once).

    • Leb says:

      “Bus-Simulator 2008 (2007) Windows
      Bus-Simulator 2009 (2009) Windows
      Bus-Simulator 2012 (2012) Windows”

      I’m curious as to the new features that come with each release…

    • Vercinger says:

      UIG has the “… Giant” series though, and those games aren’t bad at all. They aren’t too impressive either, however, and I can recommend the ones I’ve played mostly because there isn’t much else in the genres they cover.

  13. Timberwolf says:

    This looks and sounds like a hangover game. A category of gaming aimed squarely at the peculiar type of Saturday morning hangover where you don’t have much of a headache, but the render-brain-into-soup effects of alcohol have left you with little more than the ability to stare at something and occasionally prod a button with anywhere between 1-3 seconds elapsing betwixt decision and action.

    Railworks/Train Simulator/Whatever It’s Called This Week is the ultimate espousement of this category. There is a train. There is a lever to make it go faster or slower. Once every few minutes something will happen on screen that necessitates moving the lever to a new position. Reaction time is not particularly critical. Stare blankly, prod, and regret drinking. And in the case of Professional Farmer 2014, realise that the impressiveness of your farm will merely document the shame of your excess.

  14. JimDiGritz says:

    What melts my mind is that this is the SECOND farming sim released this year!

    http://www.metacritic.com/game/pc/farming-simulator-2013

    They are by different developers and released by different publishers!!!!!!!!!!!

    GET ORRF MY SIM!!

    • KDR_11k says:

      Well, the Rune Factory devs went bankrupt so there’s no fantasy farming simulator. But don’t fret, there’s still Agriculture Simulator, Tractor Simulator and the portable versions of Farming Simulator.

      • Henke says:

        So which one is the best one of these farming sims? Is one of them actually _the good one_ and the others are just riding it’s coattails because noone can be bothered figuring out whether Farming Simulator, Agriculture Simulator, or Professional Farmer is the one to get?

        I tried a bit of Agriculture Simulator 2011, and I can report that that’s probably not the good one.

  15. Lambchops says:

    Professional Farmer – 2014 remix (with apologies to Tori Amos)

    Slag pit
    Cow Shit
    Honey plough it all through my field
    Yes
    Don’t plant those crops yet
    We gotta be big farm
    We gotta be big
    Star farmer just like my Daddy
    Just like my Daddy selling his chicken
    Just like my Daddy
    Gonna plough a field made him feel
    Like a Shropshireman
    It runs in the Family

  16. dogsolitude_uk says:

    I always thought folks on here were taking the p1$$ in a hipster/ironic fashion when they went on about Euro Truck Sim 2 being awesome. For shits and giggles I downloaded the demo on Steam, and was very surprised at how much I genuinely enjoyed it.
    So I bought it.
    I think the appeal is that it’s a very relaxing, comfortable game. You can stream the radio, and listening to a German station when driving through dark, rainy weather is very atmospheric. I love it, and it’s well worth the £5-10 it usually costs.
    I know it doesn’t really have that kind of ‘cool’ factor one would usually expect, and it’s not a Stealth/Shooter/8-bit-inspired Indie game/[insert genre here], but it is solidly enjoyable, great fi you’re [playing alone late at night and dont want the bejeebus scared out of you by Amnesia, and a good one to play if you’re a but hungover or have a cold.
    Plus it gets extra points for running natively on Linux, as I’m part-Penguin.

    And as I’m now a lot more open-minded about stuff like this, I shall be downloading a farm forthwith. :)

    • Viscera says:

      It is to note that most of these simulators are not of the same quality as ETS2, so a certain close-mindedness is not so bad. Pro-tip: Stay away from everything that has the word “Astragon” on it.

  17. Capt. Eduardo del Mango says:

    “A sim about something not ostensibly exciting? Scoff scoff scoff!”

    Jesus Christ John, you sound like you’ve just stepped out of XBox Magazine. What, would you rather it was all chest-high walls and third person shooting? Obtuse sims have long been a PC staple and you’re looking at this as if the concept’s dropped out of somebody’s nose onto your birthday cake. Lots of these recent sims have indeed been badly put together but no, it’s not “a joke” that someone wants to play these. It’s actually “in keeping with the long history of PC gaming”.

    Or have I just been trolled by more Walker click-bait?

  18. waltC says:

    The gaming market is so large today that there are actually games developed for all kinds of tastes and preferences apart from the “normal” computer game–whatever that is. Some of these “games” are really more like simple “simulators,” really.

    I’d like to see a “Poor Farmer” simulator–where a guy and his mule have to figure out how to out produce the highly mechanized, computer-controlled farm next door…;) The game would have elements of espionage (night goggles) and sneaking in it and all kinds of things, but basically revolve around pitting a simple farmer with a great brain and a hardy mule against a simple farmer with little brains but great computer programs that drive his mechanized farm, etc. I think it would have fascinating appeal even for people not terribly interested in farming.

    We are all so used to the cookie-cutter game formula that we forget that a computer game can be as original as a developer cares to make it.

  19. MrBucket says:

    I actually found Farming Simulator 2013 to be a wonderful timesink. That being said, there’s a competing product sold by UIG and some other company which is total crap. When I saw the name “Giant” associated with this game I made the mistake of assuming it was related to FS 2013. The graphics are actually really good, but everything has to be done manually and its completely bonkers. In FS 2013, you can ‘hire workers’ where you set up the equipment, plop it on a field, then hire the worker so it will sow, harvest, etc… allowing you to do other things. I played it for maybe an hour just to try and get through the tutorial but gave up. Would be much better with an auto-pilot like FS.

    • KDR_11k says:

      More importantly the helpers are needed for multitasking and coop tasks (like harvesting large fields, you need a vehicle with a large capacity driving next to the harvester and obviously you can only drive either the harvester or the truck, not both simulatenously).

      There are different cloning lineages at work here. The “Giant” titles are riding on the coat tails of the old Industrie Gigant (dunno what the US name of that was) games while the _____ Simulator games with their italic, gradiented font are trying to ape the logos of MS Flight Simulator and Train Simulator.

  20. Barberetti says:

    John, a playable demo of Euro Truck Simulator 2 has been available for ages, so no excuses. Get truckin’!

  21. Kerbal_Rocketry says:

    Euro Truck Simulator 2, as many have said, is a legitimately good game.
    It could be improved though, the road map lacks c-roads, the motorway system in england lack proper slip-roads,
    I’d also love to see a fix to the AI, as currently it’s appalling, i’ve never seen anybody dangerously-overtake, never seen anybody speed yet they will come right up my arse when i’m trying to maneuver, maybe a randomized “arse-hole level” for each car?
    As you can tell, i’ve played far to much of it.

    And i’ve played even more Train Simulator, because that is awesome(though i’d wish they would reduce the cost of the DLC since it’s a bit silly, they would likely make more profit if they cut the price!)

  22. Darth Gangrel says:

    I know it’s hard to comprehend, but other people like other stuff than you do. I call this discovery the “Steven Seagal phenomenon”: if people can like any or all movie(s) with Steven Seagal in it (I personally only like Under Siege 1), then it’s possible that people can like just about anything. Mocking people who likes games that I couldn’t care less about, only serves to make me look like an arrogant ass (unless my peers are also all arrogant asses – it all depends on the circumstances). It’s good that RPS’s writers don’t stoop so low.

    • Syphus says:

      I think its more about the fact that most of these are actually simply bad games, and the idea that one of them is good is mind-boggling. Farm Simulator (and most of the Astragon games) isn’t inherently a bad game, its a bad game because its poorly coded, designed, and executed.

  23. Arach says:

    Euro Truck 2 is a great game John and it´s not the only good one in this “style” of games,OMSI is pretty good as well.
    I feel I should mention OMSI because apparently not many people heard of it.

  24. stoner says:

    I’ve played ETS2 for several hundred hours, and I thoroughly enjoy it. Then, again, I’m on the SCS test team. So, I get to see all the new stuff early. And, folks, there is some good stuff coming your way.

  25. clive dunn says:

    I actually worked on a farm briefly when i was younger. The bastard farmer had me count out (exactly) 3000 sweetcorn cobs from one bin to another. After i had finished i asked him why he had to do that, he laughed and said, “i don’t, it just entertains me watching morons do what i tell ‘em”.
    Fucker was lucky i didn’t run him through with a pitchfork.
    Anyway, farming, leave it to the fucking farmers.

  26. MediaGiant says:

    Rock, Paper, Troll

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