Farming Simulator 17 harvests Platinum expansion

I wish farming simulators could be an odd chillout experience for me similar to what Alec finds in American Truck Simulator, but sadly their repetition requires a different type of attention that I just can’t relax under. However, I do still admire them – and some of the pretty places they go. Farming Simulator 17 is off to South America today in its first big expansion, farming red soil under a bright sun.

The fanciest feature of the confusingly-named Platinum expansion is the new South American farm. It’s a big new land to farm and explore, complete with local zebu cows to lark about with, regional flora to admire, and sugarcane fields to farm. Here, watch the launch trailer to see the lovely tree out in front of the new farmhouse:

That’s nice.

The expansion also packs loads of new vehicles and tools and things.

Farming Simulator 17’s Platinum expansion costs £15/€20/$20 on Steam. Or, if you don’t have Farm Sim 17 at all, you can get it with the expansion for £30/€35/$35.

Something I’d be curious to see in a farming simulator, reaching for that chillout experience, is a narrow focus on a few crops or species. I want slow farming, long days and weeks on the same task. I want the routine of quiet early mornings — tugging boots on and feeding the chickens — then getting animals in at night. I want one aging vehicle I come to know like a dear friend, conversing in chuggs and sputters. And, of course, I want that Spintires mud experience. I want something that’s neither super-serious farm management nor arcade-y farm ’em up action. If I close my eyes, I can see a tractor crawling over a hill on a dark and cloudy winter’s afternoon. Farming Sim will never be this and I don’t expect it to be – that’s fine.

4 Comments

  1. LTK says:

    Zebu cows? Yawn. Call me when they reboot the series and let you domesticate aurochs.

  2. MrUnimport says:

    Was hoping you meant an expansion by PlatinumGames.

  3. LewdPenguin says:

    I feel a little the same about FS17 vs FS15, it just seems a little less cosy.

    Part of that is certainly down to the default map(s) (I almost don’t count the recycled-from-FS15 Sosnovka) feeling a bit meh, Bjornholm felt a little more like a reimagining of a real place tucked away some quiet spot on the coast the backend of nowhere at the end of the line. Sure it had its nonsensical design aspects when looked at from a realistic lense, but Goldcrest Valley feels like a worse fit to me. That’s not to say I think Bjornholm would have worked to be included any better than Sosnovka does, at the very least it would have needed a hefty overhaul to shoehorn in trains since they were one of the big new features with FS17, but GV doesn’t hit quite the same feeling for me.

    Trains also deserve a mention for managing to feel somewhat superflous, frustrating by hinting at what could have been then failing to really deliver on it. Sure they’re kind of handy for the one sale point that’s designed to heavily encourage you to use the train to offload there, but since your farm isn’t served by either line since despite the track running close by on 2 sides, both are obstructed by ruddy great cliffs, it becomes more faff than it needs to be even to make use of them for that one point. I’m sure community made (larger) maps make them feel more of a valuable asset and I certainly do plan to try out at least a couple of other maps when I get around to revisiting the game.
    Another point regarding trains is that whilst I never expected a Train Simulator clone, some basic shunting facilities don’t seem like too much of an ask, if only to let us have a train suited to our purposes formed in-world rather than quitting the game, editing xml files, then restarting whenever you want to change your cargo type.

    There are a few other missteps or just missed oppotunities floating around too, the physics and handling are still wonky, and the rate at which the upkeep on vehicles becomes astronomical compared to when new is very annoying, and actively works against having a couple of old workhorse tractors that’ve been on your farm forever and whilst they can no longer work any of your principle equipment are still worth having as runabouts to shift the odd trailer where it needs to be or whatever non-Hp critical work needs doing. Giants also still seem to be determined to ignore that many of us have mice with more than 2 buttons these days, adding another little bit of faff mapping them to keystrokes just for FS.

    If all that sounds overly negative it’s a shame because there are plenty of little improvements and of course more pretties, and they do also seem to pay attention and listen to the things people want, and include them. Things like crop destruction, improved ground response and dirt, manual ignition (sort of, it’s a bit janky) that used to be the realm of mods only are now avaliable either by default or as Giants-made mods you can download ingame, and overall it has to be said FS17 really is the better game than FS15, it just doesn’t manage to feel quite as homely as FS15 could.

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