People love farming simulators, Pure Farming 2018 wants to take that global

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Pure Farming 2018 is out now. Farming Sim games now come from several competitive developers but also that competition leaves me confused because most entries in the Farm Gaming World seem interchangeable. I’m missing a key element in what draws people in, but this genre keeps raking in money hand over fist, so the problem must be with me. Let’s take a look at what Pure Farming 2018 is bringing to the table.

Update: Whoops, I got a bit carried away in writing this game up the first time. I have some frustrations with the genre and it got a bit out of hand. Sorry to any digital farmers whom may have been offended.

See, I grew up on farms. I grew up on games. When I first started playing SimFarm, I totally got it. Decades later, I’m playing first person shooter formatted games where I’m operating combines and the process of planting turnips in what appears to be a Dutch village. A review of one of the Farming Simulators is the very first paid review I ever had in games, back in 2010. I wound up losing my mind shouting about how the scientific and agricultural structure of what’s happening makes little to no sense; especially when you plant seeds in a field, water the field, harvest the field, take the bounty to sell in town, and ONLY THEN DECIDE WHAT KIND OF SEED YOU PLANTED. Stardew Valley felt like a tremendous step forward for realism.

There’s that frustration again! I am so sorry. Let’s get back on track with talking about the game today, and not half-remembered anxieties from a decade-old shovel-ware title.

After inheriting an in-game farm, you buy the best machines and work hard from dawn to dusk, selling crops, invest in new technologies, while making your farm the most efficient one in the state. And then, the game promises, you go global.

Launch trailer here:

Okay, you know what? This seems like a genuine step forward and the kind of thing I’d be… I’d be willing to try. The technological push and the idea that you’re taking the world of agriculture onto a global stage is at the very least the largest scale I’ve ever seen in a game like this. Perhaps it’s on me for thinking that all of these titles should be lumped in with the garbage I’ve suffered in the past.

“We listened closely to the farm simulator community, so we understand their expectations. That’s why we’re bringing a fleet of fully licensed machines from such industry leaders as Zetor, JCB, Great Plains, and many others. We’ve designed unique farms located in the USA, Japan, Italy, Colombia and Germany, and introduced various crops specific for these regions,” said Lukasz Abramczuk, Producer at Techland Publishing. “Thanks to three distinct game modes, we believe we’ve created a game that is very accessible to newcomers and at the same time satisfying for hardcore gamers who know their way around a virtual farm.”

There is a weird element of farming games where they all seem to be in competition to include as many brand names as possible. As someone who came up around basically just John Deere equipment, I don’t understand this at all, but also good on them for packing as much realism into this as possible. If I play will I learn the difference between what JCB makes and what Zetor makes? I guess I learned most of what I know about cars from the Forza series, so anything is possible.

A list of some of the post-release content is included below:

At least 7 DLCs with new models, machines, and other surprises within 6 months;
General game improvements based on players’ feedback from launch;
At least 3 updates to modding tools within 3 months;
Support for steering wheels and peripherals, and more within 3 months;
Regularly selected PC mods added as free DLC for consoles.

The game is available on PC, PS4, and Xbox One. Pre-Order members get the Germany farm map DLC for free. Best of luck with cracking the mysteries of life and chaos theory and whatever else comes with this. Perhaps sound-off in the comments below if you have a good explanation of where I’m missing the fun here or if you’re a farmer who can tell me how close this game comes to simulating your global economic take-over.

52 Comments

  1. KDR_11k says:

    People calling graphics PS1/N64 level when they are nowhere close to that is one of my pet peeves…

    • LennyLeonardo says:

      Yeah, it is a bit YouTube commentsy.

    • malkav11 says:

      Yeah, the machines up top would be composed of like, 30 clearly distinguishable polygons if they were on PS1.

    • emotionengine says:

      I genuinely thought that line was some kind of satirical take on an uninformed angry “gamer” forum comment. As I kept reading, I realised to my dismay that it was not and that it and this entire unfortunate rambling rant of a piece was being dead serious. I understand it’s the weekend but I do wish this article had gone through editing first (if it were to be published at all).

    • dylan says:

      Writers struggling to sound ‘in-your-face’ because they have nothing at all to say is a pet peeve of mine.

  2. Pneuma_antilogias says:

    Α very poor article -and I’m being generous, calling it an “article”.

    If these games are so uninteresting to Mr. Wilbur, perhaps he might want to consider writing about something that he finds more interesting.

    I wonder what sort of contractual obligation forces RPS to host such drivel. To quote Mr. Wilbur, I’m dying to know.

    • emotionengine says:

      I’m sorry to say that I have to agree. As a long time reader of RPS I do not recall reading such consistently mediocre writing from one of their contributors. However, this mess of a piece even manages to stand out among prior contributions for its poor quality.

      I’ll hope Mr. Wilbur shows improvement over time if he is to be retained. A good place to start would be to study Alice’s brilliant news articles and to learn from those.

      (I’ll just add that I’m not particularly interested in this game or the genre, but I did not appreciate the condescending tone of the article at all).

    • dsch says:

      If these games are so uninteresting to Mr. Wilbur, perhaps he might want to consider writing about something that he finds more interesting.

      Have you read anything by John Walker?

  3. Martel says:

    Hopefully this writer isn’t going to be doing anymore “articles”

  4. jonnyherbert says:

    Yeah, this just seems kinda mean.

    • Umama says:

      Yes, it came across as mean-spirited and judgmental. I enjoy RPS as it is usually quite the opposite of that.

      The PS1 graphics comment was also not something I expected on this site.

  5. _Nocturnal says:

    They’re good games, Brent.

  6. General Ludd says:

    Give me Ploughing Simulator 2018 please. Quiet day going up and down fields in beautiful settings.

  7. cakeisalie says:

    Wow, what a condescending and snobbish article. And I say that as someone who’s not even into these type of games. I seriously hope this is not the future direction of RPS.

  8. craigdolphin says:

    I feel bad for the people who like the genre and the developers who spent a lot of time and effort to make the games. Not remotely my cup of tea, mind you, but this article is pretty insulting to them. I’m glad that niches like this exist or we’d all be playing COD. Boring.

    • cakeisalie says:

      Totally agree. That’s what I love about the current indie scene and what I used to love about gaming in the 1980s and early 90s – all the niche games (as well as the wacky and totally experimental) that cater for a huge variety of interests and tastes.

  9. chrysics says:

    Poking fun at and/or extensively criticising stuff that deserves it on the basis of being fundamentally awful in more-or-less every aspect (exhibit A) is fine and part of why I like RPS so much, but this just seems mean. Like, this isn’t far off being downright vitriolic not only towards this game or this type of game, but also towards anyone who might play them, on the basis that the author thinks the genre sounds boring.

    And I mean, honestly, I’d agree on that detal. I don’t get the appeal at all, farming sims sound dull as hell. And that’s coming from someone who plays flight sims and OMSI. But that just means they’re not for me, it doesn’t mean that they’re stupid and everybody who likes them is stupid. The tone of this article seems to suggest otherwise. It leaves me questioning my long-held assumption that the “be excellent” policy on the forums also applies to site contributors.

  10. weissenwulf says:

    What an awful, pointless and insensitive article.

    This paragraph is particularly ridiculous:

    “Are you… are you one of them there “Hardcore Games” now plowing the manual labor fields? I straight up do not get this. I do not understand how the people I grew up alongside and their daily struggle is the new competitive form of weird budget gamer entertainment? This is my Hell and there are plenty of wheat fields here.”

    What on earth is this daft idiot talking about?

    You’re better than this, RPS.

  11. anon459 says:

    Seems like the same basic concept as in Harvest Moon or Stardew Valley, or even in keeping a garden IRL. I wonder what it is that some people find so confusing about these games.

    • ColonelFlanders says:

      Stardew Valley is a charming, wonderful game with a sweet meaning and emphasis on the love of living a life away from the pressures of modern society, which it does brilliantly.

      These other piles of garbage coming out are ‘like tractors but buggy’. They are almost always poorly put together, and certainly don’t deserve to have the word simulator in them. I do think Barack Wilderness was a little harsh in what he said in this article, but I completely share his mystification as to what enjoyment people derive from them.

      • anon459 says:

        Atmosphere and spirit are definitely the things that separate the former from the latter in terms of overall quality, I totally agree. And I guess I’m not really the most qualified to speculate since I don’t play farming sims.

        All I’m saying though is that the very most basic mechanic at play seems pretty simple: Player does thing, gets rewarded. Boil it down all the way to the most basic form of enjoyment the game has to offer and you get Cookie Clicker. It seems to me that what they’ve done is take the most basic thing that leads people to play games and painted it with an aesthetic of tractors and farm animals, which is an aesthetic some people like and probably qualifies as atmosphere.

  12. Someoldguy says:

    I’m one of the guys that doesn’t get Farming Simulators. not because I don’t want to sim farm, but because I would quite like to. Just a mixed farm, with livestock and the option to consider turning your pigs into sausages on the farm to sell at a farmers market. Not just a field simulator where you play with big agricultural machines endlessly, to little point.

  13. TTex says:

    So I came into this article hoping for a writeup by someone who’d enjoyed farming simulator 17 saying what was good/bad about this game. Instead I got some mess written by someone who doesn’t seem to care a whit and basically gave nothing useful or even entertaining?

    Get rid of this guy, RPS.

  14. modzero says:

    Oh, hi, John Walker.

    …sorry.

    Okay, on the other hand, I think it’s great to know someone has the same experience with something as I had with Uplink.

  15. foszae says:

    I’d like to see someone write this opinion about a game like League of Legends or Plunkbat. Partly because i find them equally uncaptivating, but partly to see the death threats the writer would get in the comments.

    • Someoldguy says:

      I’d like to read those articles and the ensuing internet meltdown too. Then I could rage when the same treatment was handed to a genre I like. It’ll probably be cathartic.

  16. jsquad says:

    Jesus I don’t even understand this review, is the game good or not? It kind of sounds like you don’t like it but your writing sucks so much I gave up reading it. Stop writing like… stop writing like this!!! Ridiculous

  17. ramshackabooba says:

    Farming Simulators are included in Playstation Now, so I got curious and tried FS 2015 to see what it was about, and didn’t understand what’s the deal about those games. I was expecting some sort of strategy game where you control supply/demand of stuff and transportation, but all I got was basically a truck driver simulation, where you just drive a truck to prepare the ground, then drive another truck to make the holes then drive another truck to put the seeds then drive another truck to harvest and go to step 1 over and over.

    I literally thought I was missing some menu option where the actual game was, but after googling a bit it seems that’s just the game, to drive trucks.

    • malkav11 says:

      I mean, some people really love big utility vehicles. And farming equipment nowadays is absolutely humongous. Try going to the John Deere museum sometime (look, my parents used to live in the Quad Cities and there is -not- a lot going on there…). It’s honestly pretty impressive.

  18. Ethereal says:

    > Perhaps sound-off in the comments below if you have a good explanation of where I’m missing the fun here

    The best thing about farming sims is the awesome community. Specifically, the fact that brick wurble isn’t in it.

  19. Chek says:

    Just turned adblock back on

  20. Polite Rude Boy says:

    One man’s mean spirit is another man’s roast, i suppose. I thought it was funny, in a ‘person caring way too much about something trivial’ sort of way. But what do I know?

    • Blackcompany says:

      Same here.

      I will – never – understand the penchant a lot of gamers have for taking criticism, or even insults to GAMES they enjoy, as personal attacks against themselves, their character, or…whatever it is they take such offense to.

      Someone doesnt like a game you enjoy. Who cares? Maybe they didnt have to write an article about. And maybe once you realized the bent of the article, you didnt have to keep READING it. But why – and more importantly, HOW – in the world do people get OFFENDED, or even HURT, when someone doesnt like a game or genre of game they happen to enjoy? Its frankly so inconceivable to me that I find it absurd. At best.

      • chrysics says:

        The complaints on this piece aren’t down to people taking criticism of games they enjoy as personal attacks. Hell, half of them (mine included) go out of their way to point out that they don’t like these games. The original version of the article (it was extensively rewritten between the time of the first 20-or-so comments and the comment you’re replying to) seemed mean-spirited not just towards the game itself, but also towards anybody who could even consider playing it (or similar games). Not Liking Thing™ is fine, but the first version of this piece went way beyond that. I can’t speak for the others who complained, of course, but I certainly wouldn’t have felt any need to complain if this version had gone up initially.

  21. UncleLou says:

    I want weather, crop rotation, seasons, deformable terrain, etc. The farming sims all seem to be about the breadth of dozens agricultural machines rather than the depth of farming.

    Maybe the upcoming cattle and crops goes more into that direction?

  22. pookie191 says:

    They are weirdly relaxing but no I still have no idea why I like them

  23. garsidetogo says:

    Here’s a link to the article before all the edits to save face, if anyone is interested.

    link to web.archive.org

    • Landiss says:

      Ehh, that’s worse than I expected. I thought RPS team as a rule always have someone (different than the author) reading an article before it’s published, but perhaps they only do that with proper articles, not news pieces. But seriously, I can’t imagine this author is going to stay in RPS for long.

    • spacedyemeerkat says:

      It’s worse than I imagined. Thanks for linking.

      Slightly surprised the article was edited after publication without it being made clear (there’s an apology in the update but no indication of the edit, so it makes most of the comments that follow
      sound a little over the top).

    • maninahat says:

      It’s actually less worse than I imagined. It doesn’t read as well as I would expect from an RPS article, but as to the premise of a former farmer describing how weird they find enjoyment of farming games, I guess I’m fine with that.

      He seems to have gone for a non-serious tone that isn’t quite coming across, or perhaps it is a serious tone that I have misread due to the writing style. I think the issue is more in the style effecting expectation than anything else.

      • battles_atlas says:

        Agreed, I think the car crash here is the combination of snide hostility towards those that enjoy these types of games (not me, for record), with some pretty poor attempts at humour. Combined, the former makes the latter problem much starker.

        Also, there is no coherence to this. I though the article that remained was all over the place because of edits, but the original also reads like a cobbled together bunch of failed one-liners. It’s just a really shit piece of writing.

        This is why editors exist. Whoever let this through probably has more to answer for than the author. Every writer misjudges a piece from time to time, that’s what a second opinion is for.

  24. Ravenine says:

    RPS is steadily becoming a shitshow of incompetent, unprofessional writing. You might want to reevaluate your development. If someone wants a knock-off IGN, they can just… y’know, go to IGN. Posting guides and shit. Know your fucking audience.

  25. Baranor says:

    ‘We love having a friendly, positive and constructive community – you lot are great – and we want to keep it like that. Our main commenting rule is “be excellent to each other”. We have the same principle on our forums where you can find out what “be excellent” means. TL;DR? Respect others, think before you post, and be prepared for puns.’

    Excellence starts with excellent articles. Either write quality content or do not write at all.

  26. haldolium says:

    I’ll just leave this memory here

  27. bretfrag says:

    “Sorry to any digital farmers whom may have been offended.”

    More offended by your grammar. RPS are in desperate need of an editor.

  28. TrenchFoot says:

    Needs to include the terror of dealing with the government and huge corporate ag conglomerates. The myth of the individual heroic farmer died 100 years ago, unless you are talking about boutique farms selling organics at the farmer’s market. When a game does that, I might get interested. The trailer here is kids’ stuff.

  29. TrenchFoot says:

    In order to deflect the criticism directed towards this writer, I will note that the last progressive thing the citizens of my “farm state” in the U.S. did was vote to NOT be a slave state. They also whine about getting subsidies one minute then rail about gubbermint intervention the next. Y’all a bunch rednecks.