Perhaps the appeal of simulation games has previously escaped you but we’re here to lend a farm hand in helping you to understand why you should definitely be playing Farming Simulator 15. (If you’re not already addicted that is.) On paper the idea of playing simulator games may sound ridiculous but they’re just as good a form of escapism as your first person shooters or RPGs, plus you get to try out something new, realistic and challenging without too much commitment.

Farming Simulator 15 has been available for the PC since October 2014 but came out just last month for consoles. The game allows you to run your own farm, breed livestock, plant, maintain and harvest crops, sell your produce and now you can even get into logging. It’s considered to be the most popular and realistic farming simulation game to date with unparalleled levels of authenticity, with even more brands on board than before.

From our experience of the game we feel there are 2 main ways to go about the game. The first is as a true farmer, trying to get the work done at your own pace. The second is Grand Theft Auto style. Think jumping in front of cars, trying to kill your co-workers with chainsaws (don’t worry you can’t die or kill in Farming Simulator) and putting your tractors and combine harvesters through their paces in physics engine defying stunts.

Nobody doubts the difficulty of farming in reality, it’s a tough job, and with whichever approach you initially take with Farming Simulator 15 you realise just how little you know about the profession. It’s easy to invest in the wrong tools and crops, and it takes time to hone the efficiency (and aesthetic) of farming; I drove around making crop circles for a good hour or so before realising in horror that’s a mess that I’d have to clean up. You end up learning the hard way, but this is just another part of the fun.

The farming environments are beautiful. Whether your choose the European or American farm to begin your agricultural career, you’re surrounded by idyllic fields and blue skies (for the most part.) Once you’ve tired of the experimental GTA style tactic we mentioned earlier, Farming Simulator can be very relaxing to play – a slow burn success story that you can feel strangely proud of.

 

Image via Kieran McClung

It’s a quiet world, which might be our only complaint at this point in playing. After the jovial trailers in the build up to the game’s launch, we were hopeful that we would have an equally light-hearted soundtrack to get us in the mood for ‘work’, but unfortunately, we are accompanied simply by the sounds of nature and our machines. Farming Simulator 15’s new multi-player mode helps to up some of the monotony that you might experience with the almost silent farming experience. Plus this social side also opens up a frankly ridiculous number of opportunities for innuendo when playing with friends.

If you’re cooped up inside all day, being able to ‘escape’ to the countryside at the end of the day, even if it’s to do some ‘hard labour’ makes a nice change of pace. The grass is always greener on the other side… and with Farming Simulator 15 we’ve certainly made it to the other side.

 

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Team Zavvi

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