Farming Simulator 17 is one of those franchises that have been going on for quite some time now despite its relative lack of ads, commercial appeal, or vocal fan base.
Cashing in on the simulator craze that’s taken over the latter half of this decade, Farming Simulator 17 is here and the series is still going strong, which is why this yearly installment keeps coming back. While this isn’t a title for everyone, and it lacks quite a bit of polish, there is a lot to like in this open world farming sim for long time players.
You pick one of two towns and are plopped right into your farm and given a brief tutorial. The idea is to raise crops, so that means you harvest your plants, cultivate the land, fill it with manure, plant seeds, and fertilize your plots.
There are pros and cons to buying things you didn’t start off with, like a fertilizer attachment or a chainsaw. You always have to ask yourself “is it worth it? Can I make enough money with this tool to justify it?” That goes all the way to hiring help as well. Yes, you can accomplish more tasks with the help of a field hand, but there is a balance with how much you should spend to yield any results.
Your income is based on selling crops, which means once they’re harvested, you go into town to sell them. There are different locations across town, all of which buy different things. One place buys grain, another buys eggs—you get the picture. But there are a plethora of crops to choose from. So each patch of land you have can be different.
There’s also a variety in the vehicles you use to both harvest and transport your crops, ranging from trucks and tractors to trains. One loses track of how many different brands you can choose from and how many different products they provide. On top of that, there are random side missions all around town, and although they’re mostly just random farmhand work with a time limit, it does provide something to do on the side.
It’s different from other farm simulators
The controls add another level of complexity too. With the game’s origins on PC, there are a lot of functions that have been mapped to the controller for consoles, and pretty much every possible combination of buttons has been accounted for.
Quite often you’ll need to bring up sub-menus by holding down a shoulder button, and then pressing another button.
If you’re driving a Massey Ferguson (that’s a brand of tractor for those without hours of virtual farming under their belts) across a field with a rotavator attached, there’s suddenly a lot to think about, and remembering which button lowers the attachment and which honks the horn will take a degree of learning.
This is not a game for everyone, that’s for sure. It’s kind of hard to jump into, and can be incredibly slow, but if you’re patient, there’s a lot of reward that comes with running a successful farm.
That doesn’t excuse its lack of polish or repetitive game play, but it does mean something. If you have a high tolerance for a lack of technical polish, and are patient enough to really dedicate yourself, this could be up your alley.