Farming Simulator 17 on PS4
Hey Editors, it’s Yami here. You know how I was assigned Farming Simulator 17 for review this month? I was excited, then. A wide-eyed, naive person that thought, “I loved Euro Truck Simulator. I absolutely adore doing regular jobs in video games. Harvest Moon and Stardew Valley are among my favorite games ever. Maybe I was born for this.” Ha, yeah, I was wrong.
Farming Simulator 17 is meant to be boring, I’m sure. It’s probably supposed to be some serene experience to escape from either violent video games or, I don’t know, your stressful real life. You play a farmer, after all. That’s not exactly the fast-paced, high octane lifestyle of, say, a secret agent. But I don’t think it’s meant to be this boring, guys. I don’t think I’m meant to legitimately look at the clock and feel my life passing me by. Every second probably shouldn’t feel like a second I will never get back.
You would think that harvesting crops would at least be a bit interesting. Mindless routines in games are often not so bad. Yet, as I watched my tractor pass over the field in a perfect, uniformed fashion, I stared into the void. It didn’t even satisfy my weird, “I like to clean in video games,” tendencies. You know what I mean? Like, in Super Mario Sunshine and Viscera Cleanup Detail, where you want to hit every single little spot. Yeah, well, I felt nothing as I plowed, sowed, and harvested through the vast fields. Those vast fields of nothingness that soon became a metaphor for the emptiness I felt while playing.
In fact, the only fun I found in the game was due to my own bullshittery. Grabbing a chainsaw and chopping down as many trees as possible to form up a pile of trunks. Then, proceeding to chop them all up to see how many fit in the back of my truck. Or seeing how I can flip the truck, or run over pedestrians, or run around town with the chainsaw revved like a madwoman. But how much credit can I give a game for relying so much on my imagination to make it actually fun, and how long could I keep that up? The answer is, not very long at all, by the way.
I’m sure there’s some audience that this game applies to. People that are hardcore into some boring shit, I’m sure. But even then, how can they get past all the clunky flaws? The truck I mentioned before, by the way, turns with the sensitivity of someone ready to crash at any given moment. You want to turn left? It’s going to go super left. It doesn’t give a damn what you want.
Not to mention the game doesn’t really have any patience for you. Oh, you don’t know how to farm? Don’t expect the tutorial or help menu to give you any idea. It took me about three hours to finally figure out where I could go to buy animals. I just wanted a pig. I just wanted a cute pig.
This all begs the question, though, how could I be such a fan of games like Harvest Moon, Stardew Valley, and Euro Truck Simulator, and yet not have had a good experience with Farming Simulator 17? I think that there’s a good balance in real and fun with all the others. There must be some line that gets crossed by Farming Simulator 17 where all of the realism packed into what you’re doing just makes for boring as hell gameplay.
So, look, Editors, level with me here. Don’t make me keep playing this game, okay? I tried. It got to the point where I literally was just holding down R2 in a straight line forward as I harvested crops. You just do that a bunch, get money, upgrade your vehicles, keep doing that again some more in a boring, desolate town that has like maybe three denizens. Whom you’ll come to hate and maybe, amid losing your mind playing the game, forge actual arguments with. Because, again, the only fun in Farming Simulator 17 comes from you, and when you need to actively search for fun in a game, you know you’re not dealing with a good one.
Score: 2/5 – Poor