Farming Simulator 2013"
Focus Home Interactive
Sony PlayStation 3 (Xbox 360)
ESRB rating: E
Review rating: 1.5 stars
Exciting simulations such as air combat and vehicular racing have a big following, but who came up with the idea behind "Farming Simulation 2013?" The PC version is strangely popular in Europe, and now an American version has been released for consoles. What's the main difference? Planting nothing but tobacco and sitting around waiting for government subsidy checks to arrive?
Bad jokes aside, this game is the most realistic reproduction of farming in cyberspace. The problem is, farming is rather unexciting in real life, and in this game, it's incredibly monotonous. To make matters worse, there is no real challenge, the visuals are ugly and the vehicles perform in an extremely unrealistic manner.
Budding farmers begin their backbreaking adventure with a huge debt from the local bank, some wheat and a couple of small fields to plow. Now it's time for the exciting part, namely cultivating fields, sowing seeds, fertilizing crops and eventually harvesting the spoils. Selling the harvest to local businesses earns money that's needed to maintain the farm and pay back the bank loan.
It takes a while before players can start purchasing new equipment, fields and livestock. Just like traditional MMO games, players perform a vast amount of tedious work just to obtain new items, and the cycle repeats itself. Yes, this game ... ahem ... takes farming to a new level.
After moderate success, it's possible to purchase farmhands to perform some of the more boring chores. These hired hands must have their activities micromanaged, which frees players up to undertake equally boring side quests such as mowing a local golf course. It doesn't help that the experience is soiled by numerous bugs and unrealistic physics.
"Mummy, daddy, please buy me 'Farming Simulator 2013' for Christmas," said no child ever.