Review: Pure Farming 2018 (PS4)

Review: Pure Farming 2018 (PS4)

Platforms:

  • PlayStation 4
  • Xbox One
  • PC

Platform/Hardware Used:

  • PSN Download
  • PS4 Pro
  • HDTV

Extras:

  • DualShock 4 Required (1)
  • Move None
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Title: Pure Farming 2018
Format: Blu-ray Disc / PSN (4.1 GB)
Release Date: March 13, 2018
Publisher: Techland Publishing
Developer: Ice Flames
Original MSRP: $39.99 (US), €39.99 (EU), £34.99 (UK)
ESRB Rating: E
PEGI: 3
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy

I was surprised by this steadily growing genre and never expected to like it so much and the Farming Simulator series has become the one to beat. Could Pure Farming 2018 from Techland be the one to do it?

Gameplay:
A welcome and unexpected part of this game is a story. Don’t fret as it’s nothing deep, it’s really just a vague reason why the player has taken control of a farm and an excuse for the tutorial.

I quickly began to see similarities with the control scheme compared with the other popular farming series in the need to hold either L1 or R1 and at times both, to bring up a myriad of contextual commands.

A little bit of tidying up in this department wouldn’t go amiss.

It isn’t just the controls that feel familiar, everything does, and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. So, now I will try to concentrate on the differences. Farmers can’t jump! Or climb over fences. According to this game at least.

The main difference is the character’s tablet, which is used to access a host of things including the many emails about what to do next and how to do it. I wish there was a spam filter though as I received about ten in the space of a few minutes. For new players to the genre, they are worth reading but I only needed to glance at one or two.

After doing some harvesting I had enough money to buy some more equipment and as luck would have it, a farmer between the store and my farm needed some work done with my new gear. I happily obliged and sprayed his apple orchard with water and fertilizer for some extra cash. The cheeky swine was timing me and wouldn’t pay if I took too long, but lucky for me he drastically overestimated and I was done in a flash.

I noticed another person requiring my services around the back of the store. This one wanted me to break in his Big Rig for a wad of cash. How could I refuse? I drove it along a predefined route, clumsily bashing into a few immovable signs and fences without any penalties or reprisals. There wasn’t even a scratch on the large machine.

Something else to distract you from the usual farming tasks are the hundred sapphires left scattered across the map waiting to be found. Collecting all of them gives a nice reward and you don’t even have to leave your vehicle to pick them up, you simply drive over them. Although, a word of warning, as there are a few in awkward positions that got my car stuck.

There are loads of licensed machinery and a few countries with different crops, so there’s less chance of monotony setting in. This means you’ll get to use a rice planter and hemp harvester. I never thought I would be happy about something like that. What has this genre done to me?

While I waited for my crops to grow I went off and accepted a few side tasks, I stupidly opted for harvesting some Barley but the field was massive and it took six trips to the silo and a very long time with my small machinery. Next time I’ll check the size of the task and not just the money.

Visuals:
Pure Farming 2018 is somewhat of a mixed bag in the graphical department. Where it counts, with the machinery and crops, the graphics are good. The lighting and real-time shadows are nice, but elsewhere it can be disappointing.

The camera allows for first-person or third-person views with a small variance on the zoom level for the latter. Sadly it isn’t enough and can make things troublesome at times. I like to be able to pan back and up much more than this game allows.

Most of the buildings and people look very dated and bland. Don’t get me wrong, there have been several moments of beauty piercing through the plain humdrum map, but overall it lacks some polish. I really dislike the massive border and the edge of the map, which is very noticeable during the night.

Audio:
I didn’t expect to miss any kind of music as I often use my own Spotify playlist or listen to a podcast but the lack of noise in this game is deafening. Okay, it might not be that bad but I dislike the lack of any music.

Okay, I lied, there is some music, I heard it when I drove the car close to a van aimlessly driving around, it had a faint tune coming from its radio, mine must be broken.

There are some ambient sound effects, but nothing of note. The farming machinery sounds okay and the other farmers even have one or two lines of dialogue. This game does not win any awards in the audio department.

Online/Multiplayer:
This game is one player only with no online component.

Conclusion:
Pure Farming 2018 is a great first step and while it doesn’t quite give the Farming Simulator series a run for its money, it comes extremely close. It’s a nice alternative for fans of the genre and a fantastic entry level game for people who want to give farming a go on the PS4 thanks to a nice tutorial and story mode.

I look forward to some patches to fix minor issues and hopefully some DLC to expand the maps or add new ones. I also can’t wait for the sequel as it could be a real contender. Plus, the price is nice too.

Score:
7.5

* All screenshots used in this review were taken directly from the game using the Share functionality on the PlayStation 4.

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Written by Chazz Harrington

Chazz Harrington

You can find me on everything: PSN, Twitter, Wii U, Origin, Steam, etc using my universal ID: ChazzH69

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