Review: Farming Simulator 19 (PS4)

Review: Farming Simulator 19 (PS4)

Platforms:

  • PlayStation 4
  • Xbox One
  • PC
  • Android

Platform/Hardware Used:

  • PSN Download
  • PS4 Pro
  • HDTV

Extras:

  • DualShock 4 Required (1)
  • Move None
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Title: Farming Simulator 19
Format: Blu-ray Disc / PSN (5.5 GB)
Release Date: November 20, 2018
Publisher: Focus Home Interactive
Developer: GIANTS Software
Original MSRP: $49.99 (US), €49.99 (EU), £39.99 (UK)
ESRB Rating: E
PEGI: 3
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy

There has been a new Farming Simulator game each year with a few new additions each time, the biggest being the mods.

I’m not expecting many changes and additions from Farming Simulator 19, but my girls are excited to hear there are rideable horses this time.

Gameplay:
Farming Simulator 19 gives you three options when starting a new career. The New Farmer mode is for the beginners and offers an easier start with lots of help.

Farm Manager mode gives you loads of money and allows you to choose where and what you build. Lastly, there is a Start From Scratch mode which starts off with no farm or land and a limited bank balance.

I would only suggest playing the Start From Scratch mode if you have played this series obsessively, because it is tough. The economy is difficult and prices aren’t favorable so it’ll take tons of skill and planning to be a success. Even though I’ve played the last few games, I opted for the New Farmer mode.

I was able to remember a few of the controls from earlier iterations and quickly jumped into all of my available machines and took the train for a spin, making sure to stop on a crossing just to annoy the ridiculously patient drivers waiting in their pristine cars. Although, I did find that stopping them with any other mode of transport does make them press their horn.

Review: Farming Simulator 19 (PS4) Review: Farming Simulator 19 (PS4)

Sadly, the world still feels quiet and void of the hustle and bustle what you would expect, even from a small sleepy town. I did find some people strolling along the beach, then following the path all the way back, and returning to the gentle and calm ocean edge. Yes, I drove a few vehicles into the water and was slightly disappointed to find a barrier just under the surf.

My two daughters desperately wanted to try out the horses, which are one of the new additions to the game. I recently purchased Red Dead Redemption 2 (RDR2) and sadly was spoilt with the beauty and realism that game offered. The Equidae featured in this game is very basic in comparison. That didn’t bother my kids, all they wanted to do was look after and ride them. Both things are possible but the controls are clunky and the physics become a little strange – you can ride up walls.

Before you all go crazy with my comparison of the horses from two very different games, I just wanted to point out how jarring it was. I wasn’t expecting the absurd detail of RDR2 in Farming Simulator 19, but I was hoping for a bit more here. The dog isn’t much better and looks like a royalty-free asset. You can feed it and get it to follow you, but not much else.

An important change to the series is that you can now buy land, not just single fields. This means you can place buildings where you want, making the game feel more personal and unique. Not only that, there’s a landscaping tool so everything can be shaped to get it looking just right.

Everything that I enjoyed from the older games has been squeezed into this one, including the ability to add mods. I wasn’t happy that I couldn’t chop down any and every tree I wished, like in the older games. I had to find suitable trees on my own land.

There is so much to harvest now, like cotton, sugar cane, sunflowers, and oilseed radish. There’s a large variety of animals too. In fact, there’s almost too much, so you’ll have to decide what type of farmer you will be. I’m not even going to mention the ridiculous amount of vehicles, at over three-hundred and counting, it seems like Giants Software has every manufacturer and their range under this one digital roof.

Review: Farming Simulator 19 (PS4) Review: Farming Simulator 19 (PS4)

Visuals:
Farming Simulator 19 has a fancy new look, and compared with the older games, this one is superior in every way. The detail and draw distance is much better and everything looks more natural. It’s a pity there isn’t any real reason to explore the winding dirt paths and scenic vistas.

The improved looks are evident as soon as the player is dropped into the world. I loaded up the tutorial and found myself up on a hill looking down on my farm. I then walked down the winding dirt path sandwiched between small trees and bushes and was pleasantly surprised at how great it all looked.

Audio:
The music in Farming Simulator 19 is never going to win any awards though it isn’t really the focus. The sounds of the machinery and other ambient noises are still good. There’s a radio that can also be played outside of the vehicles, which even features a few tracks that some may recognize.

Online/Multiplayer:
I was surprised years ago when I reviewed my first Farming Simulator game to find a decent online mode but not much has changed over the years. I still struggle to find players willing to let me, a random player, loose on their farm. I don’t blame them either, hiding behind their password-protected lobby playing with their friends and family.

Conclusion:
Simply put, Farming Simulator 19 is a great game for those of you who like a relaxing and therapeutic farming experience. The graphics are the best they have ever been and the amount of freedom is vastly improved. The horse and dog animations are a little lacking but it’s nice to finally see some other animals in the game.

This iteration is another good step in the right direction and worthy of your time and money. For anyone sitting on the proverbial fence, I strongly suggest getting off of it and giving this one a go.

Score:
9.0

* 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, Origin, Steam, etc using my universal ID: ChazzH69

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