Farm life can be a tough slog but that doesn’t mean that it can’t be enjoyable as well; except maybe for the early mornings anyway. And now you too can enjoy and experience rural life thanks to Ice Flames’ Pure Farming 2018, which puts you in the tractor seat and provides you with the opportunity to run your very own farm. From tending the land to raising livestock, live the life of a rural farmer with all the latest high-tech machinery at your disposal.
Now there’s no real heart-gripping story here, like how Sebastian’s father was murdered by cattle rustlers leaving him to tend to the family farm despite having no experience, facing all sorts of turmoil but determined to make his dead father proud. But when does a simulation game really ever have one? Instead, you more or less just get a selection of different game modes that offer the player the opportunity to experiment with different play styles.
First up is Free Farming, which is essentially a free mode that lets you do whatever the hell you want, within the boundaries of the game of course. Although, that’s not necessarily true because despite being “free” farming, you only start off with $200,000 and one thing you soon learn about this farming malarkey is there is more money in it than that, and it can be damn expensive. It would be nice to see a “free” mode that truly is free and doesn’t start you off with limitations.
The second mode is My First Farm, which essentially is a campaign mode that introduces the player to the agricultural industry and would have been ideal to insert my amazing storyline suggestion above into. As well as teaching you the basics though, this mode really does let you build your own farm from the ground up. And it’s genuinely a fun experience seeing something you’ve built from scratch flourish in front of your eyes.
And finally, you’ve got Farming Challenges, where you will be pitted against extreme situations to see if you’ve really got what it takes to be a world-class farmer. Face situations such as controlling fires that risk destroying your crops, or persevering through a drought to make sure your farm doesn’t go under. There are so many varied scenarios, but all that would be real threats in the agricultural world.
Delving deeper into the game and looking past the different modes on offer, the base game is pretty much the same throughout. The only difference is how quickly you have access to buildings, equipment, crops and livestock. And each of the different areas just mentioned have a decent and varied selection available in the inventory to allow you to customise your farm and how you run it.
One area I particularly like is the selection of crops you have at your disposal, and the reason I like it so much is that the choice on offer can differ depending on what area of the world you’re farming in. You also have numerous machines and vehicles you can purchase and drive around the farm, although I think this area could use a little expansion because although there are some well-known brands there, the choice does lack the variety that some other areas offer. It would also be nice to add small details like indicators on vehicles, although that’s not a major issue.
There is some fun to be had with the vehicles that are on offer though, and although it doesn’t sound it, one of my highlights of the game was the ability to wash my truck. You just drive up to the wash station, hop out, pick up a pressure washer and the view switches to first-person and you hold the pressure washer and blast away the dirt. It’s like CoD but instead of blasting away zombies with bullets, you blast away mud with water. It really is the simple things that make games like this special.
Overall this game has been a real eye-opener for me. I have often thought of some simulation games as boring and pointless, without even playing them. And in all honesty, that is just unfair for me to do. But, having played Pure Farming, I have to say I’m eating my words. I’ve genuinely had a lot of fun playing this game, and not just that but it has been quite a learning experience too, as I never knew quite how much goes into running a farm. I’m far from becoming an expert, but I’d like to think I have enough knowledge to get me by in a pub quiz. That said, there are some improvements that could be made which would enhance the experience, and hopefully, they aren’t ones that will just be added as DLC, and will be made available to those who have purchased the game in update patches released further down the line.
- A good introduction to the agricultural industry
- Fun gameplay with a mixture of game modes to suit different play styles
- Vehicle/machine choices could be improved with additional content
Pure Farming 2018 is developed by Ice Flames and published by Techland, and is available on PC, PS4 and Xbox One.