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Forced Fun – Farming Simulator 17

I've got a brand new combine harvester.

Welcome to Forced Fun, a series in which we place our grumpy old man of gaming, Tuffcub, in front of a bunch of video games he really doesn’t like and hold his cat hostage until he plays them. This is a scientific experiment as although Tuffcub has a ferocious dislike for these the games he has never played them, and we think he should at least try these games so he can justify his hatred. This week we’re off to the countryside with Farming Simulator 17.


Even though I’ve lived in central London for over twenty years, I actually grew up in a tiny village in the middle of Oxfordshire surrounded by farms. In fact, the next door neighbour owned thousands of acres so I spent my childhood messing about on a farm and have driven a combine harvesters, tractors, and other farm machinery. If you’re in field in the countryside there are no police, so a twelve year old can happily pootle about in a Massey Ferguson and not get arrested, but will Farming Simulator be as much fun as my childhood?

I’ve Got A Brand New Combine Harvester

  • The game begins with animations of farm machinery in dynamic action backed by the sort of music that would conclude an epic sequence in a sci-fi film. It’s making ploughing fields seem very exciting. Hype!
  • Excellent, the main menu has optional tutorials. Pay heed other developers, this is how it should be.
  • This game has multiplayer? I wasn’t expecting that.
  • Time to learn about arable farming, which seems a sensible place to start.
  • So, the game has loaded and I’m going to be polite and say the graphics are… graphics. Yes, there are certainly digital images on my screen. I think that’s the nicest thing I can say.
  • I have to back up my tractor and pick up the plough, which I have done, but for some reason I can’t steer, I can only move forwards or backwards. Spend a good few minutes trying to work out what is going on and in desperation try pressing the options button. Aha! I was meant to pick up a counter-weight as well. That’s about two miles behind me now…
  • The controls are rather fussy. Not as bad as FIFA, but there’s a lot of what we oldies refer to as joystick juggling. There’s so many button combinations!
  • Ooh, there’s a radio in my tractor!
  • It only plays generic tunes rather than licensed tracks, I was hoping for a bit of Beyoncé while I plough.
  • Time to start the ploughing then, and I have a lovely, wide field to plough. Shall I plough in straight line? Of course not, time to draw a massive willy in the dirt!
  • Buggeration, the game limits the amount I can plough and I only managed to plough a third of a penis. Time to move on to sowing grain.

  • Success! I have sowed a large, crudely drawn ding-dong in a field. That will give the farmer’s wife a cheeky surprise come spring.
  • Moving on to harvesting, which seems pretty simple. After a few minutes my harvester is full so I have to empty the grain, but when I do so it comes out black. The corn I harvested was golden, what is going on?
  • I have to jump in the tractor, but cannot see the cultivator I’m meant to attach to the back. I decide to try and drive over some chickens instead.
  • Failed to get a chicken dinner, but only because a rather flimsy white wooden fence seems to be more than a match for a four tonne tractor. I have to say that isn’t very good at simulating things, especially when it comes to wooden fence/speeding tractor combos.
  • Time to try career mode. I can choose male or female, but the only customisation option is to change the colour of my checked shirt.
  • I start in a farm located in what appears to be Eastern Europe. It’s rather run down, but it’s mine, so time to explore.
  • I’ve managed to get on top of the roof of my barn by using the jump button. It’s the most unrealistic jumping motion I have ever seen. Decide to try and commit suicide and end the game early by jumping from the top of the barn roof.
  • Fail miserably at suicide, I just fall fifteen metres to the ground without so much as a broken leg or yelp of pain.
  • Wandered over to cattle shed.
  • I’ve bought a cow.
  • I’m standing on top of the cow. The cow doesn’t seem bothered at all.

  • Apparently I can hire someone to help me harvest my field, so I press the hire button and look around waiting for my new employee to arrive. Wait five minutes and he still isn’t here, so I stop harvesting and exit the vehicle.
  • WTF? The worker has magically appeared in the cab of the harvester and drives off, harvesting the field diagonally!
  • I’m now driving my tractor and trailer next to the harvester and the arm has extended and is loading grain in to the trailer. This is actually quite cool, but I can’t see any indicator to say when my trailer will be full.
  • Got bored, so I’ve ditched the trailer and am seeing if I can set up a tractor racing league. The collision detection in this game is quite something. Some objects that you should be able smash through stop you dead, others, such as road signs, just magically pass through my tractor.
  • My tractor doesn’t float. It’s now sitting at the bottom of what could euphemistically be called a river. It’s actually just a dip in the ground with semi-transparent blue panel over top of it. I didn’t even make a splash as I drove head first to my watery grave.
  • Oh, apparently I can breathe underwater for an unlimited amount of time.

This Little Piggy

  • I’ve just noticed that a pop up in the corner of the screen tells me my hired help has been paid 167 euros. Looking at the game clock he’s been working for approximately one hour. No wonder we voted to leave Europe.
  • Hired another worker to plough the field following behind Harvester boy. They both seem quite happy and tootle off.
  • Tried to hijack a passing car and pretend I am playing GTA V. It didn’t work, the driver just beeped his horn at me so I jumped on the car roof to take a ride, but the car slowly drove away from underneath me and I plopped to the ground. The physics in this game are very odd.
  • I have now installed a liquid redistribution system. By that I mean I went to make a cup of coffee and let the game tootle on by itself.
  • Ploughing chap seems to have pissed off Harvesting chap by ploughing the field of unharvested corn. Harvesting chap is parked by the side of the field and not moving. Clearly there have been a few stern words whilst I was making coffee.
  • Everything seems to have stopped and I have no idea what to do, so I’m heading back to the menu to try another tutorial. Let’s try farming some pigs.
  • Picked up the pig carrier truck thing and off to market… which is about ten metres in front of where I was parked. Pigs are bloody lazy aren’t they?
  • I have piggies. I can clip the camera in to the trailer and see them, in fact in can clip the camera inside a pig, resulting in a horrifying evil demon pig.

  • This is bothering me: I’m off to deliver my pigs, but I’m taking a short cut through a field of sunflowers but my tractor and trailer full of pre-sausages isn’t flattening the flowers. They clip through the entire vehicle and exit undamaged at the end of the trailer.
  • Now doing a bit of mountain climbing, In a tractor. With pigs.
  • Have found a train track so there’s only one thing to do – detach the trailer full of demon pigs and leave them on the train track and wait for a train!
  • Uh oh, my tractor is now firmly stuck on the rails and can’t move! I’m going to be smashed to bits with the pigs!
  • I’ve jumped out of the cab, but there’s no sign of a train so I’ve decided to inspect the railway to see how many railway sleepers the game designers decided to model.
  • One.
  • Two.
  • They modelled two railway sleepers
  • Still no trains.
  • Restarted the tutorial, got the pigs, and took the sensible route this time, but misjudged a corner and have flipped both tractor and trailer on to their sides. The demon pigs continue to behave unnaturally and are firmly stuck to the floor of the trailer they are now floating at a 90 degree angle. As I said, the physics in this game are quite something.

  • I’m going to give multiplayer a go. I’m surprised just how many people are playing. There’s lots of Germans by the look of it and I’m going to join one of their games so I have reason not to be on mic.
  • The Germans have denied me entry to their game. How rude!
  • Tried a couple more games, but all the ones with spaces on their farm are German and every single one has denied me entrance.
  • Clearly I am not going to be able to try the multiplayer so it’s back to the tutorials. It’s time to try some forestry. I’m a lumberjack and I’m OK!
  • For a game with what could at best be described as having “interesting” physics and “functional” graphics, it doesn’t half take a long time to load.
  • Oh this is good, it’s like a FPS! I’ve got a chainsaw welded to my arm! I’m meant to cut down a tree… do you think that’s what I’m going to do?
  • NO! Im going to chainsaw a lamp post!
  • Except I can’t. The blade just passes through is if the concrete post isn’t there.
  • Wait, there’s a car coming! Ahahahaha!
  • Oh this is rubbish, I can’t damage anything. The car stays perfectly intact and the driver sits their smiling at me as I run about trying to saw off his tyres.
  • I have begrudgingly attacked the tree and cut it down and then used the crane to put it on the back of the trailer. This is the first time I’ve actually had fun playing the game correctly, the big robotic arm you use to load trees is like a giant version of those cranes you get in video game arcades.
  • I can’t play the multiplayer, the tutorials only show you certain actions not how to run the entire farm, and there are demonic pigs. I think I’ve had enough.

Well I can say I enjoyed at least thirty seconds of that whole experience. I can categorically state it’s nothing like real farming and it certainly not a simulation of any kind, it reminds a bit of DJ Hero which is absolutely nothing like actual DJ-ing. If it did simulate the world accurately then I think it would it would be a lot more fun. It would mean you would have to pay more attention to what you are doing and not drive through pristine fields of corn without consequence, but it’d be an awful lot more interesting. Judging by the amount of people in the multiplayer it’s clear lots of people enjoy the game, but I’m not one of them.

8 Comments
  1. Adrian Burrows
    Member
    Since: Jul 2017

    Chortletastic!

    Comment posted on 06/08/2018 at 14:37.
  2. MrYd
    Member
    Since: Mar 2011

    I knew I shouldn’t have sat down with a cup of coffee and read that.

    I also can’t help thinking that you obviously liked tractors when you were young, but you’re not so keen on them now. Would you say you were an ex-tractor fan?

    Comment posted on 06/08/2018 at 14:41.
    • Tuffcub
      On the naughty step.
      Since: Dec 2008

      Get out

      Comment posted on 06/08/2018 at 15:24.
      • MrYd
        Member
        Since: Mar 2011

        Harsh, but fair.

        Comment posted on 06/08/2018 at 15:27.
  3. gazzagb
    Master of speling mitakse
    Since: Feb 2009

    It’s pretty boring to start with, but once you’ve got the initial grind out of the way and move onto the better machinery I really enjoy it. Also, mods make so much difference to both the gameplay and realism (driving through fields destroy crops, etc).

    Comment posted on 06/08/2018 at 15:02.
  4. ron_mcphatty
    Member
    Since: Sep 2008

    Schadenfreudetastic. So was this better or worse than FIFA?

    Comment posted on 06/08/2018 at 22:13.
  5. Tuffcub
    On the naughty step.
    Since: Dec 2008

    Stay tuned for part 3 in which I go FUCKING INSANE because the game is so annoying. Like, the worst thing EVER.

    Comment posted on 07/08/2018 at 10:53.

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