E3 2016 – Farming Simulator 17 Preview – Sweet Roar of the Tractor (PS4)

Have you ever just wanted to till the earth, to see the fruits of your labors grow from your works in the fields, to get delicious milk directly from a cow’s supple udders as a result of your caring for its every need? Do you desire to to see hay production through from the cultivation of the seeds to the wrapping of the bales? It’s not something I’ve ever been particularly interested in — I mean, I don’t even drink milk, and there’s a reason I’m a writer instead of doing physical labor — but Farming Simulator 17 brings the joys of farming life to a virtual world without the need to ever leave the couch or dirty these perfect hands. Seriously, I’ve got some smooth hands for a dude, and if I can do some farming without callousing them up, then you’ve piqued my interest in trying to earn an honest living from the land.

Farming Simulator 17 preview 2

What could possibly be new in Farming Simulator 2017? Female farmers, for one! They’ve brought female character models into the game because it’s silly to think that the men are the ones driving the tractors and tilling the fields for soybean crops — which is a new crop addition to Farming Simulator 2017, in addition to the sunflower crop. And yes, the sunflowers do actually move their heads towards the direction of the sun along with the day/night cycle of the game which was strangely alluring to watch in a time lapse as one of the developers fast-forwarded.

Farming With More

For 2017, Farming Sim is headed to Goat Crest Valley (or perhaps it’s Goatcrest Valley? When you’re behind the wheel of tractor, wind in your hair, it hardly matters anymore), an area in the Pacific Northwest United States which offers some new kinds of terrain such as mountains and lakes. As with past titles, you’ll start as a small farmer and build your way up to getting more equipment, more helpers, and more tools, to ultimately make more money and continue to grow. And what would growth be without the game growing as well? 

Farming Simulator 2017 has over 60 licensed brands of farm equipment and hundreds of customizable tools. It also introduces trains for the transport of goods and a deeper system for the livestock on your farm. With so much equipment — much of it high-end — they’ve added the option to lease things, so you don’t necessarily have to wait until you build up enough money to buy a new tractor, or tiller, or potato picker-upper if you want to lease one to use for a few days of game time. 

Farming Simulator 17 preview 3

Farming With Two

Farming Simulator 17 is designed to be a sandbox. It’s a farming wonderland for you to play in. The game makes no attempts to hold your hand and tell you what to do. This is your farm and you can run it how you see fit — or perhaps how you and a co-op partner see fit, given that it does have the ability to have a second player jump into the world and farm with you. It will also be on of the first console titles to introduce mods to the game, allowing dedicated and more intelligent players than I to code in custom equipment and other game modifiers that can then be uploaded and approved for use in the PS4 version. 

Video games are incredible things that can take us places we would never be able to go otherwise. Some people like to escape by going to space, or taking part in a war, or by becoming a dashingly handsome treasure hunter. Still others just want to hear the hum of the motor as they harvest their soybean crops on a harvester they just bought. If you’re like me and hate to get your hands too dirty, and want to try out farming while avoiding the sweet smell of morning cow pies, Farming Simulator 17 looks like it will be bringing the best virtual farming experience to consoles later this year.