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Farming Simulator 19 Preview – New Ways to Farm (PS4)

Farming Simulator is consistently a best-seller in multiple countries, including a distinction of being the best-selling physical game in Germany. The just-announced Farming Simulator 19 had a large presence at publisher Focus Home Interactive’s yearly Le What’s Next de Focus event in Paris, France last week. PlayStation LifeStyle attended a presentation by developer Giants Software which was full of information on their latest creation, and have a farm-fresh preview ready for you below.

New Everything

The word of the day was “new” at Giants Software’s booth. New vehicles, new crops, new maps, new animals, new graphics…If it applies to Farming Simulator, it has probably been updated for this year’s iteration. The series has been on a two-year release cycle since 2009, with odd-numbered entries launching on home consoles and PCs, and even-numbered entries running mobile platforms.

During the presentation, we were told Farming Simulator 19 currently has 38 new vehicles. This number may even grow by the time the launch date arrives, but still, to have over three dozen new vehicles to choose from is quite a large number, especially when you add it to an already impressive stable.

An easier onboarding process has been promised. This means that the many mechanics and systems that drive gameplay in Farming Simulator 19 will be explained for those who may not have ever played a game in the series before, or for those who just want more information about why something isn’t behaving as expected. Giants Software even mentioned experimenting with HoloLens, though naturally such an inclusion wouldn’t be on a console (and was by no means confirmed for Windows).

Saddle Up?

Yet another new thing teased (and made extremely obvious in their booth via a life-sized statue) was the inclusion of horses for farms. How these new animals will be used is not known yet, but with any luck there could be an option to ride around the homestead atop a majestic steed as a nice change of pace to the twisted steel of machinery.

Customization is also going to be on offer in Farming Simulator 19. As with most everything else mentioned during the presentation, Giants Software was light on specifics, but customizing how the player’s farmer looks will be a key feature to help make the game feel more welcoming. Multiplayer will allow for up to six players on console, so collaborative farming can take place, hopefully with customized avatars to boot.

A new mission system was also mentioned, which will allow the player to keep themselves busy while they wait on their crops to grow. This can include helping out neighboring farms for extra money. While previous Farming Simulator games had this system, it was described as quite basic. Again, while details were scant on just how the mission system has been revised, it was promised that the missions are going to be more interesting and varied.

A Fresh Coat of Paint

Finally, the graphics have been overhauled for Farming Simulator 19. Two years is quite a noticeable chunk of time in the video game industry. The push for 4K resolution and high-dynamic range (HDR) has never been higher, and it seems Giants Software has been busy tuning their game engine to include that and more. Physically-based rendering (PBR) means that textures more realistically reflect light, so you know if what you’re looking at is the rubber of a tire or the metal cover above it. We were also shown a simple before-and-after shot of Farming Simulator 17 versus Farming Simulator 19, and everything looked crisper, more vibrant, and more detailed, as expected.

Overhauled graphics means more flexibility to achieve such things as dynamic weather systems. Now, it can rain! In real life, when a rain storm approaches, most people can tell – the clouds get darker, and a blocked sun leads to decreased visibility. Just like in real life, if it rains in Farming Simulator 19, no farming work can be performed, and visibility will be reduced thanks to volumetric fog effects. So if the player sees storm clouds rolling in, that’ll be their cue to hurry up whatever tasks they are in the middle of before it is too late.

Currently, all we have to go on is a bit more information and a short trailer as no gameplay footage was shown at the Focus Home Interactive event. However, Giants Software takes their simulation crafting seriously, taking pains to ensure even the audio of their tractors is authentic. More information is no doubt coming on Farming Simulator 19 in the lead up to its release later in 2018, and farming simulation fans should be happy by what has been announced thus far, and excited by the prospect of what’s to come.

PlayStation LifeStyle would like to thank Giants Software and Focus Home Interactive for providing the time and space to check out Farming Simulator 19. Watch this space for more information on this and other games from the Le What’s Next de Focus event, coming soon!