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Professional Farmer 2017

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Published by UIG Entertainment and Developed by VIS [Visual Imagination Software], Professional Farmer 2017 aims to draw die-hard simulator fans and all gamers alike into the world of a crop and livestock farmer.



“Get ready for the rural lifestyle! This game is set on your own farm! Enjoy the life of a farmer with all its amazing tasks and challenges! Drive your original vehicles, cultivate your fields, take care of your animals and market your produce! Different seasons and weather conditions guarantee realistic game fun. Earn from your experiences as a farmer, use your knowledge to enjoy the satisfaction a farmer feels when sitting in front of the fireplace in a beautiful farmhouse after a hard working day. Your efforts will be rewarded – the better your fields are tilled, the more animals you breed, the more products you produce, the better the income available for new machines, larger fields and tractors. Get ready for the ultimate farming fun!

Features:

• Huge, open game world

• Original tractors and machines

• Career mode and detailed tutorial

• Different types of grain

• Dynamic Ground and visual field stages”



With all those promises made, I was ready to don my best working boots and Akubra, stick that piece of wheat in my teeth and start working the fields in some hardy farming machinery.




The first thing which struck me about Professional Farmer 17 was the attention to detail in the world around me. Set in a rather picturesque environment, with mountain peaks in the distance and rich fields surrounding, it’s definitely a pretty sight to survey. And this is just as well. Since your tractor and harvester will move at, let’s say a ‘steady’ pace, you’ll want something worth looking at. Here they absolutely do deliver and it’s a nice little escape from reality.



The first time I pulled out onto the road in my spiffy John Deere, I found myself just driving around and taking it all in. But as I turned to look in my side mirrors I was a little disappointed. While the view ahead was shown off in some pretty respectable graphics, the road behind me might as well have been something from a 90s DOS game. Where I had been drawn in so much to this little world of my own I found this small detail pulled me back out of it again. It’s a nit-picky thing really as it has no effect over the gameplay and can be ignored, but is worth noting.
Jumping out of your tractor you’ll be able to fully appreciate the amount of work that has gone in to making the tractor, harvester and every piece of farm yard machinery as true to life as possible. This is never truer than when you start manoeuvring dog trailers in reverse. (Can I hear you say jack knife?)




Put into the role of a farmer with a starter farm, you are supplied with every essential to get you going. Your sheds are full with various attachments for your tractor and harvester to get you ploughing fields and feeding animals. First order of business is to get that field on the other side of the farm crop ready. You’ll need to hitch and use each of the attachments to get a crop going and harvest it when the time is right, taking seeds to sow and using your tanks to water and fertilise the soil in between. Once the crop is harvested it can be saved up in your own silos where the grain can be replanted, used for feed or sold to increase your income. It’s a true little ecosystem on this farm. Soon after you’ll be sourcing your first animals from the market.

My OCD is killing me at this point....


Yep, that’s right…that map is a whole lot bigger than your little farm. There are a few different areas on the map which you will be able to access by following the road to the nearest tunnel. Each tunnel will take you somewhere different to source something else. The market and granaries are where you will buy and sell your produce and livestock, there is a camp site in another area where you can hire some helpers to work the farm with you, and of course you must remember to keep your supply of fuel up or none of that machinery will be of any use to you.

And speaking of this great range of machinery, there are shops you can visit to order those new and improved items of machinery to make your work just a little easier. But nothing comes cheaply so make sure that farm is profitable.


Once you’ve got those animals back to the farm you’ll be wanting to keep them well fed and watered. And in turn they’ll provide you with the fertiliser that will keep those fields flourishing.

In amongst all of this work you will also find that your farmer has the ability to level up and acquire skills, which ever increase your productivity and efficiency. Unlocking these is your key to making farm life work for you instead of the other way around.

Professional Farmer 17 does a good job in recognising the sheer amount of work it will demand from you to be successful, and in so doing they’ve included a very effective and easy to follow tutorial. If you are willing to take the time to complete the training offered you will not find the game itself overly difficult. For the content it shows you it does instruct you well.


I only wished there were a few more elements shown as once I stepped out into the real game world I felt well equipped in some areas but under equipped in others. The principles are applicable across the board however, so it was a matter of knuckling down and figuring out those differing details. Otherwise the difficult curve of this game is very gradual and allows you the freedom to run your farm your way as each day and season passes.



Is it replayable?

This question is best answered by the player. Could you start over again? Sure, there is always an opportunity to begin from a point of better understanding and get that farm working for you much sooner. Would I want to? I think I’d contemplate doing so, but from a realistic perspective probably not. But if this is your kind of game I’m sure you’ll find far more joy in a replay and I would.

How many hours will this game offer?

How long is a piece of string? If you are an avid simulator fan I’m certain this will easily give you days, weeks, maybe even years of slow tractor driving fun. If you’re less inclined like myself, I think you might get a few hours and then be happy to put the controller down.

Will I get to listen to some line dance inducing country and western tunes?

Sadly…no. When I first booted up the game to the main menu I was greeted with some appropriately thematic country music, and I’ll be honest, it made me happy. I looked forward to hearing more of this as I drove from field to field.

But once in the game you are submersed into some rather generic simulator style music which reminded me of the tune from Sims, played loudly while you’re building your house…and yes, I muted that music after a few hours of it on repeat. If you want to enjoy some toe tapping country and western music I recommend you source your own.

The soundtrack is, however, unobtrusive and this was appreciated.

Who would I recommend this game to?

Easily the best audience for this is the farming simulator fans or those looking to give it a go for the first time. It’s not a game to everyone’s tastes but it is by no means a bad game. Just the opposite in fact- it’s well designed, great attention to detail and has a true feeling of realism.

I was not able to try Professional Farmer 17 with a wheel setup but I believe it would be well suited to it, even more so to a VR setup should the opportunity arise.

Any last tips?

Yeah- if you don’t know how to reverse a trailer, especially a dog trailer, make sure you have sourced some diagrams for that. You are going to need them. But if worse comes to worse, it’s not that far to drive around the block and try again. After all…who’s watching, right? ;)


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Professional Farmer 2017

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