Professional Farmer 2014 – Review
Follow Genre: Farming Simulation
Developer: PlayWay
Publisher: UIG Entertainment
Platform: PC

Professional Farmer 2014 – Review

Site Score
3.5
Good:
Bad: No story at all, dodgy game mechanics, limited set of vehicles, lack of attention to sound, lack of detail on fields
User Score
8.5
(8 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 8.5/10 (8 votes cast)

Simulation games have always been a tough sell to mainstream gamers. Over the last years, 2 of them have managed to do quite well: Euro Truck Simulator 2 and Farming Simulator 2013. Both games felt decent and had a large mod community. Professional Farmer 2014 attempts to tap into that success.

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Story

As in most games in the genre, there is no real story to be found. When beginning in career mode, you start as a farmer. Yes, really! The first year is basically a tutorial where you won’t get to make much decisions for yourself. You get a little tour around your farm and soon you’ll be plowing your first field. After doing that, you’ll get a popup saying: go to your farm. This cycle is something you’ll quickly get used to because that’s what you’ll be doing all the time. After plowing you’ll get to cultivate. Then, you’ll get to plow the field of your neighbor. When it’s finally time to go buy something, you’ll have to drive all the way to the shop just to get some seeds. Same goes for equipment. Even for a loan you’ll have to make a trip. This whole mechanic of driving everywhere yourself gets annoying very quickly. And during the first tutorial year of your carrier you won’t have a choice, you have to follow the missions you get. Also, the missions offer no story or background at all. Simply: do this, do that..

Graphics 

At first glance, Professional Farmer looks quite good. The farm you start in is actually nicely detailed and the rest of the environment looks quite alright and adapts to the season you’re in. The farming equipment however lacks a bit of detail compared to the rest. Certainly because those are what you’ll be looking at the most. The problems start when you leave the farm. The asphalt roads look very basic and are without variation, exactly the same everywhere. Another serious issue are the fields themselves. When you’re plowing for example, you don’t actually plow. What it does is just create a new texture layer on top of the field. Who cares you might say? Well, when you reach the border of the field to make a turn, you can actually see the difference in layers on top of each other which looks ridiculous.

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Sound

When you enter a tractor for the first time, you get harassed by annoying music right of the bat. I don’t know why the developers would implement it like that but the first thing you’ll do, without a doubt, is enter the option menu to turn music off. Ambient sound is very basic. The machines themselves sound okay though. As mentioned earlier, in game music is terrible and adds nothing at all to the overall experience.

Gameplay

Driving a tractor is strange at first and then it gets fun for a bit but it quickly turns into annoyance. It takes a minute to figure out how to shift the gears and how that system works exactly. Driving around will quickly get boring though because a tractor can only go that fast. Also the AI of other drivers is terrible. When working on your field, you’ll notice how the tractor keeps pulling to the side. Whether this is because of an attempt to simulate the forces working on the tractor while using equipment or just a flaw, it makes it practically impossible to make straight runs and your field will look terrible. It gets better as you do it a few times but it’s just so annoying.

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When you’ve completed your first year, you can do whatever you want. Which is nothing more than before but now you can choose to progress through the seasons as you see fit. You’ll also get access to workers. You’ll have to enter the menu which looks and feels very basic. It’s the same menu you use to switch between your vehicles/machines and to get an overview of the map with all the different locations (about 5) and all the fields. When ordering a worker to do something on one of your fields, it is done instantly and also exits you from the menu which results in you clicking through the exact same menus again just to get something else done.

At this point you still get objectives but they are very basic: plow 3 fields, harvest 3 fields and so on. The only difference between the career mode and free mode is that you don’t have to go through the tutorial year. Also the available machines in the game are limited. You get to pick between a couple of tractors, some bigger harvesters and larger machinery but nothing different from what you get at the start except for size. All this leads to the fact that you just don’t have anything to work and save money for. You can buy more fields, pay off your debt and upgrade your farm a bit but nothing major. Animals are something I haven’t mentioned yet, mainly because there’s nothing much to say about them. Animals give you a profit every time you progress a season and that’s about all there is to them. The game offers mod support and there some mods out there but it’s very limited compared to a game like Farming Simulator 2013 (PC version).

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Conclusion

A simulation game is still a game and should be fun to play. Professional Farmer 2014 doesn’t feel fun at all. While the developers have made some progress bringing realistic elements to the farming sim genre, they’ve totally missed the mark in all other aspects. Combine that with the fact that there are games out there in the same genre which offer far more (albeit mostly thanks to the mod community) and you get a game that I could not recommend.

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Rating: 8.5/10 (8 votes cast)
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Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
Professional Farmer 2014 - Review, 8.5 out of 10 based on 8 ratings
Veflow
Veflow


I'm currently studying software-development. My main hobbies are gaming (software/hardware) and music (jazz saxophone player). I game primarily on PC (and also love building them) but also play on PS3, iOS and Android.

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