Farming Simulator 15

Farming Simulator and David Hasselhoff share more in common than you might think. No, we’re not talking about a Knight Rider-inspired mod although that would actually be pretty awesome. And, judging by the efforts of the series’ diehard community to date, pretty easy to accomplish. But we digress.

Both the Hoff and Farming Simulator are unfathomably popular in Europe and particularly, for some reason, in Germany, where they are bigger than Jesus and Justin Bieber combined. Nobody is really sure why this should be; both, after all, are mediocre performers in their fields and should be little more than punchlines.

And so it was with great interest last year when Farming Simulator 2013 made its debut on games consoles in English speaking markets. Sure there are niche outdoor gaming categories, especially in States (hello, Cabela’s franchise!), but we were pretty darned sure that the game would flounder on systems that thrive almost exclusively on the likes of FIFA and Call of Duty.

We were shocked as sheep shit, then, to learn that the  game had sold two million copies. “Wait a minute, though,”  we thought. “Sniper: Ghost Warrior also sold two million copies despite being a bit crap and it did that by hitting shelves during the summer lull when there was nothing else to buy. Ah, that would explain it must be the same case  with Farming Simulator 2013!”

Except, it wasn’t. While Ghost Warrior was strategically released in June, when there was literally nothing else to buy and so sales were artificially skewed in its favour, Farming Sim came out in September 2013. As in, the same September 2013 that saw the biggest videogame release of all time, Grand Theft Auto V. Not to mention FIFA 14, PES 2014, Wind Waker HD and Diablo III.

So Farming Simulator 2013 certainly didn’t sell two million copies because there was nothing else on the shelves to buy. What the hell was it, then? Possibly the oddly soothing and satisfying process of ploughing fields and planting crops, but whatever it was we’re going to get another dose of it in October when Farming Sim 15 hits the PC before landing on both console generations early next year.

That should broadly coincide with the release of David Hasselhoff’s latest movie, Stretch (starring Patrick “Nite Owl II” Wilson and featuring Jessica Alba and Ray Liotta). Coincidence? We think not.


You wouldn’t have thought there would be many exciting new features begging to be incorporated into a simulation of farming. Well, none that an austere German developer would be willing to consider; we’d have mini-games involving rogering the farmer’s daughter, rustling sheep, cow-tipping, using 12-bores to keep Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall off our land and so on, but we doubt the folks at Giants would agree. So instead we get additions like logging and wood cutting, which will make the most of the all new Nordic setting.

Which could be as dull as dishwater, but are probably better for business than our would be cut-scenes of Bodil Joensen in Animal Farm. Slightly more exciting is the promise of an “extensive online mode” that enables you to manage a farm with up to 15 players either locally or online, which will once again largely serve as a mechanism to share mods and other created content. Grand Theft Auto Online it sure ain’t, but the prospect of 15-player wacky races and tractor pulls does hold a certain amount of intrigue especially once the modding community gets involved.

Farmbots in Disguise

 For its next-generation debut, developer Giants Software is aiming to take Farming Simulator to the next level especially where the visuals are concerned. In addition to building the game itself on a brand new engine, the German devs have been beavering away on all manner of nifty new rendering techniques to achieve photorealistic vehicles. Oh man, we’ve just filled our wellies.

If you’ve been gagging for Forza-like sheen and Gran Turismo-esque authenticity on your Case IH, Deutz-Fahr and Lamborghini machinery then your Christmas is about to come early (unless you aren’t a PC user, in which case it’ll be coming a bit late). And you can expect shiny new additions to the licensed vehicles with New Holland, Ponsse and more being featured this year. Ooh and, indeed, arr.

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