Posted: March 6
"5/10. Kinda playable. Best game published by UIG." According to My Own Rating. (Played ver. 1.017)
WARNING: If you haven't played a farming simulator such as farming simulator 2013 (still the best option), or this game's bugged siblings by UIG, make sure you watch some videos before you buy. They're not action games. Don't expect adrenaline rush, or intense experiences or anything happening at all. It's about farming, riding the machines to work the fields. And then hiring someone else to do it for you. Do not expect to be anything more than slightly amused. This is the kind of game you play when you're wondering if you should kill everyone at work/school or just your boss or a specific person. Then you spend hours looking at the calm scenery, listening to the sound of the engines and some soothing music until you're sure you'll make it to the next weekend without killing anyone and feel confortable enough to go play another game.
As for Professional Farmer 2014, it fails to meet UIG standards of (lack of) quality, which is awesome. If you ever played other games published by UIG, you probably already associated their logo with frustration. It's pretty much a low quality unfinished alpha version game seal. However, for this game I only had a graphical bug that was fixed following the forum recommendation. No crashes, only a few minor bugs, some annoyance. No major issues. In other words, the game is pretty playable.
On the other hand, being playable doesn't mean it's good. The game also fails to deliver most of what was promised. The game save folder can reach a few GBs mark so I'm guessing they really planned on doing all they promised. At least they're storing all the data they'd need for it. But it doesn't seem to have been implemented. And, no one would ever expect this from a game related to UIG, they've announced a DLC/Deluxe version that promises to do all those things this game promised but didn't deliver! Yeah, right... I'm pretty sure this time it will be for real. They'd never keep selling dlcs, special editions and new yearly version of the game until people stop buying and they have to relabel (Agricultural simulator, anyone?)...
What they did deliver:
Career Mode - It's actually a several hours long tutorial. For the first 5-10h the game will use season advance on its own and you can't hire people to do your work for you. That means you'll have to do all the work on your fields and your neighbour's. The tasks are set up in a very annoying system of waypoints that prevent you from picking the best path for the 20min long trip to the store or the bank. It's not worth doing what you haven't been told to. Chances are the game will send you back there to do what has already been done and make you waste time riding the tractor around. And you can't refuse to help your neighbour. You can steal his crops when he hires you to harvest, though. Anyways, on career mode everything happens extremely slowly. If you're new to farming simulators, it will likely take 6-8h of gameplay until you're able to harvest your first field.
Free mode - No restrictions on how you play. That means you can do everything yourself almost roleplaying mode like in the career mode and spend a few weeks (rl time) getting the fields ready before you click next or you can just hire people to instantly do the setting up and skip to the next season (the only thing you can't hire people to do is fertilizing). The game can be anything from a few dozen clicks and then skip until harvest for a few more clicks to hundreds of hours of gameplay bewfore you're able to harvest.
The seasons system actually made the game turn based. You click to skip to the next one when you're done setting up your fields. It does seem to make a difference on your yield. If you keep track of your yield, you'll come up with a rotation. Then you'll drop it because it doesn't really matter if you can get a better yield of a less valuable crop. The crop rotation doesn't seem to make much of a difference. Especially for the Lupin part.
As for the animal husbandry, it's pathetic. You buy the animals and get some income everytime you click skip. You can see them, but there's no possible interaction. Also, they don't breed. You have to refill them from time to time.
The game is soooo challenging. You'll feel the urge to quit it but if you persist you can do pretty much anything and it will work out fine. You can start by rushing to the bank to get the highest loan possible, and to the store to buy all the animals the game lets you buy. That's it. You win. Your assests will increase like 2k each time you skip. If you want to play the rest of the game, with the remaining money you can buy the two largest fields and hire workers to plow, cultivate and sow soy on all your fields. To do that you should abandon your tractor at the store and teleport home to your other tractor. You can fertilize the nearby fields or just skip until fields are ready to be harvested. Then you hire people to harvest everything. Then skip back to spring and repeat until you have plenty of money to buy more of the larger fields. Repeat the process, maybe buy a faster tractor to ride to new fields. If you feel like trying the hard work, buy the best machinery and work the nearby small fields. Done.
*Missing crops. Sometimes the game will lose track of fields (resetting to 0%). This may lead to losing the plowed pct info, the cultivated pct info, the sowed pct info or all of them. Which is an absolutely lovely thing to happen if you've done all the work on the field by yourself (2-12h rl time wasted). It's just a small annoyance if you're hiring people to do the slower tasks for you.
*GPS and Map blackout at night. Yup. They both depend on sunlight to work properly. At night, you can only see crops due to their natural bioluminescence.
*Closing menu. The menu will close when you hire workers for a task. This can't possibly have been designed this way. I refuse to believe anyone would be this stupid. It takes 3 key presses and 9 clicks to set up a field before you skip to the next season. And then another key press and 3 clicks to harvest. Anyways... since you're probably not going to want just a few fields, it scales up to hundreds of clicks per season. The ui is supposed to be well designed. If they didn't want the possibility for quick progress in the game, they shouldn't have hired work finish instantly. Maybe add a timer and worker queue if they don't want quick progress. But, nope. It's not worth clicking that much on a farming simulator.
TL;DR: The game is playable. They finally completed Agricultural Simulator 2011/2013 (although the animal husbandry was better at the bugged unfinished siblings). It's almost 60% as good as their competitor's FS2013 (except for the appearance that is actually better than fs). If you really want the game, wait until they release the dlc/deluxe version to see if they delivered what was promised when they launched the professional farmer 2014.