Pure Farming 2018 Review (Xbox One)
When Pure Farming first came out, it got a lot of bad reports from the Simulation community. Ice Flames took a lot of feedback on board and worked on updating the game. For this reason, we held back our review.
However, there is only so much you can polish a turd! Pure Farming 2018 does a few things well. But it falls short in so many areas compared to the competition.
Sure, the simulation genre is not where you go if you want to find the top end of Computer Graphics. But Pure Farming 2018 is bland, low poly and still suffers from huge “pop-in” issues. Driving around in first person mode the vehicle interiors, especially the dashboards, are unimpressive. Mirrors give you a blocky outline of the landscape behind and you can’t even see your trailers in them.
After using your vehicles around the farm, they will start to build up mud. Again, the textures for this are poor. Driving around the environment you will come across many small models, such as cones for road works etc. These can remain unrendered and only pop in when you are as a close as a few meters from them.
Caught between a rock and a hard place
Along with the models and textures being low quality, the collision boxes on most objects are crazy. I had a tractor get stuck on a stone. A flat stone that it should have easily been able to drive over. To resolve this problem I had to use another vehicle as a battering ram. It then got stuck, after releasing the tractor. Then there was this moment:
One of the few things Pure Farming 2018 is good for is farming achievement points. It’s not a completely easy run to 1000G, but there are only a couple of achievements that would take any sort of grind. Most of the achievements unlock in Free Play mode. When you start a game here you can set which map and how much money you start with. Give yourself the full $5 million starting budget and you’ll unlock most achievements with ease.
Plenty to do on the Farm
That’s not to say that there isn’t lots to do in Pure Farming 2018. As mentioned, there is the Campaign mode, Free play mode and a challenge mode to tackle. The map for the campaign, Montana, is huge. The others, not so much.
However, they do all offer something different for the user. Italy focuses on grape and olive orchards. Columbia on Coffee and Hemp. And Japan on Rice and Cherries. I have to admit though, I went to Japan hoping for some gloriously colourful scenes. I was greatly disappointed.
Pure Farming 2018 does offer a wide range of produce production. On top of field work you have Greenhouses, Orchards, Livestock and Renewable Energy. Livestock is both frustrating and interesting. There’s a bit of a wider range of livestock available with the addition of Chickens and Rabbits. These you buy as young animals, and sell as grown animals. Chickens do also give you eggs, but other than that it is a bit uneventful. Cows and Pigs take a bit more maintenance, and also allow you to export meat from the farm.
Greenhouses are straight forward also. You pick a crop, supply the greenhouse with fertilizer and water, and pick up your produce as it grows. Orchards need a bit more work. They need a water supply but also need sprayed with pesticide. Renewable energy is a case of, “buy these solar panels/wind turbines, make profit!”
Whilst on the surface it would appear that these extra components of the farm provide more gameplay, they lack any real depth to be interesting.
What’s on the field?
As for field work, the variety of crops you can plant are again limited. In some maps they are completely limited to a single crop type. Italy doesn’t even have a single field to work on!
Yeah, but what’s ON the field?
Driving big ass tractors pulling crazy devices is what people generally play farming simulation games for. And some of the vehicles in Pure Farming 2018 are pretty mean. In particular are the big JCBs and the giant caterpillar tracked Agromash Ruslan. As mentioned before, the models for all the vehicles are a bit sub par.
The range is also a bit limited by comparison to other games in the genre. Especially on console where you can’t take advantage of community mods.
What is most frustrating though, is that the campaign locks most of the vehicles behind a leveling system. Experience is only gained by completing the main story missions. So if you want to start making hay bales, well you are going to need to wait until you progress far enough!
A hard days work
There’s an achievement in Pure Farming 2018 for spending 30 days on your farm in either Campaign or Free Farming. At the time of writing, over a month after the game came out, only 8% of players have unlocked it. I think that alone tells you everything you need to know.
3 piles of manure out of 10