Yes, surprisingly there is an actual story, believe me I am as shocked as you, it is centred around a city boy who, after spending many a summer on his Grandfathers ranch, is impassioned with a love of rural living. So, when the chance to take over the family farm presents itself the young man leaps at the chance, though the Grandfather had to die for this to happen, yeah, another surprise I didn’t see coming. Of course, old Gramps didn’t want to make things too easy for us, as the farm in question is half run-down and $250,000 in debt, so it’s not so much carrying on the family legacy, as it is making sure the bank doesn’t carry everything off the ranch.(“Wait! I need that to feed my family!”)
The actual game part of the game begins on the Ranch with the front room acting as our spawn point, and right away we are instructed to open our tablet to bring up the menu. This gives us essential information such as our destination, whether any of our vehicles need maintenance, what crops need harvested, or if the bank have decided today is the day for the lube and rubber hose.
I was impressed with the level of detail that has gone into everything, but after a while I began receiving emails and notices pestering me about things that required my attention. As I had only just begun playing and was still learning the ropes this became a bit overwhelming, not to mention irritating.(“Uh..what?”)
Across the yard my eagle eyes spotted a shiny red tractor, I proceeded with haste to mount my trusty hard working mechanical steed, in I climb and turn the engine over. The controls are very simple for the driving aspect, R2 to move forward and L2 to reverse, and of course analogue sticks to steer and swing the camera. The first task we are given is to hook up Reggie (yes, I named the tractor) to a header (farming lingo) which is used to harvest crops. This is not a challenging task as all I had to do was line Reggie up and press R1, now over to the field where it’s time to farm hard.(“Now…how does one farm?”)
My next task was to get the header lowered and operational, which proved quite tricky as it involved more button combinations than a fucking NASA shuttle launch. This does little more than frustrate and it makes progress unbearably slow, I know farming isn’t exactly motocross, but the game could’ve been a little bit faster than actual farming.(“Oh God, I’ve Been at this for 10 hours!”)
The graphics aren’t going to win any awards, but they are still crisp and surprisingly detailed for such a small game, and the surrounding area is quite extensive. I happened to take my 4×4 out for a spin around said local area and found another 20+ fields ripe for farming, petrol stations to re-fuel my tractors and diners to re-fuel myself. The size of the town was very impressive and was not at all what I was expecting when I went exploring. The different machines, vehicles and other pieces of equipment such as sheds, silos, trailers etc all fit the surrounding areas perfectly and help to provide a sense of scale, allowing the world to feel large but not empty.
One thing I feel I have to point out is the lack of background music, background music is essential to add atmosphere to a game, and if your game is something like a farming sim, with a lot of monotonous busy work then the lack of background music will only highlight the tediousness of the tasks.
Overall Pure Farming is not going to win over any casual gaming fans, the controls are so numerous that it would be easier to learn to drive actual farming equipment and the lack of background music leaves the player feeling isolated and bored. On a more positive note, you have near all of Montana to explore, there is a great level of detail in vehicles and a semi-cute back story to get you into that farming mood. Be warned though you will be Farming for a niche market and on this occasion, it is not one I will be making a trip to.