Good first Steps

Pure Farming 2018 (from now on called: Pure Farming in this review) has finally released on consoles and PC, and the console version (Xbox One for this review) is somewhat of a lack-lustre affair at the moment. It would be remiss me of if I didn't point this out, and it might save you some hard-earned cash at this very moment if you're looking to dive into the Farm Sim genre.

Let me say, this isn't a bad game; it just isn't quite there yet in terms of features and fixes that have already rolled out on the PC version. The developers Ice Flames have been really forthright in their communication with notable Youtubers, reviewers, and streamers who have all given the game somewhat negative reviews.

These reviews have already seen a slew of great fixes and features that were requested by the community as a whole, some channels and sites have been subjected to abusive comments over their attitude towards the game. Games Xtreme likes to tell it how it is.

This review will be no different, and I have to preface it with saying that I've put a lot of hours into Farming Simulator 2017 recently so this isn't a genre that I'm unfamiliar with. I can see the differences straight away and I can tell you, at the very moment, I can't recommend this game or give it a must buy tag.

There's just too much that mars the overall experience for me, and hopefully the console patches will rectify this and I'll be able to come back and do a follow-up when the patch finally lands. At this moment, there's no ETA on the patch or much communication from the developers in that regard.

Modes of Play

Let's start with the good stuff, the stuff that I really like. The modes of play, of which currently there's three. You can start a My First Farm game which is recommended for novices and anyone who wants a chilled out, beginning experience. There's a lot to take in, but it's all presented through the in-game Smart Farm tablet and structured in an RPG-like manner to provide a quick and easy way to get into the ins and outs of farming, agriculture, and management as simply as possible.

Objectives are straightforward and whilst there's a lot to do, it's tied into a levelling system and progression. You can't run before you can walk, so you're going to do a lot of the farm busywork yourself. As you level you'll unlock new tasks, new features and new things to do around your farm.

Next there's Farming Challenges, hour-long, bite-sized chunks of farming task goodness that can push your skills to the limit, recommended for advanced players, these tasks will see you trying to save crops from fire, or sustaining a farm during a severe and punishing drought.

Finally, for those of you who just want to ignore the story, the challenges, and play with a farm in a relaxed chilled environment across several maps. Including Montana, Japan, Colombia, and Italy with Germany available as extra pay-for DLC. There's the relaxing, non-hand holding mode known as Free Farming.

Each region has specific challenges, crops, and machines including some machines that haven't been seen in a farm simulator before. Like rice and cherry combine harvesters.

You can grow your global farm empire as you see fit, since everything is unlocked from the start and there's no need for you to level up to get that Massey you want.

Technological Farming

I have to say that I love the drone you can utilise in Pure Farming, there's a lot of information it can relay about your fields and crops and it does it in a virtual overlay through the HUD of the copter. It's a fun little addition that adds to the modern farming feel of the game.

Then you have the machine roster, and whilst it's not as ram-packed as Farming Simulator 2017, it's still got a whole slew of various machines, tractors, trailers, and the like to pick through and buy - all of them licensed and ready for your farming needs.

Things to do...

Not only will you be working on your farm, but you get to use your machines (and fuel) to help other farmers out through lots of side tasks. Akin to Farming Simulator 2017 in that regard, only as previously mentioned, all the gear comes from your own garage and you need to make sure you have everything required to work the other farmer's field before you kick the side mission off.

You'll be able to engage in a lot of modern farming activities, growing orchards, livestock farming and management, field work, green energy and more.

You'll also need to keep your kit in tip-top working condition, and thankfully, the game comes with a complete repair/garage facility where you can ensure that your vehicles and machines are up to snuff when you've been out on the farm for days on end.

The Bad with the Good

So there's a few things that really stand out, that mar the overall experience, time scale being one of them... there's no (as of yet) 1:1 scale for time, and whilst you can make time speed forward rapidly, or skip to morning when it's night, there's no actual one to one setting (addressed on the PC patch recently).

Fuel consumption is ludicrous, you have to refuel several times on a small field, and this again has been fixed on the PC version.

Some issues with braking and reversing, it can be a bit fiddly. Again, this has been fixed on PC.

Graphics, there are some issues here with the graphics in the game, and whilst it's kind of nice looking - there's definite wash out with lighting, lacking detail with the console version compared to PC and that's just nothing to do with console power over PC. This is simple stuff like shadows that simply don't exist and LoD issues in general.

Lifeless and sterile environments compared to say Farming Simulator 2017. The world maps just don't seem to have that level of life poured into them, the whole thing feels bland and appears to be just a collection of boxes thrown down at the junction of a road.

People appear now and then to wander around, a few vehicles populate the area, but honestly the whole US map feels like a ghost town.

You can hire workers, but they have really rubbish AI at the moment and they're prone to crashing the vehicles or messing up your fields.

Your custom character is a guy, and there's no option to create a female character, I know several women who play the Farm Sim genre games and they're non-too happy to see they've been left out of the equation. Come on folks, it's 2018 and representation does actually bloody matter.

A Barren Field

As it stands at the moment, lacking the radio in the console version and a bunch of other things which have been fixed in the PC version, I can't recommend this game at all - YET - down the line when a few patches have been applied and there's a slew of mods and other stuff out for it, that might change, but really I have to say, hold off on buying this and keep an eye on the game as it develops.

The developers are being really good about fixing things in the PC version, and the console certification process takes longer.

I should also point out that this review is based on the code we were given, so thanks for that, and we truly do wish all the success to this game ones the issues are ironed out.