Every year, it’s the same thing. In the absence of a serious competitor, Farming Simulator is the only possible choice when you want to try your hand at a realistic agricultural simulation. This observation is even more true on Switch unless you turn to all the cute farming games like Stardew Valley or Harvest Moon .
The Giants Software studio, despite a transition to independence marked by a two-year break, continues the previous model which consists of offering a “portable” version of its major title on PC and consoles. This is how Farming Simulator 23 arrives this year on Switch after a Farming Simulator 22 full of new features.
As Farming Simulator 20 showed us , Switch players aren’t the best off when it comes to the Farming Simulator franchise . We still face the same dilemma. Impossible to recommend it on the Nintendo console, but difficult to blame those who have no choice.
Giants Software is a serious studio that benefits from good sympathy with a large community of followers. In this respect, Farming Simulator 22 was clearly a success on our side despite obvious flaws, but we cannot ignore a certain opportunism here so as not to deprive ourselves of a great potential of players on Switch.
It’s quite a model that we point the finger at, because roughly speaking, Farming Simulator 23 is a Low Cost version of Farming Simulator 22 with much fewer possibilities. Having tested the latter, we are well aware of the restrictions and tinkering carried out on this Switch (or Wish) version.
Certainly, the hardware of the Switch does not always allow for as many miracles as for Tears of the Kingdom , but we can still wonder if another model is not possible. Once again, if you have access to a PC, we recommend Farming Simulator 22 on this platform even if it means playing it with very low graphics settings.
Too many compromises
Unsurprisingly, the technical rendering is not the most attractive on the hybrid console. Already on PC, the studio’s graphics engine lags significantly, but the Switch does much worse with a very limited display distance and slowdowns caused by framerate drops. In his misfortune he is lucky, because it must be admitted that this is not immediately apparent given that the game is as dynamic as a tractor on a national road.
It still benefits from the rare good points in this area such as the modeling of brand vehicles or the sound design, especially with regard to the various engine noises with a different effect if we use the cockpit vision or the external vision.
Unfortunately, although Farming Simulator 23 integrates the gameplay elements for which it is famous and most of the new features of Farming Simulator 22 , it makes far too many compromises which penalize said gameplay and which make the simulation less deep.
First of all, at the start of the game, we have the choice between two cards (compared to three in FS 22): Amberstone and Neubrunn. Respectively an American decor and a European environment. Additionally, you only have access to one game mode with a ready-made farm. It’s impossible to start from scratch with a large sum of money to start the way you want.
There is also no way to build buildings wherever you want. The map is also smaller and to diversify your activities, you have to buy structures already on site. For example, by default you have a chicken coop on your farm, but if you want to raise other animals, you will have to buy the corresponding building on the map.
Too much progress
As in Farming Simulator 22 , this Switch opus is not welcoming to newcomers. The tutorial only scratches the surface compared to the enormous possibilities of the title. Additionally, the limitations of this version make progression horribly cumbersome.
We cannot rent equipment at low cost for a while or carry out paid contracts for other farmers. This allowed us to get our hands on new machines and see if growing a commodity interested us. None of that in Farming Simulator 23 . To have access to new machines or even production lines (a new feature which allows you to transform your crops to obtain more elaborate marketable products, such as wheat which is transformed into flour in a grain mill then into bread in a bakery), you’ll have to grind like never before and save a lot of money.
One of the good things about Farming Simulator 22 which could compensate for the lack of complete tutorials is the options which let you deactivate or activate certain parameters which accentuate realism, but are sometimes too penalizing when you start the game. Farming Simulator 23 leaves little choice at this level.
We understand the implementation of comfort elements so as not to frustrate the budding farmer such as not destroying the crops when driving on them, however not leaving the choice of these details may disturb those who wish a complete experience in realism . Same thing for the seasons, another new feature of Farming Simulator 22 that we find here, since you can harvest anything without being subject to time restrictions.