What a scorcher of a weekend that was, you’d be forgiven to pass up on some geeky activities with weather like that, not to mention a certain royal wedding and FA Cup Final. That said we still managed to find some time to get up to geeky shenanigans. Here’s our round up of the week and weekend.
Farming Simulator 2017
*sigh*, yes, I did something I didn’t expect I’d ever do. I purchased Farming Simulator 2017 and the season pass for PS4 for a bargain price of £16. But why? Well It’s no secret that I enjoy a good farming game, read my post history and you’ll see I mention Stardew Valley an awful lot. And I’ve always had a soft spot for those types of games, Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life on the Gamecube was one of the games I put the most hours into back then. I also have got somewhat a bit of a green thumb and do enjoy planting fruit and veg in the spring and summer. This year it’s gone another level and almost feels some what of an addiction to see how much I can plant and hopefully harvest at the end of the season. So with that in mind, and with one of my friends also finding his gardening feet this year and talking to me lots about different stuff he’s growing, well he actually bought Farming Simulator first. I had the itch to get it, but wasn’t quite sold on it. So I watched a “let’s play” that simply put, blew my mind. There was as bit of hesitation still to buy the game however as the map I was watching on this “let’s play” was a mod (an absolutely awesome mod created by OxygenDavid, a map based in Gloucestershire which is our county, with lots of familiar city names on road signs like Cheltenham), but my friend who had already taken the punt for the game messaged me a picture showing a mods section, and in there was ‘Oakfield Farm’, the farm I’d spent a good 6 hours watching on this “let’s play” series.
So am I happy with my purchase? Hell yes I am. It is incredibly overwhelming at first I’ll be honest. This isn’t your Stardew Valley game, this is immensely detailed. I had no idea how much equipment is required to simply grow a field of wheat or barley. Plowing, Sowing, Spraying, Harvesting, collecting forage from the left over harvest. Then the animals require grass or hay bales that are created from planting grass, cutting it and either collecting it or letting it dry. Okay that ones a tad more obvious, but the machinery that’s available to complete these tasks is staggering.
It took me a good 4 restarts on a map to finally figure out exactly what I want to do and what I need to do it. Prior to typing this I’d just spent a few in game days harvesting 2 (excuse the french) fucking huge fields of wheat and barley. I needed to purchase tipper trailers to collect the harvest and sell it to the shops in the map. Now I’ve harvested these fields and sold I’m up £100k profit now. However I’m in debt repaying a starter loan. I aim to have sheep and cows as I gather their milk and wool is profitable, but it’s not as simple as owning these animals. I need to make sure I’ve got fields of grass away from the animals growing, which can be cut for food for them. I need to make sure I’ve got correct silage machinery to improve the cows, I need to make sure I have a water tank to refill their troth’s, I need to make sure I have a chaff blower to ensure the animals barns are bedded.
Tell me, honestly now… do you even know what the fuck chaff is? I don’t?
This game is relaxing when in the fields cultivating them or sowing them with seeds, but the time pressure side of it is actually quite intense. Money at the start is not easy to come by, so if you’ve been an idiot and bought something not required, then find out an hour later you need something else with not enough money… well you can increase your loan or other wise tough shit really.
It is so so good though, I have been thoroughly enjoying my Oakfield farm experience. I now think I know what type of farm I intend to run. Now to just research what I need in order to get to that goal and will my £100+K income from my first few days cover it? Based on the amount of stuff I think I’ll need, it probably won’t.
If you enjoy simulation games or have played any in the past, this game could be something you’d be interested in, same goes for if you’re a bit of keen gardener with bigger aspirations for your back gardens crops.
Please do also check out the lets play that got me into this game in the first place by Daggerwinm. It’s exceptionally well made with clear commentary from Daggerwinm. My friend and I that watched honestly likened it to a TV show, that’s how addictive we’ve found it. I’ve also linked the creator of the Oakfield farm mod OxygenDavid above in my post, check the link to see his updates on the map.
Conan Exiles has finally release from early access and as I’ve had it sitting in my library since it first came out I thought it was about time to jump back on it and see what was new.
I honestly couldn’t tell you all of the things have changed since I last played because it would be a pretty big list, but I do know the map is much bigger with a huge variation in biomes for each zone oh and you can also climb walls… Which is an interesting mechanic when you think about base raiding.
To me it seems like Conan Exiles is actually in a really good place for a survival game, base building it pretty easy and you can easily get set up with something small nice and quickly. There is tonnes to explore on the map, with boss monsters to fight, dungeon type areas to explore and a hell of a lot more.
I’ve been playing on a PVP server and whilst I’ve seen a lot of bases around and met a few people I actually find that most of them are pretty friendly or will just leave you alone. I think that’s because there is such a big PVE element to the game. With games like Rust there isn’t really much in the way of PVE so people quickly turn to PVP to keep themselves entertained, but with Conan it seems like there is a lot to occupy you before you even think about wanting to raid others. Now I’m not saying that it doesn’t happen, because it definitely does. But I just makes starting out in Conan a little easier as people seem a little more focused on building their own base and dealing with monsters.
There is also the threat of Thralls to deal with, these are AI people in the world who you can fight, but you can also capture them and they will aid you with defence of your base or will work on specific stations to help you with resources or things like that, so you can kind of get your base to run on its own to some extent. I’ve not really got to the point where I can capture them, but I know that you can find different levels of Thrall so some will be better than others and some will work better doing certain tasks.
I honestly think that Conan Exiles is probably one of the best survival games out there right now.
Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire
The sequel to the very popular RPG from Obsidian Entertainment is now out and seems to be being received just as well. Now, I didn’t ever get around to playing the first one – although I’m pretty sure it’s still on my wishlist, so I’m not starting things out in the best way as right from the off you’re asked about the events of the first game where you can either import a previous save or just pick from some options to say what happened. Not knowing anything about the events of the first game I went with the option that I thought sounded best.
Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire sees you pursue a rogue god over land and sea. Captain your ship on a dangerous voyage of discovery across the vast unexplored archipelago region of the Deadfire. Bend the world to your will, as you explore the depths of infinite possibilities, including detailed character customization, total freedom of exploration, and more meaningful choices at every turn.
As with most RPG’s at the start you have a whole host of options for building your character and all the fantasy class tropes are there, I went with a Woodelf Rogue as I fancied being the sneaky thieving type and I’ve already set about trying to rob people and steal from everyone I can.
If you’ve played any isometric RPG’s before it’s hard not to either make a comparison between them or feel the nostalgia hit – which is exactly what I got, to me it feels a lot like how I remember Baldurs Gate 2, which I think is a good thing.
I’m only about 2 hours in to the story so far so I’ve only scratched the surface of what the game has to offer, but sitting down to play it yesterday I could feel myself being drawn in to it with that “I’ll just look over here quickly” mentality and I had to stop myself otherwise I’m sure the next time I would’ve looked at the clock hours would’ve whizzed by without me realising.
It’s pretty clear that playing the first game will really help you with getting in to the sequel, there is a lot to learn both in terms of the gameplay and it’s nuances within the class skills and with the lore of the game. But that doesn’t mean I’m totally lost of confused, it just means I need to do a bit more reading and research. The game helps you with that in a very handy way, when certain things are mentioned like one of the god for example, you can hover over their name in the test area and it will give you an explanation to who or what it is – it’s such a nice little feature.