Farming Simulator 22: Let The Good Times Grow

Farming Simulator is one of the franchises that has been around for a long time, yet still manages to be on top of its game when it comes to the simulator genre. What is not to love about this adored franchise with so many ways to play, you can’t go wrong whichever path you decide to take.

There are people who live and breathe the farming life, and will hop in this game to utilize their expertise and create a stable economy. Creating a farming empire, planting the correct crops and buying the correct production chains to maximize their income every month. Then you got me a casual player who never touched any farming simulator game in the franchise until now. Not only have I never played the game, I know nothing about any of the vehicles or the best means of maintaining a stable farm. I was for sure going to fail, I mean i couldn’t plow a straight line no matter how hard i tried. After hours of playing the game I have managed to only become mediocre but I still enjoy trying to become the best farm empire ever.

" What Will Your Farm Produce? "

When you start out in farming Simulator, you have 3 difficulties to start at. Personally I would recommend starting with the easiest mode(new farmer) for those who have never touched the game before. It will offer you an easier beginning to your empire, by giving you selected vehicles, tools and land for you to begin. As you begin you can now decide how you want your farm to take shape. Will you decide to focus on cows, sheep or other animals? Maybe you would like to grow some grain crops? The choice is completely yours in this game, and this is what makes it so good. Everybody loves a campaign where you can forge your own destiny and this lets you do just that. You can expand until your heart’s content, taking over the entire map, and have your hand in every single market the game has to offer.

Just like in real life if you owned a farm, ranch or equivalent. You will want to make sure your farmer gets up at sunrise, as the daylight burns down you are also on the clock to get your massive list of jobs you will need to do throughout the day, or your profit could seriously take a dip if you sell your products even one month after the high season. The list of your daily tasks will depend on your style of farming and what you put your focus into. Your wheat field has become overgrown with weeds, grab your weeder and take them out. Your barley is ready, well time to jump on your harvester and get to it, time is money and you need all the profit you can get. You have now to make sure you plow, de-stone and get your fields ready for the next planting season. It will be long days both in game and IRL time, but you will find yourself soon finding solace in the casual life of farming. It may not be the most exciting at times and just like all simulator games, can seem daunting and repetitive at times, there is still that glimmer of joy as you can experience a life on which you normally do not live.

New to Farming Simulator 22 is seasons. You will now be even faced with a tougher challenge as winter approaches making snow on the ground making life harder and jobs more difficult to accomplish as the tough weather makes moving your tools that much harder. The real challenge of seasons actually comes down to the planting and harvesting of crops. You will have to plan accordingly to make sure you have your field ready in time to plant or you can say goodbye to profit this year. It also affects the highs and lows of selling your products and the will fluctuate depending on the time of year, So keep an eye on the market. If you want quick cash you can always sell to any sell point, Which is a choice I rarely make, usually it depends on the product. For wood I sold it daily as I did not want a stockpile laying around. For my finished products such as clothes etc I waited for the high spikes and made a hefty lump. Waiting does come with a price though, making not only you have to be budget cautious but also means you are upgrading maybe later than you would have hoped to make that year’s crops cycle.

Life on the farm can be hard, and extremely lonely at times. Even when I have my favorite internet radio stations tuned in while in my tractor. It can just feel desolate and so much of a grind, but that’s when I was so relieved to find out not only can I farm, I can farm with friends, Well in my case it was my partner.

" Never Farm Alone. "

May you be farming with friends or a significant other like myself you will have a much better time in my opinion. The thing with simulator games, it can only hold the feeling of a new life for so long before it becomes repetitive and boring, like a real job.

While Farming Simulator already does a good job in mitigating this, once you are on multiplayer, you can farm hours straight without getting that “burn out” feeling. We opted to play as one farm, running a family farm sort of speak. We felt this was more suited to our gameplay as we can work together (as we are both new to farming) and reach our set goals and help each other out in the time of need. It was a blast and efficient when I was able to cultivate, while my partner was able to come behind in her tractor and sow this year’s crops. It really takes the edge off and you can let time just pass you by. This was my chosen path to play this style but as I have mentioned earlier you can take multiple paths in this game and that includes multiplayer. You can have multiple “Player owned farms” meaning if you have a competitive edge, you can work against your friends, or each have your own farm and create a community. There are loads of custom servers if you do not have anyone to farm with, each with different themes, may it be RP or Forestry there truly is something for everyone when it comes to Farming Simulator.

With such an expanse of features in the base game of Farming Simulator, when it comes to mods this game has one of the best communities to bring you a constant stream of new mods.These can be a nice change of pace and would recommend checking them out. I have played loads of games over the years that have an expansive collection of mods for you to use. Take The Sims for instant,lots of custom content depending on your taste, may it be for cosmetic or new scripts, the same rules apply for Farming Simulator.

To be honest I was a little overwhelmed by the sheer amount the community has created. As a novice farmer the custom tractors and farm tools did not appeal to me because I couldn’t tell the difference between them anyway. So I opted for the realism mods adding real dirt colour and more production chains, just gave me so many more options to increase my games value, and of course the enjoyment knowing i can now turn my barley into beer. While it is true a lot of mods are PC only and need to be downloaded from external sites. Giants offers a mod hub of verified mods directly in game for ease of access and use on consoles, such a nice touch it is now effortless to search through the catalog of mods and maybe spice up your game with a new map to take over, or grab the tractor you have always wanted to own.

It seems so good to not take up the opportunity and live out the rest of your days in the virtual farm, but sometimes all this comes with a price. The game itself is solid gameplay wise but I would be remiss not to mention how janky the game can be at some points. The mean one being the AI especially in vehicles, I could be minding my own business when all of a sudden out of nowhere, this super tank AI car hits me and forces me off the road. Good luck trying to remove your car when it gets stuck on an AI as these things are impossible to move; they are basically glued to the ground. Another big one I had issues with was player syncing especially loading and unloading trailers, it would show that it was loaded and unloaded on my screen but not on my partners, all though this appears to be related when i use a custom trailer, but this was grabbed from the modhub and was “verified by giants” and there was nothing in the description in the mod about syncing issues in multiplayer, so just be careful with online compatibility with something.

All and all this game is pretty solid and you will spend hundreds of hours  getting lost in time, mindlessly plowing virtual fields or feeding your cattle. That being said it is a simulator so comes with the downside of some points can feel boring and relative but it aims for realism not action.

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Review
  • Farming Never felt so free and fun
    8.5

    " This years instalment of Farming Simulator is just a breath of fresh air. The addition of seasons changes is a nice touch giving you that extra time to plan out your year ahead. So much fun can be had in this especially when played with a friend. Choose your own route and lose hours on a virtual farm, and don't regret any of it. "

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