There is no more refreshing sight than the first morning light or the setting of the sun, yet many of us miss these wonders. Some workers bathe in the glory of both as they start before the day has broken and return home once the stars are out. I am, of course, talking about farmers who endure some of the longest hours and toughest conditions. I am one person who openly admits I couldn’t do the job, but I admire the work ethic and appreciate the allure of the role. If you feel the same as me, but want to chance your hand in the industry, Farming Simulator 22 allows you to do so from the comfort of your sofa.
Developed and published by GIANTS Software, this is an ultra-realistic simulation title. Set across three locations in America and Europe, would-be farmers are spoilt for choice. Moreover, a vast array of equipment, brands, and crops are incorporated into the gameplay. In short, this is the most advanced and realistic farming sim that you can get your hands on.
Farming Simulator 22 steps up a gear.
If you are a fan of the franchise, you’ll love the advancements in technology and gameplay. If, on the other hand, you’re new to the series, or you have missed some instalments, there is a hefty learning curve ahead. Previous iterations have focused on farming mostly while dabbling with other industries. Roll on to Farming Simulator 22, and the gameplay leans towards business management and an array of complementary elements.
This new focus creates an intriguing experience full of lows and highs. No longer can you plant whatever you like with no care for the season. No, you must cultivate specific crops while observing market trends. After all, you are in business to make money and selling at a loss is foolish. Alongside the crops, you can care for animals, grow and log trees, and manage businesses and the supply chain.
Becoming a highbrow sim.
The production chain was an incredible addition that highlights the game’s ambitions to become more highbrow. This element forces you to think about your infrastructure, the animals you are keeping and the crops you are growing. Each ingredient can be used to supply a factory that’ll produce goods for a bakery or dairy. Subsequently, you keep moving goods from one business to another to enhance profits and reduce waste.
As a business sim, it offers a great deal of detail, but this has its downfalls. Understanding the fundamentals surrounding the farming elements was tough enough, but juggling supply lines and so forth was hard. However, if you are that way inclined, you’ll love the challenge this adds. Sadly, though, the tutorial is woefully lacking! Many parts of the gameplay are uncovered, or their importance is understated. You are given no idea about when you should complete tasks, and the game expects you to work out many key concepts.
In a title that is this in-depth, there should have been a thorough explanation to cover most scenarios, however, there is not. I had to walk away many times as I became frustrated with mistakes and wasted resources. Many players, old and new, will find this off-putting and will have to turn to YouTube to find a solution.
Animal Husbandry and Forestry.
If the thought of toiling in the soil isn’t your thing, then fear not. Farming Simulator 22 allows you to focus your energies elsewhere. An array of animals can be purchased, sold, and used to make a profit. Keeping them is time-consuming and tough, but it’s also calming and rewarding when you get it right. You’ll have to feed, water, and balance their diet if you wish to get the most out of them. Some trial and error are required, but it’s one of the more user-friendly elements you’ll encounter.
Furthermore, you can forget every traditional farming concept and focus on making money from timber. Growing acres of poplars may not seem interesting, but the required skills, large machinery, and bundles of cash will be enough to turn your head. This element incorporates the basic layers of farming without micromanagement. I loved losing hours to this oddly therapeutic endeavour as you fell trees, trim limbs, and cut trunks to perfect length.
It is all about cash flow.
Everything you touch in Farming Simulator 22 costs money, and lots of it. You must juggle your bank balance with the need to buy new equipment, seeds, animals, and so forth. Until your farm is profitable, you will rely on loans, second-hand equipment, chainsaws, and lease hired vehicles. This is one of the toughest elements within the game, and players will become frustrated as it holds them back.
I quickly realised that the simplest of tasks take hours to complete and to get the most out of this will be a labour of love. To help out, you can hire farmhands and speed up the action, but you still need to manage every scenario. It can quickly overwhelm you, and only the best and most experienced players will be able to manage the workload.
Farming Simulator 22 transports you to the countryside.
I have noted many user reviews that complain about the difficulty of running this on PC. Fortunately; I used the Xbox Series X, but I can see why a standard PC or laptop would struggle. Graphically, Farming Simulator 22 is phenomenal! The variety of landscapes, array of vehicles, and varying weather fronts and seasons were exceptional to look at. Furthermore, walking, running, and driving was smooth, with no frame rate issues or tearing. Every detail is finished to a high standard, and this transports you straight to the countryside.
The developers are clearly aware of how in-depth their game appears, as they have made a clever and well laid out UI. An array of submenus and reactive options allow you to focus on any job you are undertaking. This was an excellent choice that helped to reduce confusion while making a tough title a little more user-friendly.
As expected with an ultra-realistic title, the sound effects are great! The chugging and burbling of every engine was fantastic, and the noise of the ploughs cutting through the soil was brilliant. Every piece of machinery was on point and you will not be disappointed. Furthermore, a great selection of songs has been added to the fictional radio stations. It was wonderful to work acres of land while listening to the radio blaring. GIANTS Software nailed their presentation, and I was not left disappointed.
Take on contracts and keep busy.
I have repeatedly stated how complex it is, and how it needs to be more user-friendly, however, the controls couldn’t be easier to understand. The developers have done a great job in creating an easy-to-understand button layout. Yes, there are a lot of different tasks to complete, but the clear UI highlights what needs to be done. Furthermore, the responsive controls make every task easy to complete. Using an Xbox controller was simple to do, and I loved how intuitive the gameplay felt.
If your life as a farmer isn’t busy enough, the townsfolk demand your assistance with a multitude of tasks. Unlike previous instalments, Farming Simulator 22 allows you to accept multiple contracts while your AI workers keep toiling. This was an excellent addition to the gameplay, as you felt like you were building a business rather than just running a farm. Alongside this, the longevity is increased thanks to the 400-plus vehicles to choose from and the selection of crops to grow. Also, don’t forget the production chain, animal husbandry, and forestry elements. If you so wished, you could spend months on one map and never tire or run out of things to do.
Farming Simulator 22 was worth the wait.
It took nearly two years for GIANTS Software to bring us the latest instalment, but it was certainly worth the wait. Fortunately, the developers saw how the “modding” community improved the gameplay and integrated many key elements into this latest instalment. I admit I struggled with it, but I admired many of its core concepts. It is a tough simulation title, but one I thoroughly enjoyed. I loved its varied gameplay and I recommend you to buy it here! Pick your area, buy your land, and make a profit any way you can.