You know that old saying, “separate the wheat from the chaff”? The idea that some high-pressure, hellfire situation will really show who’s got the mettle to make it, while others fall by the wayside or have to settle for second place? Well, ladies and gentlemen, Farming Simulator 22 has made chaff of us, but we respect it all the same.
The opening cinematic of Farming Simulator 22 drives home that the farmer’s life is one of sacrifice. 6am stars, back breaking labour, endless seasons and years of work in order to meet the ‘calling’ that is farming. Luckily for us, Farming Simulator 22 is here to give perhaps an impression of that satisfaction with its most realistic portrayal of the industry yet – without the 80-hour work week, though it’ll take some hours of trial and error to get to grips with the details of the game.
Farming Simulator 22 is a very specific kind of game for a very specific kind of person. Do you have a weird itch in your brain which only highly regimented harvesting and farm administration can scratch? Then Farming Simulator 22 is the game for you. A cursory look online shows that the series has a vibrant community of modders who are constantly adding new farming equipment and other items to the game, expanding its already impressive selection of tractors, harvesters and other minutiae of farming equipment that really drive home just how much goes into running even the simplest of farms.
Playing on the game’s Elmcreek map – set in the midwestern US – the basic Farming Simulator introduction gets you to grips with tilling, cultivating, harvesting and selling crops, a farming loop that is simplistic on its face, but can become extremely detailed as you maximise your efficiency and broaden your horizons with new crop types and farming schedules. Cattle are a possibility too, and no matter what your farming focus, you’ll be expected to stay abreast of the myriad stat sheets and other information Farming Simulator 22 puts at your fingertips through its extensive menus.
“The opening cinematic of Farming Simulator 22 drives home that the farmer’s life is one of sacrifice.”
That said, the focus for Farming Simulator 22 is definitely the raw data and routine of farming life, not so much the beauty or ambience of the land you’re working on. Farming Simulator has some beautiful environments to choose from (Southern France and the Swiss Alps are two other possible choices for maps), but they all feel equally lifeless after you spend a few minutes exploring the world around your homestead. It’s fine, ultimately, because these games are about farming, not the beauty of nature, but it really goes to show that you need to really love farming in order to connect with what Farming Simulator 22 is bringing to the table.
If you’re already a fan of the series, Farming Simulator 22 has everything that you’ve come to love and expect from the franchise; but newcomers might struggle at first with the very specific experience that Farming Simulator has come to represent.
Farming Simulator 22 is available now on PS5, Xbox, PS4 and PC.