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Game Review | Farm Simulator 2022 - that’ll do pig, that’ll do

13 February 2022 - 20:48 By Cody Nery Thomson
Farm Simulator 2022 is an enjoyable, calming simulator, peppered with beautiful environments, and filled to the brim with detailed machinery. Although a little tough to get the hang of, it could just sink its fork-teeth into you.
Farm Simulator 2022 is an enjoyable, calming simulator, peppered with beautiful environments, and filled to the brim with detailed machinery. Although a little tough to get the hang of, it could just sink its fork-teeth into you.
Image: Supplied

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I imagine most people scroll past Farm Simulator on their preferred online store and think: “why?” and if not most people, then I’ll admit I did. For some reason, I just couldn’t place it in the accepted simulator category that is so populated with games. You can simulate flying, city managing, island living, resort building, actual people’s lives, and even be some kind of super-powered goat, but simulating running a farm, just didn’t want to fit into the puzzle.

So, after a fair amount of judging a game by its virtual cover, I bit the bullet and lost a few GB on my hard drive; and you know what? Farm Simulator 2022 is actually kind of enjoyable.

IGN contributor Travis Northup takes a deep dive into the farm-management life in Farming Simulator 22, the latest in the popular farm sim series that adds a key component: seasons. Farming Simulator 22 will be released on PC on November 22.

As a first time farmer, I wasn’t really sure what the game was going to throw at me and was pleasantly surprised with a decent enough character creation screen and a selection of different environments to choose from, of course, I went Swiss first; Chard Farmer Extraordinaire, but was quickly prompted with a message saying that I should try out my skills, or lack there-of, in one of the other maps where they would provide me with a guided tour. Alright Farm Sim, take me to your first-class lounge with 1x guided tour please, and thank you.

Thankfully enough it remembered the character I had created the first-time round and then popped me right on the stoep of my brand-new farmhouse, guided tour and full-on easy mode engaged; let’s farm!

First things first, the machinery in the game is quite impressive. I’m no Farmer Brown, but it feels like a lot of detail and care has gone into each of the vehicles, tools and other bits and bobs. This means though, that there can be a lot of controls to learn on getting each machine to do what you need it to do. I had managed easily enough through the first half of the guided tour, but immediately got stumped on the second part, because said guide had forgotten to tell me that I needed to equip a weight to the front of my Supreme-Edition-Top-of-the-Line John Deere Super-Tractor (it felt very high-end, ok?). After running around for real-life hours, I eventually had to consult Farmer Google for what to do next and a quick little walkthrough showed me the way. So, re-start number 2 and I manage to smash the guided tour with an A+. Go me!

Sticking the tractor into a nicely paced cruise control and dropping the cultivator into the ground, listening to the radio while the sun rays shine down upon your hard work; it’s just satisfying.
Sticking the tractor into a nicely paced cruise control and dropping the cultivator into the ground, listening to the radio while the sun rays shine down upon your hard work; it’s just satisfying.
Image: Supplied

After I had finally managed to get my Farming Basics Degree, the game started to shift from frustrating, to calming, satisfying, and peaceful. Taking on some contract work and getting the hang of how each tool works and operates didn’t feel like too much of a mountain to climb and with some, or maybe quite a lot of, fiddling around the menus I was able to figure most things out on my own.

Sticking the tractor into a nicely paced cruise control and dropping the cultivator into the ground, listening to the radio while the sun rays shine down upon your hard work; it’s just satisfying. Like mowing your lawn and seeing those nice clean-cut lines through the grass. Getting paid to complete the contract work or to deliver your own crops were rewarding enough to make me want to keep doing it, and there were certainly more than enough contracts on the challenging side to force me to figure out a few things. I’m looking at you Herbert and your damned grass farm. Next time, I’ll just get Reej to mow the lawn while I crack a cold one and enjoy the view from my stoep.

Besides the lack of operator guides in the game (I may have had to consult Farmer Google a few more times), the one other downside is that the game feels kind of lonely. There’s no real interaction between you and, well, anybody. I’m not sure if Multiplayer servers solve the issue by providing you with other real-life players on the map to buy/sell/trade/work for, I just wasn’t brave enough to give it a try just yet, but in Career mode, I could’ve definitely used a shop keeper or another farmer, or maybe even a dog to provide me with some sort of social interaction.

Overall though, I found Farm Simulator 2022 to be a much better game than I had previously judged it for, and I can see why they keep making them. Maybe after a few more seasons in Career Mode, I’ll risk my biscuit with a few more real-life players, and it could potentially elevate the game into something I’d hop on to daily. Don’t-Judge-By-Its-Cover Gods, forgive me, for Farm Simulator 2022 is much more than its cover reveals.

BOTTOM LINE
Farm Simulator 2022 is an enjoyable, calming simulator, peppered with beautiful environments, and filled to the brim with detailed machinery. Although a little tough to get the hang of, it could just sink its fork-teeth into you.

PROS
Beautiful Scenery
Attention to Detail on the Machinery
Satisfying and Rewarding

CONS
The tutorial is definitely not enough
Feels Lonely, poor single farmer

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