Farming Simulator 22 | PS5 Review
Developed and published by GIANTS Software, Farming Simulator 22 is available on Windows PC, PlayStation, and XBox, and for the purpose of this review, I was playing the PlayStation 5 version.
Being as this was my first journey into any Farming Simulator game, I chose easy mode which starts you off with some land and buildings. As a complete Farming Sim beginner, even after completing the tutorial, I was left totally baffled as to how to proceed and was forced to search up a couple of beginners guides on YouTube. The game expects you to read the “companion guide” in order to gain information on all the different aspects of farming. I’m not sure about anyone else but I really don’t want to have to read walls and walls of text upon starting a new game. I want to dive in, start farming and start earning money straight away. Unfortunately this is not really possible due to the very limited tutorial in Farming Simulator 22. There are so many complicated situations and lots of different aspects which players need to learn before actually being able to farm and do things properly. There really needs to be a series of smaller, optional tutorials which guide you through and teach you about each individual aspect of the game, otherwise new players like myself will become very overwhelmed, very quickly.
You are given 3 maps to choose from: Elmcreek, a large map located in midwest America, Haut-Beyleron, a slightly smaller sized map set in France, and the smallest Erlengrat, which is an Alpine setting and was previously available in Farming Simulator 19 as DLC.
The biggest new addition in Farming Simulator 22 is the seasonal growth system. Just like in real life, you must plant and harvest crops in the correct seasons. For example, barley must be planted in the autumn, and it won't be ready to harvest until summer time the following year. The seasons also affect the in game economy, as some products will sell at higher prices during certain times of the year. Come winter time, there isn’t really much to do crop wise so this is a good opportunity to expand your horizons. Forestry is an option when you have some time to spare, or buying and tending to animals. Both are very enjoyable ways to pass your time.
Production chains are also a great feature which you can really get your teeth sunk into, this allows you to build up supply chains that transfer and convert raw materials and other goods into finished products. So you grow your crops and take them to the mill which will turn them into flour. From here you can take the flour from the mill to a bakery which will make bread or you can even add eggs and the baker will make cakes for you to sell. This is just one example that merely scratches the surface of this amazing feature. You can choose to sell your crops directly to the mill or your flour directly to the bakery. There is the option to buy the bakery for yourself or even set up your very own bakery to go into direct competition and cut out the middleman. Setting this up can take quite a bit of work and planning but it really is so rewarding once your work pays off and you start seeing those pounds roll in.
Another way to earn some extra cash is to carry out contract work for other farms in the area. Each farm, depending on the time of year, will have various different tasks which you can take on if you so choose. You can use your own machinery or borrow the required equipment for each contract. Borrowing will reduce the amount earned but it's a great way to learn and try out new equipment before potentially buying for yourself. Contract work is also a fantastic way to make some much needed funds when you are just starting out.
The detail in the vehicles and machinery is just wonderful. You can even see all of the sticks, switches and levers inside the tractor cabs move as you change gear or turn the indicators on. The level of detail they have gone into here really is outstanding. Over time, your vehicles and equipment become old and damaged but fear not, your farm can house a vehicle repair shop which lets you mend the damages and repair any old and tattered equipment. You can buy new vehicles from the shop or alternatively there are often a bunch of second hand vehicles available which can be purchased at a discounted price. There are so, so many different machines you can purchase such as cultivators, seeders, subsoilers, stone pickers, balers, headers, trailers, I could go on, and for quite some time but you get the idea. There are lots!
Visually, Farming Simulator 22 ticks all the right boxes.The colours are vibrant, the textures are wonderful and the level of detail, even down to the way that the crops move as you are harvesting them, is terrific. This is a really fantastic looking video game.
There is also a great level of detail gone into the audio in Farming Simulator 22. Pretty much everything you do will make a noise, from closing the door on your vehicle or walking on different surfaces, they all sound pretty realistic. Each vehicle has its own individual engine noise and each piece of machinery even has its own unique rattle and rumble as you are pulling them along.
There are a lot of things to keep you busy in Farming Simulator 22 but when things get a little bit too much, you have the ability to hire AI workers and assign them to carry out tasks for you. This is great right? Well that really depends which task you get them to do. For example, if you want them to fertilize a field for you, more often than not they will stop half way through fertilizing a field, meaning you have to go back and reassign the task. I have never had an AI worker finish the field 100% when fertilizing, I always had to go back and try to figure out which part they missed which was very irritating indeed. When you have two AI’s working in the same area, there were many times I got a warning telling me that my AI worker had been blocked by an object, only for me to find out that it was in fact, the second AI. They will not drive around each other, they literally just stop in their tracks until you take control of the vehicle and manually move one of them out of the way which is totally ridiculous. Being able to hire workers to lighten your own load is a great idea but it really has been implemented so very poorly here and needs to be looked at in a future title or even update.
Another thing that frustrated me immensely was lifting operations. Be it with a forklift or a bale loader, they are quite frankly, utterly ridiculous. It's extremely difficult to judge the correct angle for picking things up. I found myself spending hours and hours trying to get the forks of the truck unstuck from pallets. When using the bale loader, again, it was extremely difficult to judge the correct angle for picking up bales and once you eventually had them on the machine, the bales would randomly fall off the loader while I was delivering them to the required location, even though I was travelling in a straight line at 15 mph. This is something else that really needs to be improved for the future.
Farming Simulator 22 has a few very infuriating issues but overall, it really is the complete experience when it comes to simulating farming life. It is fantastically detailed and well thought out and from what I have researched, is a marked improvement on previous installments of the game. Despite the issues I have mentioned, I will absolutely be ploughing more hours into this wonderful game. A must have for any farming game fans out there.
PaultheBrave09’s Rating: 4 cultivated fields out of 5.
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Many thanks to Indigo Pearl for the Review Key.