There is no denying it: there is something strangely satisfying about driving a massive tractor through a mature field in the Farming Simulator series, but with Farming Simulator 22, the developers at GIANTS Software are not content with a shiny new coat of paint. Instead, they add features that so far have only been supported by a passionate modding community; primarily seasonal cycles and production chains. Now, before I was able to jump on my rig and get the glorious crop collection yield, I had to devise a plan for how I could best utilize my time, space, and resources that stretched far beyond the barley field.
It’s hard to overstate how big the seasonal changes were in my time with Farming Simulator 22 – the days of the perpetual August weather were ripe for agriculture. Now I had to be creative, plan what crops I was going to grow in what seasons, and make sure I harvested everything before it withered on the vine. The hot summer months, for example, were a great opportunity to grow wheat and supply my reserves for colder months, while the snowy winter season required building greenhouses to grow strawberries in the inhospitable weather.
Screens – Farming Simulator 22
Seasons forced me to think completely differently about running my farm, and only by careful planning ahead was I able to make a profit, acquire new land to work, and expand my eternally hungry production empire. And it added a strategic element to a series that so far has mostly been about running big machines. Don’t get me wrong though: you still want to drive lots of huge wonders of technology around, and it’s just as amazing as it’s ever been – there’s just a lot more to it now.
A perfect example of how the series evolves can be found with its other great addition: production cycles, which involve you in refining, distributing and finally selling your goods. In one scenario, I harvested wheat, brought it to a factory to be turned into flour, and then brought the flour to a bakery to be cooked into bread. And in another, much more elaborate series of events, I spent an entire year in the game figuring out how to grow or harvest strawberries, sugar, milk, eggs, and butter, just so I could make and sell cakes.
Expanding my business by buying production facilities became an addictive part of making money to feed my eternally hungry farming activities (in addition to the eternally hungry animals and people I literally fed). Why just sell my crops when I could own the companies that make use of those crops and get some of that sweet, sweet vertical integration going? My thirst for success as an agricultural magnate led me to acquire a good portion of the Midwestern premises in Elmcreek on the whole.
And of course, as my activities grew and my liquidity reserves grew, I could afford bigger and better agricultural equipment that let me sow, fertilize and harvest my crops in a classic, zen-like way. Farming Simulator has always had these beautiful machines in spades, and this game is no exception. There are also some pretty beautiful models, like the Fendt Katana 650 and New Holland Braud 9070L.
It’s been a few years since the last Farming Simulator, and so far it seems that GIANTS Software has not been sitting on its laurels. I’m excited to embrace my inner farm magnate when it comes out later this month – and yes, to drive around in big machines too.