Farming Simulator 19 Alpine Farming Expansion Reviewby Adam Dileva
Say what you want about the Farming Simulator games, but there’s really nothing else quite like them. Even though it’s not meant for casual play, I still quite enjoyed Farming Simulator 19 in my original review, and now the time has come for its latest DLC, the Alpine Farming Expansion. This can be purchased separately for $19.99 USD/$26.99 CAD or is a free download if you already purchased the Season Pass for the core game, as it’s included in said package.
Set in the Swiss Alps, the Alpine Expansion not only gives a new map, Erlengrat, but also the access to over 30 new pieces of equipment and machines to farm with, including new brands as well. You’ll have access to tractors and equipment from Rigitrac, Aebi, Lindner, Pottinger, Buhrer, Sepp Knusel, SIP, Luond and Bockmann. Obviously if you’re not into the ‘farming scene’ then these brands probably won’t ring a bell, but for those in the know, even more authenticity and real world brands has been added to Farming Simulator 19.
I just wanted to jump right in and see what all the new equipment was, so I started a new farm on the newly included Erlengrat map, complete with a beautiful European backdrop. You’re given a few of the new parts and tractors to begin with, with the oddest being the Aebi CC 66. This is actually a hand mower than you push with good old fashioned leg power. Its blade width isn’t that large, and you can’t hire workers to do it for you, but it’s an interesting piece of equipment for those wanting to cut some grass in smaller corners of their farms, as it would take hours to do a whole farm plot without any real tractors.
All of these new tractors are categorized as ‘small’, so don’t expect much horsepower in these, even from the largest of the bunch, which is a bit odd given that this new map is quite hilly. They do differ from one another, but there’s a few that really stand out. The most unique has to be the inclusion of the all-electric tractors. That’s right, you can go green as a farmer now with fully electric tractors, complete with a wireless charging station for your farm to place where you want. With a few different options, the electric addition is an interesting one, able to handle most small job workloads no problem, but keep in mind these are ‘small’ tractors, so you won’t be able to use them for the biggest jobs, especially if you have massive farms and plots.
Even with its AWD capabilities, it simply doesn’t have the power to be the main workhorse for the majority of your jobs. That being said, it’s a great for being a starter set of equipment when beginning from scratch and is really enjoyable to drive and operate. I really find the ‘hum’ of the electric engine soothing as I’m cutting down some grass with an attached mower. The 610S tractor is as old school as it gets, able to do almost any of the minor jobs you require without much effort. It’s an interesting contrast having an old classic tractor working beside a fully electric one, but is more than welcomed for variety.
The new equipment that you’re given is meant to help you start out with your animal pen, allowing you to cut and bail hay to feed your livestock, including two trailers. These types of farms are slow to start out with and don’t make a ton of money, but it’s a respectable beginning, as you got to start somewhere. If you want to start a different type of farm, it’s going to be a heavy investment, not even including the land purchase, as you’re going to need to purchase the proper equipment based on the farm type you want to run. Yes, you can use mods and ways to get money easily, but if you’re trying to play without any of these, your first few hours are going to be dealing with your cows till you can save up enough cash to branch out in other ways.
As mentioned above, the map is nestled within the Swiss Alps, so expect some hills and winding roads. These hills won’t stop your new electric tractor with some equipment attached, but it surely will slow you down to a crawl at times. I’d say it’s a small to medium sized map, and plots will vary in size from small or large, though none were excessively massive for the most part. A train winds around throughout and its pretty to take in the scenery now and then compared to the other official maps you’ve already put hundreds of hours into.
Now something I wanted to test was how wheel support was handled in Farming Simulator 19. I recently reviewed a high end Fanatec setup and wanted to see how it performed in Farming Simulator 19 and this latest expansion. First off, there’s no real rumble or force feedback included, and while the in-game wheel matches real life rotation, there are no arms or hands in the cockpit, so it’s a little bit of an odd experience immersion wise. The thing with Farm Sim vehicles is that you need to constantly hold the bumpers and then toggle buttons and sticks to do certain actions with the attachments, which is where issues started to arise.
Paddles are defaulted to your bumpers, which is great and easy to do, but many components require the Right Stick to maneuver, something that isn’t an option on my particular wheel, as only the Left Stick is on the wheel itself. This meant I had to swap and use the controller for certain actions whenever I needed. I’m sure I could go in and remap things to work otherwise, but alas, there was a lot of back and forth between controller and wheel. The wheel and pedals worked great for doing basic tasks and driving the equipment, but it was quite awkward to do anything else that required any attachment control.
While some will wonder why getting the DLC would be worth it when there is mod support that could do essentially the same thing with some searching, I quite enjoyed the electric tractors more than I expected, even if it meant it was going to take me substantially longer to do the same job a more powerful and larger tractor could do. I personally loved the inclusion of the electric tractors, though it would have been great if some larger sized and powerful ones were also included in the expansion as well.
The Farming Simulator 19 Alpine Expansion is an interesting blend of old and new for farmers that want some new scenery. While there’s only a handful of new tractors and some equipment, what is included is unique, though will require a little more involvement from most automated farms in the beginning. I’m not sure if I would totally recommend the Alpine Farming Expansion as a standalone purchase at its current price point, but if you’ve already bought the Season Pass, then it’s obviously a no brainer.