Farming Simulator 22 - Platinum Edition Reviewby Adam Dileva
When I originally reviewed Farming Simulator 22 (which you can read HERE), I came away with a respect for how in-depth not only a true simulator can be, but how much actual work goes into being a true to life farmer. Where Farming Simulator 22 excels at is its sheer scope and realism when it comes to not only the equipment you use, but the steps required to be successful. The flip side of that is that for those that aren’t into spending thousands of hours into a game like this are going to find the learning curve much too steep, or find the monotonous grind not all that entertaining.
A good portion of this review will be taken from my initial Farming Simulator 22 review, as the core game is still generally the same, but I will be focusing more on the newest addition in this Platinum Edition, aptly titled the Platinum Expansion. The core game is already massive in size and with no shortage of things to keep you busy for as long as you want, but now with the Platinum Edition, you can decide how you want to earn money, be it animal husbandry, agriculture or even now forestry, the latest and largest addition. With more than 100 brand name agricultural manufacturers from all around the world and more than 500 authentic machines, not even including the near limitless mod community additions, if you know anything about the farming life, you’ll appreciate how true to life Farming Simulator 22 – Platinum Edition really is; Simulator isn’t just a fancy tagline for its title.
The base game is already huge as it is, but the Platinum Expansion adds even more worthy content. The main two additions would be the latest Silverrun Forest map, inspired by the Pacific Northwest. This map has plenty of farmland for you to focus on whatever agriculture you’d like, but it’s really meant for the new Forestry options. That’s right, now you can not only cut down trees, but there’s a plethora of machinery to help you do so (no more chainsaw required) and even missions where you’ll need to convert your harvested wood into other products to build a boat. Want it to all come full circle? You better plant some trees to replenish what you take from the ground. For the truly dedicated, there’s even a wooden rollercoaster to work towards building, though this is no easy task, as it took quite some time to see to completion. Totally worth it when we got to ride it whenever we wanted though.
Not only is forestry the new main focus, but there’s new tree species, environmental effects, tree marking, new production chains, new missions, a sizable new map and over 40 new vehicles and tools from a number of different manufacturers. One of the biggest additions is the long awaited introduction of Volvo equipment now available. If you know your real life equipment, you’ll be happy to know that John Deere, Pfanzelt, Schwarzmuller, IMPEX, Komatsu and more brands are all included, replicated to be as realistic as possible. With plenty of more options for equipment, you and your online friends will have no shortage of options, regardless of your farming focus. Add in the mod support and it’s near endless.
CLAAS XERION SADDLE TRAC Pack
Also included is the CLAAS XERION SADDLE TRAC Pack, adding a handful of new equipment to add to your machinery collection:
CLAAS XERION 4200 SADDLE TRAC
KAWECO XERION SADDLE TRAC Tanker
KAWECO XERION SADDLE TRAC Semi-Trailed Tanker
KAWECO OPTI-JECT 800
The Career of a Farmer
Farming Simulator is exactly as it advertises, a simulation about one of the most challenging, yet important, careers you can have. While many won’t find the game “fun” with its monotonous and tedious gameplay, those that do enjoy the calming and relaxing repetition of plowing, sowing and growing your fields will be pleased to know that a number of improvements have been made in this year’s iteration with the included Platinum Expansion.
You are a farmer, but what your business grows or deals in is completely up to you. If you want to have fields of numerous crops, raise animals or even work towards making some serious cash with production chains, there’s plenty for you to take part in of your agricultural lifestyle. So grab some friends, even cross-platform across consoles and PC, weather the seasons and enjoy building your empire.
This is where I really struggled early on, as there’s absolutely no hand holding, so you’re not really shown where to start, how to do so, what’s the proper equipment to purchase, all while fighting an unintuitive and frustrating HUD and menu system. That said, once you’re a few dozen hours into your farming career of course this becomes second nature, but it’s a very unforgiving learning curve initially. You start off by choosing one of the included maps then begin a tutorial that will show you the basics, and when I say basics, you’re going to finish the tutorial and then be confused on what to do next. Just like the previous games, Farming Simulator simply throws you in without any hand holding, leaving you to figure out what to do, how to do it, and not helping any part of the way.
You’re shown how to drive equipment, plow, sow and other simple tasks, but it doesn’t teach you how to figure out what equipment you need, where to sell it, what to do with your crops or anything else beyond the basics. Those new to the genre may become frustrated due to this, as you’re told to simply go farm, but not told how exactly. I can’t tell you how much money I’ve wasted on equipment, only to find out it was the wrong tractor or header, not even to mention the time trying to figure out all this on my own.
While Farming Simulator 22 added a lot of new features and crops like Season cycles, olives, grapes, sorghum (grain), MACK trucks, production chains, new brands and more, the forestry options with the included Platinum Edition were the most fun and exciting. Grapes was a really cool addition in the base game, but incredibly difficult to setup the rows where the vines will grow as it’s all done manually. Production chains were one of the biggest new mechanics to Farming Simulaor 22, allowing you to not just sell your crops and product, but actually convert it and manufacture into other items, like turning your grapes into juice (sorry, no wine), olives into oil, grain to cereal and so on. With the wood you gather, this can be turned into other items like blanks, boards, chairs, tiles, tables, barrels and other products.
Seasons used to be a very popular mod, and now it’s built into the base game. This adds actual seasons into your game, and now having a snow covered winter is a new obstacle you’ll have to deal with. Also, certain crops, like grapes for example, can only be planted in certain seasons, so when you start to own a lot of land, you’re going to have to plan what to plant and when to be the most efficient. If you don’t want to deal with all that extra planning, you can also toggle Seasons to be visual only or even stay in the one you prefer.
Farm with Friends
Once you get over the mountain of a learning curve and start to figure out how to play the way you want, farming becomes a much more zen-like and relaxing experience. To help with this, you can invite your friends to farm alongside you, regardless of their platform. Having crossplay now means that me on my Xbox can play alongside my friends who play on PC or on PS, helpful if you have a longtime PC player friend that you want some help from. You’re able to work together on a single farm, or each have your own on the same map, working cooperatively. If I was destined to play alone, I would have given up long ago from the monotony, but farming with a buddy, getting orders of what to do and where, was much more enjoyable working alongside one another.
It’s Time to Grow
Farming Simulator 22 adds vastly improved visuals over the previous version but there’s so much more minor details that you’ll notice if you take the time. Yeah, the farms and world looks much better, but now you’ll actually see your shifter move when you change gears in your tractor as well. Minor detail but adds more realism. Some things on the other hand also stick out like a sore thumb, like looking into the windows of your farmhouse and seeing a terrible textured picture of the inside instead of an actual room. Audio also got a massive boost, as each tractor and equipment sounds more unique this time around for each vehicle and part, as opposed to all sounding basically the same like before. The detail in the logging equipment is done very well, as is the sounds of the saws as they cut them down to your preferred lengths and size.
I’ll admit, while the logging and tree aspect of the Platinum Edition of Farming Simulator 22 was quite exciting, as it was something completely new, I really thought this was going to be an All-In-One pack with all the DLC included to this point. This was absolutely not the case, it’s simply the core game, Platinum Pack and one of the DLC’s all bundled together. Going to the store, I was surprised to see how much extra, albeit optional, DLC was available to purchase and not included within. There’s still plenty of extras to buy if you want everything Farming Simulator has to offer outside of this Platinum Edition.
Sadly developers have yet to solve the inaccessibility for newcomers, as the learning curve is a sheer cliff to overcome. Still a niche genre, Farming Simulator 22 is a complex and accurate representation of real world farming, and while virtual farmers will no doubt spend over a thousand hours once again, newcomers are still going to be left wondering how others could find the monotonous grind entertaining. The forestry and logging are probably the most unique and entertaining additions added in quite a while, and while this won’t change how niche Farming Simulator 22 is, the Platinum Edition is surely the package you should look at getting if you’re wanting to try out the life of a farmer. Those that know, know, so let the good times grow.
** Farming Simulator 22 - Platinum Edition was provided by the publisher and reviewed on an Xbox Series X**