Game on for Farming Simulator 22

By: Cat Fitzpatrick

Presented by

The latest edition of Farming Simulator will soon be released, bringing a whole new set of branded machinery and accessories to your fingertips.

Check out the largest machines on the market, such as the Case Magnum AFS Connect Magnum

It’s a beautiful sunny day and a field of wheat, gently waving in the breeze, stretches out ready for you to cruise up and down behind the wheel of a brand new Claas Trion 750 Terra Trac compact combine harvester. Listening to the thunk of gear changes as you head uphill, you consider what to plant next and whether your budget will stretch to buying the Case IH AFS Connect Magnum tractor you’ve had your eye on. Maybe in bright blue.

A wonderful daydream perhaps for those with less forgiving bank accounts, but with the newest edition of Farming Simulator, this could be your reality. Though, you’ll still have to deal with those pesky weeds.

Farming Simulator is a Giants Software game that first came out in 2008, bringing the successes and downfalls of farming into people’s homes. The latest edition, Farming Simulator 22, is the biggest and best-looking yet, turning the everyday tasks of farm management into a game where friends and family can join in to turn your business from a basic set-up into a slick money-making empire.

"Farming Simulator 22 will allow every aspiring farmer to creatively build their farm – no matter the age or real-life profession," explains Giants Software head of marketing and PR Martin Rabl to Farms & Farm Machinery.

"New crops, new maps, new machines and new brands are just the beginning of what players can expect."

Indeed, this isn’t just a collection of generic machinery and tools – Giants Software works with some of the largest manufacturers in the market to bring their latest models into the game. When buying machinery, you can also customise as much as you like, with different tyre brands, tyre types, engine setup, attachments and colour. Want to make everything you own John Deere green?  Even your ute? That is entirely your prerogative.

"The initial idea for the game came when a friend of Giants’ founders asked them if they could make a game that simulates working with a tractor," says Rabl as to how the idea of turning farming into a game came about.

"He was a big farming fan and couldn’t find anything where this has been done in greater detail. During the development of it, more and more people voiced their interest, and the idea was born to publicly release it on a greater scale. There is a core audience that is also part of the farming industry in real life and as the game grew bigger it attracted a playerbase, which enjoyed the relaxing setting and all the possibilities of creating their own farm."

With each new edition of the simulator, the aim is to make the sights, sounds and operations of a working farm feel as authentic as possible.  

A new addition to Farming Simulator 22 for example is Seasonal Cycles, which affects what the player can do with their farm and how they manage their crops throughout the year. Leave your crops in the ground for too long and they rot. Raining outside? Then your meticulously planted sorghum will have to wait to be harvested another day. 

The challenge is to balance authenticity against playability, says Rabl.

When asked about the research that goes into being as accurate as possible without bogging down gameplay, he explains that many of the game developers have a farming background and close contacts with the manufacturers whose machinery is featured means that new advancements in technology are reflected.

"We strive to keep the balance between simulation and fun though," he adds.

"It should be authentic but also fun to play."

For example, running a tedder over mown grass in the game instantly turns it into hay, whatever the weather, but if you don’t control the weeds that’s going to impact your yield.

As for getting manufacturers involved, Rabl explains that machine specs are supplied to the developers in order to be rendered in the game as closely as possible to their real-life counterparts.

"If possible, we also try to see [the machinery and tools] in action, but sometimes that would require long travels for machines which aren’t available near one of our offices," he says.

"For some older machines, no digital files are available, and we need to work with photos and videos. Videos are especially helpful when it comes to checking how moving parts are working."

The machinery also wears out, requiring maintenance if you don’t want a sluggish mower making a meal out of your crop. Though you can clean your machines, there isn’t a fire risk aspect, so one less thing for Aussie farmers to worry about.

The machinery available gets regularly updated with DLCs (downloadable content), which gets added to the main game. So, if you want to give a Claas Quadrant 5300 baler a spin, all you need is an internet connection.

Though a full list of the hay making machinery and tools being included in the latest edition has not been announced yet, Farming Simulator 19 included: mowers from New Holland, Kuhn and Pöttinger alongside the self-propelled Krone BiG M 450;  tedders and windrowers from manufacturers such as Kuhn, Pöttinger and Lely; the New Holland Roll-Belt 150 cylindrical baler, Kuhn square and round balers, and the Kuhn SW 4014 bale wrapper for silage; Arcusin bale collectors; and a wide range of wagons for transport.

Overall, there will be 400 machines and tools from 100 brands, with new maps, crops, manual gear shifting and production chains, so both farmers and non-farmers alike can enjoy the satisfaction of cruising across a paddock looking smart in the latest agricultural gear and dreaming big dreams of setting up their very own vineyard. 

Farming Simulator 22 will be released at Australian retailers, November 22, 2021 on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox and PC.

 

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