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Farm Together 2 Review (PC)

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Farm Together 2 Promotional Art

It’s that time again, folks. In a bid to evolve the agricultural archipelago of Farm Together into a fresh and completely revamped farming simulation series, developer Milkstone Studios has released—you guessed it—Farm Together 2, an all-new co-op title that reportedly holds the keys to an infinite wealth of agricultural endeavors and fantastical elements. In case you missed out on the first game in the series, then you might want to consider sticking around for a few minutes as we unpack a little more of the aptly titled sequel, if only to give yourself an idea of which of the two entries in the timeline is worth playing.

Thankfully, Farm Together 2 grants you access to several extracurricular activities outside of its general purpose, too—painting, cooking, and exploring the world, in general. But again, does this make it the better game overall? Well, to answer that question, we’ll need to go ahead and unpack several of its components.

It is worth pointing out at this moment in time that Farm Together 2 has only just entered its early access phase, and so, whilst we can comment on a lot of its general features—the story, gameplay, and current affairs of the series, for example—we can’t quite make a comment on the future of the game’s ongoing development. Also, for the record, we were only able to play for a handful of hours, given the fact that the game is still in need of one or two post-launch updates or technical overhauls. Still here? Great — then let’s jump right in.

Agricultural Promises

Character planting seeds on farmyard patch (Farm Together 2)

At the title suggests, Farm Together 2 is a co-op life and farming simulation game, one in which players are invited to create, cultivate, and elevate the foundations of their own farmyard. It’s a single-player game, too, and so, contrary to what the title implies, the vast majority of the tasks as depicted in the story don’t often require a second pair of hands to complete. Aside from the obvious trimmings that comprise a well-oiled farming sim experience—nursing cattle, sewing seeds, and maintaining the general welfare of the economic roots, for example—Farm Together 2 also touts its own communal hub, a location in which travelers can accept quests, form bonds, and ship their local goods for a source of income.

It begins with a seed—nothing more, nothing less. It’s with said seed, that you begin your long and oftentimes grueling journey as a local entrepreneur in this cute and cozy bastion of economic freedom. As a fledgling farmhand, you must learn to hone your skills in the trade, and gradually develop your assets in order to fashion the blueprints for a fully functioning business—a process that will allow you to explore new marketing opportunities, as well as harvest additional coin for new types of products and other valuable items. Suffice it to say that, as far as farming sims go, Farm Together 2 doesn’t stray all that far from the line; in fact, it consumes all of the same lovable trappings of a typical farm-centric IP, and with them, develops its own take natural substrate.

On paper, it sounds all rather similar to countless other games of its caliber, true. The question is, what does it do to improve on the quality of the system, aside from brandishing its own style of design?

Workin’ on the Farm

Character tending to livestock (Farm Together 2)

If you’re after something cozy, as well as something that won’t be overly taxing on the brain, then there’s no reason for you not to explore the world of Farm Together 2. I say this because, well, it isn’t a game that demands all that much of you, other than to keep a firm lid on certain items around the farmyard, as well as to ensure the wellbeing of your cattle and other natural resources. Of course, it’s a slow burner — but that shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, given the fact that the entire game bases itself on the act of planting seeds and watching them grow. It’s like watching paint dry, only, you don’t have to sit around and keep your eyes glued to the wall; instead, you can roam freely and attend to other important matters, too. Can’t complain there, to be honest.

While on the subject of dealing with other matters, Farm Together 2 does make the occasional effort to throw a curveball your way, whether it’s in the shape of a request from a local townie, or an invitation to expand on your horizons before the budget comes into effect. Sure enough, though, these are minor inconveniences compared to a lot of simulation-type games, and so, while there are several objects to overcome throughout your journey, there isn’t anything particularly threatening — hence the word “cozy” being relevant here. It’s exactly that, and it helps, too, that you don’t need to keep tabs on all of your duties at the same time; the game carries on even when you leave for the day, which means that you don’t have to worry too much about tending to every task.

The Coziest of Times

Multiple characters carrying out various chores on farmyard (Farm Together 2)

The heart and soul of Farm Together 2, really, is its cute and oddly cuddly art style; it’s reminiscent of countless other beginner-friendly simulation RPGs, such as Wylde Flowers and My Time at Portia — which is great, so long as you don’t mind having to spend time with smiles that rarely quit and copious amounts of happy-go-lucky regimes. It isn’t a “scary” game by any stretch; in fact, it makes short work of a relatively clean and simple UI that allows you to flex your creative wisdom without needing to onboard any lengthy tutorials or preliminary research. Again, it does take a bit of time to figure out the gist of what’s what, who’s who, and which component fits which socket and what have you, but the bulk of these things can, and often are, mastered in a short amount of time, leaving you to reap the fruits almost immediately.

What’s exciting about Farm Together 2 is its online functionalities; in a similar vein to the first, players can display their own farms on a global network and essentially showcase their talents to a wider audience. It isn’t a compulsory requirement for completing the journey, but it does add a little bit of an incentive for agricultural aficionados to chase the dream, so to speak. What’s more, as you can also onboard another person to aid you in your endeavors, a lot of these dreams can be obtained a lot quicker—a fact that, while not always easy, can allow you to sink your teeth into the latter portion of the journey without having to endure drawn-out paragraphs of mindless jargon or general chore core work.

Verdict

Avatar driving tractor over turnip patch (Farm Together 2)

Let’s acknowledge the elephant in the room here: Farm Together 2 — it isn’t a traditional sequel, as such, but rather, a slightly glossier version of its predecessor, only with the inclusion of a new town and a couple of additional goodies. I’m not going to say that this is a bad thing, because it isn’t; in fact, the game performs incredibly well, and it does revitalize all of the core components that made the original chapter in the series the cult favorite that it was. However, I wouldn’t go as far as to say that it’s a better game; on the contrary, I’d say that it’s on par with the prequel, both mechanically, and aurally. It could’ve been a DLC, is what I’m saying, and so, while it does present some interesting possibilities, it doesn’t really go much further than that. And that’s a shame, truly.

If, for whatever reason, you are toying with the idea of exploring either of the two entries in the Farm Together series, then honestly, you can’t really go wrong with either, as they’re more or less the exact same thing, bar a couple of different locations and mechanics, perhaps. To say that it’s a sequel wouldn’t be right; it isn’t in receipt of enough changes to allow itself the bragging rights to call itself that. With that said, it is, for better or worse, a good game, and therefore, if you haven’t already taken the chance to get your hands dirty and cultivate a plot or two in the original, then consider Farm Together 2 a good starting point. But, eh, don’t expect it to feature any more than the usual trappings of a bog-standard co-op farming simulation game.

Farm Together 2 Review (PC)

Same Plot, Different Day

While there’s certainly no denying the fact that Farm Together 2 is a glossier and slightly more streamlined version of its predecessor, it’s also hard to label it as anything more than glorified DLC. It isn’t quite the “sequel” that I had in mind, but I’ll give credit where it’s due and say, for what it’s worth, it is, more or less, a 2.0 that’s oddly deserving of your attention.

Jord is acting Team Leader at gaming.net. If he isn't blabbering on in his daily listicles, then he's probably out writing fantasy novels or scraping Game Pass of all its slept on indies.