Calm Down, Everyone: You Can Play Farmville 2 Now

By Nathan Grayson on September 6th, 2012 at 10:00 am.

You can see it too, right? There's death in that tiny man's eyes.

I know you – probably better than anyone else. Yes, you. Everyone else thought nothing was amiss, but I could see it. Underneath your cool, put-together exterior, you were sweating bullets. “Maybe Farmville 2 will n-n-n-never launch,” you fretted through a mouthful of chewed-off fingernails. “Maybe recent financial woes and legal troubles will improbably bring Zynga to its knees over night! Nooooooo.” Now, though, you can rest easy. Farmville 2 has descended upon Facebook in all its Flash-powered 3D glory. But before you rush off to tearfully reunite with your secret shame, let me give you an idea of what you’re in for.

First up, despite the new coat of paint, this is definitely still Farmville. You plant crops, wait, and then bust them open like leafy pinatas. Meanwhile, friends still make the farming world go ’round, so don’t be surprised to see a renewed influx of spammy messages. That said, Zynga’s made tons of tiny tweaks to its all-consuming formula that – dare I say it – sound kind of… promising.

For instance, friends’ avatars now appear and work on your farm, fewer aspects of your farm are guilt and pressure-driven (no animals becoming sad due to neglect, for instance), and – perhaps most importantly – the kingpin of all obnoxious social features, the “energy” system, is gone. Granted, every action now requires water – with a limit placed on how much you can collect per day. That said, you can up it by spending in-game currency on wells, so there’s no longer an utterly arbitrary playtime cut-off point looming over your every action. If nothing else, it at least makes sense. Kind of.

There’s also a crafting system in place to hook folks who are looking for a bit more depth, though it’s still just a means to the end of selling off slightly different items. But you can make omelettes now. Who doesn’t like those?

It’ll be interesting to see whether or not Farmville 2 ends up being the cash cow Zynga’s been in such desperate need of lately. It’s a fairly conservative effort, certainly, but it doesn’t seem nearly as exploitative or abysmally rote as previous Zynga efforts. I’m still not a fan of the company or the franchise by any means, but steps in the right direction are worth commending – no matter how slight they might be.

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46 Comments »

  1. iamspacegiraffe says:

    OH THANK GOD.

  2. phelix says:

    Oh, how I missed the “random friend X needs your help on his farm” Facebook spam.

    • Gnoupi says:

      In all fairness, at least now it’s easy to dismiss, compared to FV 1′s early days.

  3. Flukie says:

    God that looks ugly.

  4. RaveTurned says:

    Yaaaaay.

  5. Spacewalk says:

    Now I can get on with my life.

  6. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    The game I’ve been waiting for all my life!

  7. mixvio says:

    I didn’t realise my mother was a reader of RPS, as surely ONLY OLD WOMEN would be interested in this news. /shake-fist-emoticon

  8. Tiguh says:

    What’s Farmville?

  9. Rao Dao Zao says:

    I think this one’s a real grower. Just wait till it starts bearing fruit, it’s going to be grape.

    • NathanH says:

      Wheat are you talking about? The game looks barley playable.

      • hello_mr.Trout says:

        not to mention that they’ve strayed from the roots of the first game – this new look really chaffs.

        • cowardly says:

          Yeah, it’s enough to drive one bananas – though I wouldn’t say the first game was the apple of my eye, either.

      • Skabooga says:

        I don’t know, it looks amaizeing to me.

      • mr.black says:

        Shame they didn’t make it turnip-based this time! But energy is now water under the bridge, at least!

    • spindaden says:

      Well i never! Water you all wineing about? I think the game looks sweet…pea

  10. MeestaNob says:

    Given their history of allegedly “borrowing” ideas, I don’t believe this is a company worth reporting on.

    • Joshua says:

      Considering that the entire games industry runs on “borrowing” each other’s ideas, I’d say that such a standard should never be employed.

      • abandonhope says:

        I believe ‘”borrowing”‘ here signified outright duplication and supportive nefarious tactics. That is not standard practice for the industry. Even EA thinks it’s evil.

    • Valvarexart says:

      Considering that a company like Apple, which has not invented a single thing, gets constant media attention I don’t see this as much of an anomaly.

      • El_Emmental says:

        juries aren’t made of software/hardware engineers :P

        once you won the hearts of people with your marketing campaigns, you “invented” it *for them*

        I once told a kid I was the one who invented the double-layer crepe – he believed me, since I was the one who prepared and gave it.

    • SominiTheCommenter says:

      Dishonored lifted its mechanics from Deus Ex and Hitman.
      Nobody report on it.

  11. Zanchito says:

    I am not getting it, I’ve heard it’s always-online but I really don’t care for that crap, I like to keep my farming strictly single player. Unless they make a hunter-gatherer expansion, then I might want some multiplayer to face those mammoths.

  12. tobecooper says:

    So did I miss something or does water basically work like energy? I never played Farmville, but these kind of games require the “utterly arbitrary playtime cut-off point looming over your every action” to get your moneyz. And Zynga like your moneyz.

  13. Jackablade says:

    Planting different crops on the same plot? They’d better watch out or they’ll have the Westboro Church stomping about with God Hates Farmville placards.

    • YourMessageHere says:

      That sounds to me like a plan with no drawbacks. A Zynga-Phelps grudge would harm only the guilty.

  14. Rawrian says:

    FINALLY! Buh-bye, Minecraft.

    • MadTinkerer says:

      Yeah! I’m going to Farmville to raise wheat and pumpkins and melons and sheep and pigs and cows and wait a minute…

      Maybe I’ll just stick to Minecraft.

  15. lordcooper says:

    Whoop-de-fucking-doo

  16. Adriaan says:

    Hell yeah, I love omelettes!

  17. leofairlight says:

    What happens to all the real world money I already spent in Farmville 1?

  18. raygor says:

    Ironic that a big deal is being made about avatars of friend’s farming in your farm, since the game Farmville was directly copied from, FarmTown, had that in there.

    Also, Farmville never had energy, but the new “water” mechanic sure sounds like it.

  19. DigitalSignalX says:

    No.

    Just … no.