I had the opportunity to review the new game from Dovetail Games, ‘Fishing Sim World’. When I was telling people about my review, I was getting funny looks “a fishing game… Really?”
Well, if you are in this camp, read on and see if Dovetail can change your mind!
Developer / Publisher: Dovetail Games
Genre: Simulation / Sports
Platforms: Xbox One, PS4 and Steam (reviewed on PS4)
Price: £29.99 Standard (£34.99 Deluxe)
I have a broad spectrum of games that I enjoy; from FPS to Sports and everything in between. Now, to be honest, I’ve never tried a fishing game; I have gone fishing a few times in real life with friends, and the only thing I caught was a cold. I have watched some of the fishing shows on the sports channels and the competitive side of fishing always looks quite exciting, so when the chance to review Fishing Sim World came along, I grabbed it with both hands and jumped straight into it!
Firstly, the whole magnitude of the game blew me away; it is massive, as you can customise pretty much everything from your clothing to your gear and everything is fully licensed. You have different sections to choose from at the main menu, you can go single player or compete against the world in online multiplayer, or play it safe and go through the tutorials to finely tune your skills. I chose to jump straight in to the single player, where you can select the fish you wish to catch. I went for Bass then off I went on my trip to the river bank, it is here that you get to sample the graphics in all their glory. The attention to detail is mind blowing… it looks like you are in the riverbank yourself.
You get to drive boats around to get to the perfect fishing spot, to be honest, I spent my first half hour of the game “flying” around the lake in my boat which in itself is pretty, although it’s not the purpose of the game. So as I pull my concentration in, it’s time to go catch some fish. For a while, I was just standing there, waving my rod around like some sort of flagpole, but once I got my head around the controls, it became quite clear what to do.
Now, you do have to keep your eyes focused on the screen at all times as by your map in the bottom of the screen you have a radar which is telling you where the fish are and the best possible place for you to cast your line. For the first few times I threw out my line and as soon as the indicator popped up to say I got a bite, I began bashing the L2 button to reel that bad boy in only for it to break free at the shoreline. After the frustration builds, you begin to understand this is not a game to be rushed… it’s all about the long game and patience, so with that in mind I put the kettle on and settled in, put my headset on and immersed myself into the game. Within a few minutes I had caught my first fish and had a massive smile on my face, and very proudly made a screenshot of my trophy catch.
Again it is at this screenshot where you see the immense attention to detail, like the details of the coat I am wearing right down to the white zipper. In the single player mode, you have the choice of free roam fishing where you can fish at your own pace or you have tournament mode where you can compete against computer AI players to earn credits that can unlock the bigger tournaments in multiplayer. After a while playing single player and catching a few fish, I thought it was time to dip my toe into a bit of online action. You can either go straight into online multiplayer or, if you have enough credits, you can enter the online tournaments and go for the bigger prizes.
I really didn’t think I would be saying this but the online multiplayer is intense and exciting, it’s all about finding the perfect spot and quickly, as your competitors are all going for the same positions and fish as you. There is a table in the right of your screen that shows the standings and this gives a more competitive edge to the game as you can see what others are catching and what you need to aim for. My first attempt on an online game was an epic fail as I came about 100th place I think but I was not perturbed and battled on, I’m still not sitting on the top but I’m fairing a lot better and it is something that I will play more of to achieve.
The game has that type of one more go mentality about it, now don’t get me wrong, there will not be quick games being played on Fishing Sim World but it is most definitely worth the time.
All in all I was very impressed with how immersive and how fun to play Fishing Sim World actually was.
The game is fully licensed from the gear to the boats and even down to the clothing you pick, all the big names from the fishing world are here. It is a full on simulator and will attract the more hardcore fishers among us, but it is most definitely worth a try in my opinion.
Graphics And Sound
Now as you can probably tell from reading the review I am completely blown away by the graphic style of Fishing Sim World. It takes realism to a whole different level; the water effects are the best I have ever seen in any game, the whole environments are spot on and it all works well. The sounds are very realistic too, you have no in-game music apart from the menus, all you hear is the birdsong above, and fortunately, this all adds to the immersive experience.
To summarise my thoughts on Fishing Sim World, it surprised me in many ways. I enjoyed it far more than I thought I would, I honestly didn’t think that a fishing game would be so intense and would grip me as it did.
Everything about the game, from the look of it to the gameplay, it all works very well together and the customisation is immense. The only downsides I have is that the game is a lot to take on and isn’t obvious what you need to do (other than catching fish) and there is no jump in and out games; yes, you can quit back to the main menu at any point but that’s not the same as finishing a game.