Birds chirp, the wind hums to the beat, and the calm water surface romantically reflects the golden radiance of the sun. You, sitting on a stool or in an armchair on the shore, are watching the “policeman” with interest and hope that he will finally flinch a little, testifying to the presence of a coveted, ideally trophy, piece. Sometimes it works, often it doesn’t. But, in the end, it does not matter, because the peace that fishing brings while waiting for a shot is just as important as the possible adrenaline rush while fighting a real “cat”.
After all, foul-mouthed people may argue that such a pastime will only evoke the right feelings in the real world, where I agree with them to a certain extent. However, if you don’t have time, or are far from the water, that is, you get to it only sometimes on weekends, fishing simulators can serve as a pleasant substitute and a catch. On the market, we can find a large range of these games, the quality of which varies from not very dizzying to successful. And what group does the novelty from the Swedish creators of Expansive Worlds belong to? Let’s find out together in the next text.
- Platform: PC – console coming later
- Publication date: August 31, 2022
- Developer: Expansive worlds
- Genre: Fishing simulator
- Czech localization: Not
- Multiplayer: Yes (up to 12 players)
- Data to download: 10.79 GB
- Game time: Until he gets tired
- Sales version: Digital
- Price: EUR 29.99 (approx. CZK 750)
If you’ve had experience with these creators from their previous project theHunter: Call of the Wild (yes, the title of the new release is no coincidence), you probably know that if there’s one thing they’re really good at, it’s creating a beautiful environment and nature that is breathtaking in many moments. Their own Apex Engine can really do wonders in this regard, so it’s very nice that The Angler, which has just been reviewed, also uses the services of the mentioned engine, also excels in this aspect.
The creators are really good at creating great environments.
Personally, I confess that wandering around the local open world was one of my favorite activities, where you can use the services of a jeep (perhaps too “floating”, but manageable without problems) and a motor boat (you can fish from it, but so far only one species, and I miss rowing boats a little), but I still mostly resorted to walking to soak up the beauty of the local, beautifully modeled world with a great soundscape. The general impression is sometimes spoiled by not very successful character models, but there are not many of them in the game (two NPCs and avatars of other players), so this does not spoil the overall impression of the breathtaking visuals. In addition, the map is crammed with volatile environments and various points of interest that are a real treat to discover when the local guard offers you an accompanying commentary with some history.
Patience is the mother of wisdom
But of course, you probably didn’t buy a fishing game to go camping. That’s why I can assure you that the fishing itself is very well organized here. But I have a few reservations about this. But let’s start with what really worked, and that’s pitching. The authors brought to the game an intuitive casting system that still needs a little tweaking, especially when using a gamepad, but otherwise it accurately conveys the feeling of this part of fishing, when you will pleasantly toss the lure forward with the mouse or a real equivalent, similar to in real life. However, if this mode does not suit you, you can switch to a slightly older model with a throwing strength indicator.
The pitching was really successful.
On the contrary, I’m not very happy with the way the authors approached muting, which is basically automatic and cannot be messed up. As soon as a shot worthy of jamming appears, a large and arcade-like sign will appear on the screen, informing you that you must press the jam button. Once you do this, you are guaranteed to catch a fish. Because of this, there is practically no room for error. On the other hand, I praise the process of catching a catch, which requires patience, when the fish may have to be fought for 15-20 minutes. But at the same time, the process is a pleasure, and the subsequent victory can bring really pleasant sensations. One way or another, the whole title gives the feeling that the authors tried to direct it as much as possible into the mainstream, where the individual processes are somewhat more straightforward than sim enthusiasts would like (for example, you can’t make a mistake when assembling a rod), but at the same time , dare I say that thanks to this, he can get hold of a player who would otherwise not mind such a title.
Fish, fish, fishermen are coming!
But what you will definitely miss is the fish. Each of the species here can be caught in four levels of “quality” (bronze, silver, gold and diamond), differing in length, weight and difficulty of catching, respectively. In addition, each of the species has its own characteristics added to the wine, which mainly reflect their different behavior. And it is from the point of view of behavior that I can say that it seems realistic and believable, although the frame rate could be a little lower. And the system for determining the conditions for the emergence of certain species also turned out to be successful when I did not stumble upon any nonsense during the game that would spoil my actions. It just freezes the impossibility of time movement. Its absence makes sense if you play online, but when you go offline, it would be nice to have this option. And at least the time could be shown somewhere.
The behavior seems realistic.
But what pleasantly surprised me, and this is connected with the already mentioned survey, is the tasks. Most of them revolve around fishing, where your task is to catch a given fish in a given location, which you must find using a photo or a map. This is not something that shocks the world, but it certainly encourages the pursuit of discovery. But you can also enjoy the side activities as you can go to collect various collectibles such as coins, carved animals, or lost text stories. And from a “collectible” point of view, we also have a nice search for invasive plants and bugs, which made me happy, because these simulators do not focus so much on this side of nature. Of course, it’s not the main thing again, but it’s definitely nice.
Non-greasy treatment with virtually no content
By completing quests and fishing, you gain reputation, experience points, and money that can be used to buy new equipment. And unfortunately, at this point we come to the part where I really won’t praise anymore. The authors propose a rather strange and completely unmotivating progression system, in which basically everything revolves around money (as if this is not enough in real life!). You get money for catching, you get money for building a level, you get money for mastering a given piece of equipment, you just get money for everything, which is the only commodity here that doesn’t have a significant motivation. This makes leveling up a little pointless, as there is no skill system you can unlock, nor gear that unlocks over time (when you have enough money, you can buy anything). The same applies to the feeling of “mastering” the system for individual pieces of equipment, which again has no other meaning than finances, and this is a shame. Well, I still have absolutely no idea what the reputation has to do with it.
The game offers a completely unmotivating progression system.
This motivation also stems from the fact that the game doesn’t actually have a lot of content at launch. For now, you will have to be content with one map (however, it is quite large and offers a lot of fishing spots) and only 12 types of fish, which is really not much. In terms of fishing methods, we only have spinning and spinning, so there is no fly fishing or casting (if you want hard fishing). And the amount of equipment available is also not a hit, when at the same time there are no official brands (understandable by licenses), various gadgets (for example, sonar), embedding rod cases, some rooms / buildings in which you can display your trophies, or there may be some competitions or multiplayer challenges (up to 12 players on the map) so you don’t have to just look at each other. I have no doubt that most things will appear later in the game, but the launch should have been richer.
And the game is still somewhat spoiled by various bugs or visual glitches. The authors are already aware of many of them and are working on fixing them, but I expect that when it comes out, you can’t expect a completely optimal experience, like some jumping shadows, sometimes water animations not working properly, or not being able to complete a task due to that she’s stuck is probably good preparation. After all, owners of AMD graphics cards, at least from the very beginning, should expect worse optimization of some parts, when, for example, I could not play the title on my RX 580 with 8 GB of video memory. But once I switched to a laptop with an RTX 3060 (130W and 6GB of VRAM), I basically had no problems, that is, with the exception of random drops that were not annoying or really spoiled the experience.
To throw or not to throw?
Personally, I’d recommend waiting a while for the writers to manage to catch the biggest bugs, but mostly when the header on the content page swells up a bit and maybe even a slightly more fun progression system, better multiplayer options, new types added fish, maps and ways of hunting. However, if you don’t mind the above things and want to get into a really beautifully crafted world where you can do some fun fishing, you can’t go wrong with the purchase.
Call of the Wild: Angler
- breathtaking nature
- Excellent casting system
- Plausible fish behavior
- Fun exploration and distracting side quests
- Nice feeling to nail the catch
- Easily accessible to the general public
it worries us
- Not much content yet
- Not very motivating
- Impossible to move time
- Imperfect approach to jamming
- Bugs and optimizations
Source :Indian TV