When a game can honestly lay claim to being the best ever at what it does it leads to a number of positive things. Others will start to emulate its design and mechanics, on the financial side it can lead to a long lasting franchise and, perhaps most importantly, those who had no interest in purchasing said game before now cannot wait to spend their hard earned dollars to add it to their collection. Of course, there are exceptions to every rule. Fishing Sim World from Dovetail Games is probably the best fishing simulation ever. Unfortunately, there are barriers that will prevent many gamers from rushing to purchase it.
Initially, Fishing Sim World seems like it is going to be different. The idea of a fishing simulation seems very threadbare. The player casts a rod and waits until they get a bite. Once a fish has been snagged, it is reeled in, and that is the end of any player interaction.
Instead, Fishing Sim World begins surprisingly with a character creation screen. Sure, you can only pick from a few preset heads and outfits and yes, the character model you pick does not look quite the same when the game begins (odd, considering the small number of options and lack of customization), but being given the choice is a nice inclusion. This is about catching bass and not saving Skyrim, after all. How much time does one really have to spend personalizing their character?
Once the player has created their character, Fishing Sim World takes off the kiddie gloves. Much like customizing a loadout or selecting which spells to memorize, the game asks you to select what kind of rod, reel, and bait to take on the upcoming fishing trip. At this point it becomes clear that this is not a game for beginners.Fishing Sim World is unapologetically for people who enjoy fishing. This does not mean people who have a passing interest or think it is a fun thing to do with friends every once in a while. This is a game for people who love to fish, know the intricacies, and will explain how Brody could have caught Jaws quicker. The game has unhelpful tutorial videos that the player is unable to interact with. There are few pointers during the actual game itself and the whole experience is very much a case of trial and error. Fishing Sim World is a frustrating experience for someone with little to no fishing experience.
One of the biggest problems is the lack of satisfying payoff for the player. After spending an inordinate amount of time doing little, finally catching a fish would seem momentous. Regrettably, instead of filling the player with pride, it is anticlimactic and a relief that it is done. There is never a sense of learning and it is more of a guessing game.Fishing Sim World does not have the same luxuries the Madden and NBA2K franchises have. Football and basketball are incredibly popular sports. Getting a devoted sports fan to buy a sports video game is not difficult. The key is the big franchises still manage to cater to casual viewers of the sport. Competitive fishing has a much smaller fanbase and the cries for more fishing video games are not very loud. Unless the game was always intended to just for hardcore fishers, making the game inaccessible to those who have little to no knowledge is a bizarre decision.
There is little doubt that Fishing Sim World is the most realistic fishing simulation on the market. Different rods, fishing techniques, and lures just scratch the surface of what is inside the game. Accomplished anglers will marvel at its depth. The lackluster graphics, extremely high difficulty, and tedious gameplay will not impress gamers, however. This is an excellent catch for gamers who are also expert fishers but few others.