Fishing Sim WorldXbox One, PS4, PC¦ Sim
You’re in the middle of an adventure, with enemies breathing down your neck, baying for your blood. Do you fight or take flight? Many times though, there’s a more relaxing third option: fish.
It’s curious that such a docile hobby such as fishing (although to be fair, not so much for the fish), ends up so regularly as a sub game in titles. Games such as Zelda, Everybody’s Golf, Far Cry 5, amongst many others, allow you to take a well-needed break and whack your rod out.
But hang on, what if you cut out all that running around, shooting, hitting, killing stuff, and just, you know, fished for the hell of it? Welcome to the wet world of Fishing Sim World.
This is a game where the only thing on the gaming menu is to fish. Dangle your rod in murky waters and wait. And wait. And maybe wait some more. It’s at this point, we’re guessing, where the word ‘sim’ comes into play.
If you want to go far in this world, two things will hold you in good stead: knowledge and patience.
As all fishing pros know, fishing is actually pretty technical. Knowing not only the type of fish you’re fishing for, but where their habitat is, is key. After that, the type of rod, line and bait to use. If you are aware of these factors already, then you’ve got a great head start. But, like us, if you’re just used to throwing in a line in Zelda, it could be a steep learning curve.
There are two sections to the game, where you can either take part in tournaments around the globe (including online), or just fish casually.
You also get access to a power boat, where you can then ride off into the distance to find the perfect place to fish. Again, this is only useful if you know where to look; if you’re a newbie, it will be the equivalent of sticking a fish hook in a very large lake and hoping for the best.
The problem is, as soon as they give you the chance to ride a power boat, you start to think that this game could be vastly improved with the introduction of machine guns and dynamite, with a couple of kilos of coke hidden in the seats for good measure.
But whether you know your fly fishing from your maggots or not, you will need to be patient. In fact, it feels like it’s playing out in real time, and you could sit on your sofa, staring off into a watery distance, for days. And unless you have Paul Whitehouse and Bob Mortimer for company – who really deserve a fishing game all of their own – you could be there a while. And unfortunately, the graphics aren’t exactly cutting edge, with landscapes looking a tad tired and blocky.
The game is also crying out for a stupidly expensive and mainly pointless peripheral gaming rod, akin to the one released for the Dreamcast, because fishing with a gaming controller just doesn’t feel right.
What the main take out from this game should be however, is giving as a clue in the title: ‘sim’. To all intent and purposes then, this is not supposed to be a fun game, just as the real life hobby isn’t. It’s the opportunity to take some time out of the stresses of real life, sit in front of the TV and pretend to fish like a real fisherman. And on that level, it works perfectly well.
It’s just a shame it doesn’t come with a side level, where you can slip off, rob a bank, visit a strip club, go off for a round or two of golf, before returning at dusk for a spot of night fishing. If it did, it would have probably had us hooked.