Fishing video games come in various forms from fishing inside other games such as Red Dead Redemption to full-blown simulations like Fishing Planet. Developer Expansive Worlds hopes to translate the success of their hunting game theHunter: Call of the Wild into a new fishing simulator with Call of the Wild The Angler.
You start your journey with Call of the Wild The Angler in the majestic Golden Ridge Reserve working through a series of short quests to familiarize you with the game’s area, navigation, and fishing mechanics. Once you are comfortable with the mechanics, it’s time to explore the vast reserve and unlock some of the many fast travel points around the map. This will save you a lot of time as even with the jeep, it can take several minutes to travel across the map to various quest locations. The good news is that you gain XP and money to level up and purchase higher-quality fishing rods.
The graphics in this game are breathtaking as we have come to expect from the team at Expansive Worlds. Along with beautiful mountains in the distance and large lakes to fish in, the reserve is littered with numerous other features such as hiking trails, rusted-out trains, and old mining towns with tunnels to explore. While the scenery is beautiful, there are a few graphic issues I noticed while playing. I found several times when fishing on the bend of a creek or stream that visually, the water appeared to flow in both directions.
I wouldn’t expect to see water flowing downstream and upstream in the same location down from a waterfall. It wasn’t a huge issue and it seems like something that can easily be fixed. Another couple of graphical issues I noticed were related to the fish. You could see the fish slowly swim up to the bait but when they would bite, it never looked like they were actually touching the bait but rather swimming a couple of inches away from it. Looking across the water you could see fish jumping and also some swimming but the animations appeared very choppy and unnatural at times.
The fishing mechanic itself was pretty good. You can use multiple combinations of fishing strategies, rods, and bait to catch the many fish species available to catch. Remember when I said you needed to upgrade your fishing rod? The fish are broken up into trophies ranging from bronze to diamond based on their size and rarity. However, to land a diamond trophy not only will you have to improve your fishing gear, but you will also have to be patient and use proper techniques. Each fish species prefers specific baits and has their own traits that are important to learn to catch and reel them in for money.
Multiplayer is available in Call of the Wild The Angler so you can gather a few of your friends and head out to the lake or if you are the more outgoing type, hop on multiplayer and meet a few fellow fishermen. While not completely polished, Call of the Wild The Angler is off to a great start, and given the improvements, Expansive Worlds made to their hunting game, I see no reason why this won’t be a much improved and polished game 6 months from now.
You can purchase Call of the Wild: The Angler for $29.99 from Steam, Epic Games, and the Windows Store.