Dovetail Games’ latest fishing title is not just a simulation but a full featured, razzmatazz-infused competitive sports game.
Ah, the fishing games. A sheltered riverbank of calm and relaxation amid the rapid chaos of the rest of the modern video game world, right? Not necessarily, it seems – at least not if Dovetail Games, the heavyweight champions of the simulation game world, had anything to do with it. Dovetail’s latest fishing game, Bassmaster Fishing 2022, is not a fishing game at all. It is a sport game which consists of catching fish on baited lines attached to rods.
No sports game is complete without an official license, and Bassmaster Fishing 2022 is imprinted by BASS, the United States-based global governing body for bass sport fishing, which hosts the world’s largest bass fishing championship. prestigious in the world, the Bassmaster Classic. Here, fishing may be seen as a distinguished and contemplative campaign pursuit, but in the United States it is an extremely popular spectator sport, with Fox Sports broadcasting BASS’s Bassmaster series live and the Blue Ribbon event of this series, the Bassmaster Classic, drawing crowds of over 100,000 during its four days of action.
Accessing – and earning – the virtual version of the Bassmaster Classic is the ultimate goal of Bassmaster Fishing 2022 career mode, but it won’t be easy. Studio producer Desmond O’Connor describes the structure of Career Mode as follows: “You start in the lowest ranked College series. In there you have a combination of traditional Bassmaster events, as well as Pro challenges, which add variety and incorporate different rule sets.
“It goes from the College series to the Open series – you don’t have to win the College series, you just graduate from it. Once you get into the Open series, you play through the events, but to reach the Elites you have to achieve a certain level of success within the Open, ”says O’Connor.
“By catching trophy fish and sharing images of them, you gain followers. In the real sport of bass fishing, followers are very important to get sponsorship. It’s about getting your sponsors, charging for your equipment, charging for your boat, and getting your tournament entry fees.
Earn enough money and you will have your chance at the Bassmaster Classic: “Top 55 anglers qualify for biggest cash-money event: there is a top prize of $ 300,000 for the Bassmaster Classic. It’s sort of the feature-length version of a Bassmaster career, not the long version of the 20-series. ‘
Ben Gunstone, Executive Fishery Producer at Dovetail, adds: “If you’ve played career back-to-back and won it all, so you can get into the Classic and then earn it, you’re still looking at a minimum of 35-36. hours of play. And the chances of you doing it the first time are pretty low.
Battle royale with fish
Online, Bassmaster Fishing 2022 promises another novelty: Bassmaster Royale, a mode whose name gives a strong indication of its nature. Gunstone provides an overview: “Bassmaster Royale is our take on a Battle Royale type game, with up to 60 people going out on the lake at the same time. As a player it is based on the total weight of the top five fish you caught. This combined number puts you in a ranking; over time we raise a breakpoint, and if you are below that point you are removed from the game, until we are left with the last 10 and the end result of a single winner Game.
“We’re currently planning a 40-minute session, but we’re taking advice and that’s something we can change. We have to make sure that we make sure there is enough time for players to actually reach the point in the lake they want to reach, catch fish and get on the leaderboard, ”Gunstone adds.
As with most Dovetail titles, Bassmaster Fishing 2022 is a surprisingly beautiful game, with O’Connor demonstrating the Fishing Trip mode, in which you can choose a lake – there are eight, all of them North American, and sites for them. Elite Bassmaster Series events – and fish without pressure.
O’Connor chose his pro-fisherman, jumped into his boat, and sailed to a part of the lake he had previously identified as a likely source of fish. Gunstone, meanwhile, stressed the importance of familiarizing yourself with the environment: “You have to learn where the fish are on the lakes, otherwise – certainly when you get into the upper levels – you just don’t go. be competitive in your career. fashion. Which reflects what the real angry pro are trying to do.
There are a lot of virtual tech that you can use, such as placing markers on favorite fishing spots, and the demo made it clear that as you play fishing games, Bassmaster Fishing 2022 is pretty much that too. high-tech as possible. The lakes and their surroundings appear surprisingly realistic and have been generated from real map data and filled with virtual fish species that mirror their real life counterparts, with a few minor tweaks to ensure good gameplay.
The fish themselves have their own artificial intelligence, passing between points of interest underwater via “highways”, and varying their depth according to surface and water temperature, time of day. day and other factors.
It certainly looks very realistic, especially when O’Connor used the game’s underwater camera, essentially giving the view of your decoy. O’Connor had to move his boat several times, emphasizing the game’s desire to reflect the unpredictability involved in actual fishing. Choosing the right lure and gear also affects the procedures, and ultimately led to the landing of a nice big bass.
If you are the kind of fishing enthusiast who dreams of getting big on the pro fishing tour and making millions of dollars, then Bassmaster Fishing 2022 is an exciting prospect: meet the Bassmaster Classic in the game, and you participate in the most sumptuous spectacle of sport. And the idea of Bassmaster Royale – launching into frenzied fish-offs against 59 rivals at once – is a fun new idea.
While Bassmaster Fishing 2022 includes the bucolic pleasures of any fishing game, its desire to add risk and competitive advantage to this familiar plan is intriguing. Particularly in the current situation of restricted movement (not to mention the post-Brexit theft of UK rivers by sanitation companies), it should provide the perfect way for those who dream of becoming competitive fishermen to live out their fantasies.
Formats: Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X, PlayStation 5 and PC
Publisher: Dovetail Games
Developer: Dovetail Games
Release Date: October 28, 2021
By Steve Boxer
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