Fishing: North Atlantic is a very realistic fishing simulator, so much so that the waiting before you catch a fish is not dissimilar to the wait in real life. Depending on what level of sim and roleplay you want, you might be totally fine with this. If you’re not okay with this, you eventually get to establish fast-travel points as you find new ports. It’s just that what ends up being the first 3-5 hours of the game could have been spent getting to the action a little faster.
You start the game on your boat in the middle of the North Atlantic ocean as a commercial fisherman who inhered your boat. After a brief tutorial, the first thing you learn how to do is spearfish. You then get to attempt to spearfish by using an interesting aiming mechanism — once you get used to it, you will have no problem. Bag as many fish as you can because when you get to your first port, you can sell them and spend the earnings on upgrades. These include, bait and tackle, boat upgrades such as the motor, and you can also buy radar and sonar to make it easier to find fish — all realistic stuff. You then hire a crew member for your boat. This will help you tackle some stuff like setting lines, but some things require you to play some sort of mini game. These games are fun enough, but you’ll get used to them becoming commonplace. You’ll also need to let your crew member rest. Talk about realism.
With the basics of how things get going out of the way, let’s get into this Fishing: North Atlantic review.
Fishing: North Atlantic Review – What I Like
I’ve reviewed a number of fishing games, and I feel confident saying this is the best looking fishing game I’ve ever played. The biggest standout is the water and the way it interacts with other things and itself. The waves look realistic and give that look and feel of being in the ocean. I love the foam that floats along the top of the water. There is also a realistic weather engine that actually uses real weather data to generate a forecast.
Since the game runs in real time, or a slightly sped up version if you know what I mean, this is such a cool feature. The sky looks fantastic at night and during the day. The stars at night are very pleasant to look at, as well as watching beautiful sunrises and sunsets. I never get bored of looking at this game.
I have to include simulation and gameplay together because the simulation itself is basically what the gameplay is for the most part. This is truly a fishing simulator. I would even go so far as to not even call it a traditional game. It’s made for hardcore simulation game fans, which seems to be a growing segment of the gaming community.
There really isn’t anything that you aren’t able to do that you would do in real life. So for people who just want to throw in a line and spin your right stick to reel in a fish that bites in five seconds, this game is not for you. I just wanted to point that out since there are a lot of casual fishing game fans out there.
While there is not a huge number of species, all the typical North Atlantic fish are there. This includes swordfish, tuna, lobster, snow crab, cod, haddock, pollack, redfish, mackerel, silver hake. Remember, you are a commercial fisherman. So you are basically catching your Friday all-you-can-eat fish dinner at your favorite seafood shack.
While being a hardcore fishing simulator, Fishing: North Atlantic does a good job of teaching you exactly what you have to do without confusing and frustrating you to no end. This is something you don’t always see with simulation games. I think the button layout helps with this. It’s very easy to understand, and everything is very easy to navigate. Sometimes deep simulation games can cause more casual gamers who want to get into simulation games to give up due to things like an intimidating user interface or control scheme. This simulator is a good one to try to get into if you want to avoid those pitfalls.
Fishing: North Atlantic Review – What I Don’t Like
Yeah, It’s Slow
Fishing: North Atlantic is especially at the start. As mentioned, you spend at least a few hours driving around trying to get where the game wants you to go. But again, it’s a simulation. I just wish the developers let you fast travel more through the beginning of the game. But then again, fishing is an exercise in patience. I’m sure hardcore simulation fans will be fine with this.
One thing the developers really should have focused in on more relates to the actual act of catching the fish and bringing it on board. Most of the time, it’s hard to even see which species of fish you just caught, and it flops around clipping through your character and even the boat at times. It just can look a little strange. It’s not a deal breaker at all, but it’s something that stands out from a visuals perspective.
It’s also sometimes hard to get your boat in the exact right place. You have to finesse the motor controls quite a bit to get it into the circles provided as visual aids. It can be a bit frustrating, but then again, you wouldn’t have pinpoint control on the water in real life.
This is a very realistic fishing simulator, and it takes time and patience. Being a simulator, that is expected and perfectly fine. You just need to know what you are getting yourself into here. You realistically travel around (for better or worse). You have to manage resources. And the act of fishing itself can be drawn out. It’s a fishing simulator that is about as real as you can get. From the sights and sounds of the ocean all around you, to the day-to-day tasks of a real fisherman, it brings together a whole experience of fishing that is worthy of matching up with just about any other fishing simulator out there.