Fishing has never really been a balls-to-the-wall white-knuckle ride, it’s a very difficult thing to get overly enthusiastic about if you are a person who requires constant stimulation of the rapid variety. Fishing tends to be best enjoyed with a foldable chair, a nice cold drink and maybe a variety of sandwiches and snacks (no crinkling packets though).
Dovetail Games seem to be at the forefront of trying to bring the relaxing and timid nature of fishing to a market that is over-saturated with blood, gore, and action. Seeing it’s the first release on PC, Euro Fishing: Urban Edition delivers the fishing experience to you in your warm and cozy living room, no chairs, drinks or sandwiches required. This is a difficult thing to do and for the most part, they succeed tremendously. It also comes packed with the Foundry DLC.
While no one could have predicted the success of simulator games en masse I.E Farming Simulator and Surgeon Simulator, even fewer people could have scarcely believed that a fishing game could prosper, however, Dovetail have really shown themselves to be exceptionally talented at attempting to emulate real-life activities in video games, Euro Fishing does not stray from this ethos. It would definitely seem that they have taken great measures and input a huge amount of effort into making Euro Fishing the most organic and complete fishing sim available on the market at this time, all of the effort, blood, sweat, and tears has proven effective but as with many series of games, the success may come at a cost.
As with most modern-day games, the progression system in Euro Fishing feels like a grind at times, however, if you can stick it out, you will be rewarded with new rods, reels, and flies. These items are unlocked by earning ‘tackle points’ and purchasing them through the in-game market. Without the market the ‘tackle points’ would feel surplus to requirement, however as it stands, it offers you a reason to want to grind forward through the many environments on offer in Euro Fishing. As you take part in events or ‘Freedom’ fishing (free-roam), you accrue XP which increases your character’s core statistics.
Let’s be completely honest here, Euro Fishing belongs to the much-maligned genre of ‘idling game’ by-and-large. The Academy exists to allow you to hone your craft by improving your skills or if you prefer, you can jump in the deep-end (pun intended) and take part in the Live Tournament Mode, Euro Fishing offers no competitive angle but does feel more organic and natural in comparison to its alternatives available on the market. I have been fishing since I was very young, using the knowledge I have garnered over the years of my ‘angling career’ I knew the importance of differing flies, rods and reels which the games allow you to vary between and the reason these differences exist. When fishing in Euro Fishing, as in real-life fishing, patience is the key. If fish aren’t biting at a particular peg the key to success is not moving on, it is persevering until you grab a catch. Once you accept that the key to success in Euro Fishing is going to be a long game and that the point when you finally catch a fish is when the game is going to reward you, you will find a great deal of joy, satisfaction, and accomplishment.
Euro Fishing: Urban Edition is a bland game. The textures are washed out and the overall graphics experience is lacking, however, given that the ‘meat’ of the game is not in the visual experience but rather the fishing interaction itself, this does not seem to matter. The environments that you are given to play in throughout Euro Fishing are honest recreations of some of Europe’s best fishing spots, given that the actual fishing is the key to the overall game, it is obvious to any and all that the water mechanics and visual presentation of the liquid within Euro Fishing is the sole focus of the game. The facial animations of characters look dated and, as said before, the textures really leave a bad taste in the mouth for anyone who believes that ALL games should look beautiful in every possible way. The scenery is pleasant enough that you won’t find yourself vomiting profusely at the thought of returning to it, but it is hard to accept a game which focuses so strongly on foreground beauty that the ambience of each location is lost on weathered eyes, when video games are now becoming more and more visually impressive on the whole.
I entered into Euro Fishing: Urban Edition with a wide-eyed enthusiasm for angling but a certain hesitation as to how the game would reproduce one of my favorite past-times. Euro Fishing delivered wholeheartedly on the game-play front of making me feel the feelings I remember from real-life fishing, it reproduced the satisfaction and alleviation I felt upon landing a catch which I had spent a considerable amount of time waiting for and delivered a reward system which sat hand in glove with my knowledge of fishing.
When taken completely objectively, Euro Fishing: Urban Edition is without a doubt, the best recreation of the real-world feeling of fishing one could hope to find. Aside from the water, the environments leave a great deal to be desired visually, the animations and character models are clunky and dated but this does not matter in a game where fishing is key. The accomplishment and satisfaction of catching a long-awaited fish make the instant gratification system which we have come to know in the industry, on the whole, pale in comparison.
REVIEW CODE: A PS4 code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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