Fishing: Barents Sea - Complete Edition

Developer: Misc Games
Publisher: Astragon
Platforms: PS4, Switch, PC, Xbox One
Reviewed On: Switch
Release Date: 10/12/2019
Price: £25.99/$29.99
Reviewed By: Leigh Wynne
Review Rush was kindly supplied with a review code.

[ Introduction ]

Take the helm of your very own fishing vessel, explore a vast ocean of the Norwegian sea. Search the deep waters, coastlines for the best fishing spots. Use real-world fishing techniques and official equipment and make a living catching the most profitable fish in Barents sea.

Fishing Barents Sea boat

[ Gameplay ]

Life of fisherman

Beginning your fishing journey you’ll start with a quite extensive tutorial on how to operate your vessel as well as how to fish and use each piece of equipment properly. 

You’ll get to explore a huge map which can take more than hour to travel even a short distance due to how big the map really is. You’ll be finding hot-spots on the best fishing locations in the area thanks to your GPS system/map and discovering were the most profitable fish can be found so you can catch em. At which point you can sell them at the markets located at ports. This will allow you to earn cash, allow you to purchase better upgrades for your boat as well as purchase 12 other ships and equipment as you progress. You even get help by recruiting new crew to help you aboard your ship at local taverns. The process in the early sections of the game and onwards… normally involves around locating the certain type of fish you want to catch, using your nets in that area then waiting a certain amount of time before returning, catching, gutting and selling before repeating the whole process again.

Cabin Fever

One of the really cool aspect of his title is the ability while sailing to move around your ship at any time. There are two viewpoints available a third-person view of your boat, a first-person mode which you can switch between at any time. Here you can check out your logbook, use GPS to search for hot-spots, mess around with the different knobs on the ship like lighting, searchlights the horn or simple sail your ship in the first-person view. Which I really like. Also, the act of hauling, catching fish then gutting them made me feel as though I was an actual fisherman which is the whole point of any simulator, once get into the swing of things game is incredibly addictive. 

Waiting Game

 My issue though is the amount time you’ll need to waste while waiting for your haul to trap the fish. During downtimes, there’s not a lot to actually do… apart from messing around on your boat or travelling on the high seas, discovering new ports which could take hours. The process of travelling outside of the highlighted section of map restricts you, doesn’t allow you to quick travel until you’ve explored that area making exploration tedious and slow. While you can stay within the explored zone and use fast travel it consumes your fuel. But if your to far away from your haul and don’t pick it up when buoys change colour you might miss the catch completely. So most of my time was spent sailing in circles until my longline, buoys were ready to be hauled in… which got old fast.

Longlines/Your Vessels 

However, in first couple hours, you only have access to longlines which can be thrown into the sea and require a 4-hour wait before you can haul your catch in which I’ve mentioned above. When your buoys are ready to collect they will change colour on map screen from red to green to blue each colour indicating how good your catch has been. 

The Issue I have straight away is colours are hard to see on the map as they’re quite small icons, I missed a few catches due to this. Plus your nets arent free, require money… to purchase and missing out on a catch will cost you financially.

Haul

When you can retrieve a catch you need to be quite precise with your ship which can be quite difficult in the open ocean as your ship at the beginning is quite sluggish to control… Yes, I understand this is a simulation game and that’s part of the experience but trying to manoeuvre your ship with its sluggish controls is really annoying. There cone of light that a buoy must be positioned in before your allowed to haul fish on board and sometimes the waves affect the position of your ship making picking up important deliveries frustrating, to say the least. 

The Long Haul

I’ve played quite a few simulators so far on the switch but there’s one thing that grates on me is the slow and gradual time required to get to a place where it doesn’t feel like work. In the beginning, your low on everything and it will take ages to get to a place where you feel comfortable. This wouldn’t be a problem if everything moved a little quicker but here sailing to any area of the sea can take up to a few hours.

If you’re going to play this title you are going to have to be in it for long haul otherwise there no point in playing as you’ll never see best possible parts of the game until you reach a certain level where you can afford a better ship, better equipment as everything is so expensive.

This negatively impacted my experience as my game kept crashing every few minutes, sometimes every few hours losing progress and making sailing across same areas that took me previous 2 hours to make to furthers ports frustrating… the game has crashed about 6 times which is such a shame as the core mechanics are solid its decent simulator. 

Fishing Barents Sea gutting

[ Visual and Perfomance ]

In Fishing: Barents Sea – Complete Edition looks pretty nice in the game specially the Water effects which look superb during play. The smaller visual effects like water splashing around your ship when hitting waves or the raindrops sliding down your windows are also done pretty well. It’s nothing  spectacular, but everything is authentic looking, makes you feel as though you’re an actual fisherman.

Fishing Barents Sea helm

[ Sound ]

The sounds of your boat chugging along, splashes of water and the odd relaxing melodie plays and for the most part are all plesant and fit the authentic simulator experience well.

Fishing Barents Sea map

[ Conclusion ]

There so much to see and purchase in this game, there are lots of upgrades, boats, crew and fish to purchase, catch. The actual fishing, gutting is quite realistic and was satisfying once you hauled catch onboard.
However, the sluggish pace of the game even for simulator really became a drag and I never felt like I was making a lot of progress. Plus the random crashes didn’t help.
However, if you can stomach the rough seas, sluggish pace there is a lot to like and unlock here and if you can stick with it you’ll definitely get your money worth.
 
Check out our review of Willy Jetman for something a bit different HERE!
7-10
GOOD

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