I stumbled upon this game while I was flicking through the PlayStation Store after starting my monthly PS+ downloads. Its in the Free Games section, and being a cheap-skate, I love to try out the games from that section as every once in a while you can come across a real gem that stands out. Unfortunately, Fishing Planet is not one of these games!
My opinion on games of this nature is that it has no place on a gaming platform. If you want a simulation of fishing, get up and sit at the side of a lake for a few hours and get your fishing line wet. Why would you want to play this kind of thing on a gaming platform? I will however leave aside my personal feelings about fishing games and move on to the actual game itself.
Before I get into the heart of this review I will say that I have fished for years, not to mention spending hours on the fishing tasks on Final Fantasy XV. It took me the best part of half an hour to land that fabled fish and after numerous failed attempts, I screamed the house down when I eventually netted it. This game does not come close to delivering any such excitement.
Fishing Planet has been built on Unity in general, and isn’t exactly anything special to look at. The game does have a lot of nice water touches; various bugs that skate along the waters surface as well as the occasional dragonfly that will land on your rod, but its not groundbreaking.
The trailer makes the game look like it could be worth playing. The epic struggle between man and beast is portrayed, but when you actually get into the game, none of what you see is available. Certainly no underwater camera angles.
Before I had even installed the game I decided to have a quick look at the possible add-ons that are available; its always a good idea to see how you can possibly upgrade the game, and at that point I was floored and almost instantly cancelled the download of the game. This game is what is completely wrong with the gaming industry in general. The idea of putting out a game for free to get people interested is great, we all love anything for free; who wouldn’t? To charge up to £75 for an add-on to the game is ridiculous.
Considering that everyone expects a AAA game to be released at around the £45/£50 mark and there is a possibility of a season pass on top of that, the price for one add-on for a game which has come from a team that I don’t think anyone has heard of, they are having delusions of grandeur.
This is definitely not a game for everyone. It fully embraces the simulation side of things when it comes to fishing and has a fairly steep learning curve to its gameplay. Everything from various rod and reel types, to the hundreds of different tackle options at your disposal, selecting which times to go fishing at for better results, or specific fish in general. Fishing Planet is a game geared towards fishing enthusiasts looking for a simulation style of experience. However, I used to love going fishing on a weekend, and this is nothing like fishing in real life.
It will have its fans out there, of that I have no doubts, but I can’t see many people falling in love with this game in the traditional sense as you would with nearly every other game you play.
The game has rather obviously been ported over from PC as the in-game menus are too busy and over cluttered to be easy to navigate. The picture below is one of the easier menus. These were set up with mouse users in mind and would be easier to use a mouse on. To navigate with a controller is a nightmare and makes life so confusing. A cursor would have been the easiest thing to incorporate, but that is missing.
So, what are the developers using to try and sell this game? I looked on the internet to try and find anything. The official website is woefully lacking in any content other than some forums for users. The only thing I could really find was an article on PlayStation.Blog which has been written by Dmytro Lukash, The Executive Producer of Fishing Planet.
12 fishing destinations.. OK, that’s good; we’re not all going to be sat along the same shoreline fishing and tangling each others lines.
They have fish within the game.. Well, its a start I guess. Can’t really have a fishing game without the fish and he boasts about 72 different varieties of fish. To be honest, I didn’t think you would be able to find that many varieties of fish within 12 locations, especially when this is a simulator.
Then he goes on to talk about the fishing tackle. Now, here is where within the game you earn money from fishing and can spend that on upgrading your tackle. There are still ridiculously priced add-ons on the store to help rip people off.
Like I said earlier, this is wrong in my opinion to charge such a high amount and this is what is hurting the industry for Indie Developers.
For me, this is a game to avoid. It is full of bugs that the developers are aware of according to their forums, and some that they are not. For all of the various issues I encountered where the only fix is to shut the game down and start again this plays more like a beta testing version that is in very early days of development.
If you want to give it a try, it is free to download from the PlayStation Store, but I warn you of everything above first.
One of the worst games I have attempted to play and give it a 2/10 just due to some slightly nice touched in the graphics every once in a while.