Tuesday, August 30, 2022

On the precipice of Call of the Wild: The Angler

We are on the precipice of Call of the Wild: The Angler launching tomorrow (8/31).  I've been waiting a long time for a solid fishing game on PC and I am excited for this launch.  Here is what has me excited (and a couple things I am hoping will be adjusted in future patches based on community feedback).  I'd recommend watching the game play reveal trailer first. 

What has me excited?

Open world fishing game.  Instead of being plopped on a shoreline or in a boat somewhere the game will place the player in an open world full of not only places to fish but also other areas to explore and side quests to go on.  While I am here for the fishing it is good to know there is a world to go along with it.  Bonus: the map looks amazing and much larger than I anticipated; areas like an abandoned mining town look amazing to fish in and around!

Proven track record.  The developer, Expansive Worlds, has a solid track record with theHunter: Call of the Wild.  If Angler follows along the lines of theHunter then I expect a solid stream of content coming to the game.  Yes, that means I expect to pay for additions but in today's market it is something to be expected.  I never felt theHunter's model of add on content was predatory and I've been happy to pay for the content that interested me (and in some cases paying for convenience).

The fish exist in the world.  Many fishing games don't have any actual fish in them; the fish *poof* into existence when they are caught.  In Angler the fish spawn and are visible in the world allowing for players to target them and see them interact with lures and bait.  This is powered by a complex spawning system that takes several factors into account on determining what fish is where.  Once there you can see and target the fish (of course in deeper water you won't see the fish).

Multiplayer.  Up to 12 fisherplayers can be in a single map.  Assuming it works like theHunter it will be simple to host other players or join other players sessions.  I look forward to playing with my oldest son.

What needs to improve?

Admittedly I haven't played the game so I am basing this off live streams and early access content creators, but there are a couple big items I am hoping will change early in the games life cycle.

Strike indicator.  When a fish strikes your lure there is a large yellow "STRIKE" banner on the screen.  This is fine for the tutorial and for those that want it, but I'd prefer the ability to turn it off. I want to key off rod, line, or other feedback from the game to know there is a strike.

Clunky cut scene when catching a fish.  When a fish is caught, instead of the fisherman bending over or netting the fish, instead the game cuts to a scene of them holding the fish.  I'd much prefer to see the fisherman get the fish out of the water and have a screen more like theHunter's harvest screen with details about the catch.

What should they add?

I can't leave the post without a small wish list of content I'd like to see them add.  For anyone that has played theHunter you know that the community's feedback will be key to what gets added.

Fish finder... of course!  There are already boats so this is a no-brainer to add.  Also would like to see versions added that can be used from the shore.

Fishing kayaks.  The hot trend in real life fishing are 'yaks (aka fishing kayaks).  Fishing kayaks are the ultimate customizable fishing apparatus (way more so than bass boats in my opinion) so are a perfect opportunity to enhance the game and offer an array of customization for players to add and show off in multiplayer.  

Tournaments.  Not sure if this was already a thing or not, but if its not... I want to be able to host a tournament that is enforced by the game.


Tight lines; see everyone on the water tomorrow!