Monday, June 24, 2024

Fishing Russian Style

 As I dabble around games and completely avoid my Steam backlog I decided to give Russian Fishing 4 a try.  What I found was a deep and complex fishing game.

A screenshot of a fish in Russian Fishing 4

 First, I will admit the fish species and baits are foreign to me as an angler who fishes in the USA.  That does not, however, change the feeling of seeing a fishing pole bend over when a fish is hooked or the relief when the fish lands in your hands.

 My other most recent fishing game experience was with Call of the Wild: the Angler which is much more on the arcade end of the fishing simulation.  In comparison Russian Fishing 4 is much more on the realistic simulation side.

 This more realistic approach is evident from the moment I stepped into the tutorial.  I started with a "cane pole" (fishing line attached to a pole; no reel) and did some float fishing.  The game offers no strike or other indication of a fish.  I was required to watch the float and set the hook when the fish ran off with the bait pulling the float with it.

 The tutorial also goes through fishing with a spinning reel which works without indicator aside from poles pending and fishing line moving.  This is about as realistic as a video game could get aside from having a rumble feature of some sort to give haptic feedback to me as a player.

 I liked this approach more than I do the arcade model of CotW:Angler.  There is also many other "real fishing" features that I liked about my first couple of hours in Russian Fishing 4.  I can place my fishing rods on the ground so I can have one out with bait and use the other for active casting with lures.  Its quite fun to juggle putting down one reel to scramble and get the other one.  Funny as well when you wander a bit far and forget about the rod you set down entirely.

 Underneath the fishing is also a deep and complex progression system.  There are skills for everything from creating your own baits to all the aspects of fishing (cast distance, cast accuracy, retrieval, etc).  I barely scratched the surface so far but it hits that part of your brain where you are always saying "one more cast... one more fish" before realizing its 2 AM and you need to go to sleep.

 The game is free to play but has some form of pass you can buy which looks to expedite progression, but I've not felt compelled so far to buy in.  The free experience scratches that realistic fishing sim itch pretty good.  I'd love a version of this that is more USA focused and it's possible later maps I can get onto have USA waters and fish species, but at the end of the day a fish is a fish is a fish and they are fun to catch anywhere in the world.


A screenshot from the game Russian Fishing 4
Decent enough looking water and maps

A screenshot from the game Russian Fishing 4
Fish on!

A screenshot from the game Russian Fishing 4
One rod float fishing (left) and active fishing right next to it.  A cool mechanic many other fishing games don't offer!

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