I love fishing in games, though most of my experience is with games that have fishing as a side activity (like Sea of Thieves, New World, and Core Keeper) rather than as the main event.
But more dedicated fishing simulation enthusiasts have a big new open world to look forward to at the end of the month. Call of the Wild: The Angler is hoping to hook you on August 31, and today developer Expansive Worlds (makers of The Hunter: Call of the Wild) chummed the water with a new gameplay trailer you can watch above.
And it looks pretty impressive, even to my less-than-expert eyes. The trailer begins with some of the gear, including rods and reels, lines and lures, and different types of clothing you’ll be able to dress yourself up in. The open world looks both lovely and huge, packed with mountains, lakes, and rivers, and you can travel on foot or by ordering up a jeep or boat to go exploring. And while you can go it alone in solo mode, you can also join up with friends or strangers online to do some co-op fishing. Up to 12 players in one session are supported.
The simulation can get a bit complex depending on which fish you’re hoping to hook. Elements like the time of day and even the temperature of the water can dictate which fish you’re able to land. You can adjust your float depth, line tension, and make other fiddly little changes based on the kind of fish you’re hunting. An in-game guide will help, but I suspect having a notepad handy to keep track of which fish likes what might be helpful, too. And there’s also the matter of choosing the correct bait, the right lure, and the proper technique.
There are also all sorts of colorfully-named fishing styles mentioned in the trailer, like pumping, jigging, and twitching. I have looked up those terms, and jigging is when you move the lure up and down to attract the fish (though there are many different types of jigging, including cast-and-return jigging, speed jigging, vertical jigging, and my favorite: meat jigging). Pumping is pulling the rod back, then leaning it forward while quickly reeling (Think Quint trying to reel in the shark in Jaws). And twitching, as far as I can tell, is like jigging, making the lure move like it’s alive. But, like I said, I’m not an expert here.
It all looks pretty cool, though if I had one wish it’d be that the fisherpeople, when holding their catches up proudly, had some sort of expression on their face. Maybe a smile? A smirk? A satisfied little grin? You just caught a big fish and it probably took a lot of pumping and jigging to accomplish that. It’s okay to show a bit of happiness!
Call of the Wild: The Angler is out on August 31 on Steam, Epic, and the Microsoft Store. While you’re waiting, you can tackle the official site here.
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