Despite the real fun and boredom of going fishing with friends, cooperative fishing games are not yet commonplace. In the meantime, however, Dovetail Games’ Bassmaster Fishing 2022 really gets closer to the cooperative. This year’s episode features a “Freedom Fishing” mode that allows up to 25 online players to go out and fish non-competitively on a server.
To begin with, players will create a custom character. The customization options are extremely limited – you can’t make fisherwomen, for example. In defiance of this oversight, I made my character as feminine as possible and I jumped into the water. The gameplay begins with an interactive tutorial lasting 15 to 20 minutes. Grammar / spelling errors aside (does the game author really think that “fishs “is the possessive form of the fish?), the tutorial teaches players how to use the basic control scheme. You can also choose an advanced control scheme, but there doesn’t seem to be a tutorial for that.
Are they serious with these server names?
After completing the tutorial, players can choose from several modes: Career, Venues, and Bassmaster Online. In the online menu you will find two options: the competitive Bassmaster Royale and the non-competitive Public Bassmaster. This appears to be the promised “Freedom Fishing” mode – the game just doesn’t call it that. The public menu lists several public dedicated servers; there is no option to create or host your own. Oddly enough, public servers don’t have proper names, just a long string of characters. This makes meeting with friends more difficult than necessary, and that really should be changed in an update.
After joining a public server with a friend or two (or just random people), each gets their own boat. Other players are marked with icons on the map, although player names only appear on the players themselves, not on the map. The group can then navigate around the body of water in search of good fishing spots. The boats do nothing but pass each other; they don’t have collision detection. When you’re ready to try a fish, simply switch from boat mode to fishing mode and cast your rod.
Going into the virtual waters with friends and seeing how many fish you can catch is quite a relaxing time. The game announces whenever someone catches a fish on the server, but no one is actually competing. Just make sure everyone is in the Group Chat or Discord voice, and it’s a good approximation of the social fishing experience. Non-competitive public games are certainly welcome, but a true co-op mode where players can share a boat and divide the duties would be even better in next year’s edition.
Bassmaster Fishing 2022 leans towards the simulation side of things, with lots of authentic rods, lures and everything anglers love. The gameplay itself is slower and more complex than other fishing games I’ve played – probably too much. Overall, the authentic game equipment, adequate visuals, and general lack of finish are quite similar to those of the Agriculture simulator series. Real-life enthusiasts will likely benefit a lot from authenticity, but I would like the gameplay to be more streamlined and accessible.
Dovetail games ” Bassmaster Fishing 2022 sells for $ 39.99 on Xbox, PlayStation and Steam. Xbox and PC versions are also available on Xbox Game Pass.
Note: For this story, we played the game on Xbox Series X, Windows 10, and PlayStation 5. Public multiplayer is suitable for all versions except Xbox game. On Xbox, the list of public servers is usually empty. Hopefully the developers will be able to fix the problem soon.