Enter the dangerous world of king crab fishing in the deadly Bering Sea! Take command of your own fishing vessel, use realistic equipment, combat hazardous Alaskan waters and become the world’s best crab catcher! Deadliest Catch: The Game left early access on 14th April this year developed by Moonlit and published by Playway and Ultimate games you can pick up a copy on Steam for £15.49 or try the demo first.
The basics of the gameplay behind Deadliest Catch is that you have to board your ship and using the map, head to sea to catch crabs. When you get to the other side of the loading screen you find yourself on the deck where you then need to use the crane to load a cage, attach a buoy, prepare and pack your bait, before finally launching the cage. After that you simply need to rinse and repeat after waiting or skipping several hours in-game.
Next on your agenda in Deadliest Catch is to retrieve your cages. Using the grappling hook you reel in your cage pressing the A key, before pulling the cage up to deck with the coiler and then lowering the hook and moving the cage onto the loader. Fishing knows no bounds when it comes to fun as you move the sorting tray over to the cage before then tipping out the crabs to begin one of the games more monotonous tasks… Sorting the crabs.
This part has you picking crabs all while attempting to identify the gender and size of the crab, if it’s green you keep it, if it’s red you return. This procedure is then repeated continuously for all five hundred of them (potentially), one by one! The only thing that helped pass the time was thinking how much they reminded me of the Facehuggers from the Classic Alien versus Predator game of 1999!
Thankfully, like many of the farming sim type games, as you earn money you are able to recruit staff from the bar to take over this tedious task (This has altered in the Release version, you now require at least one skill in recruiting), in my opinion, I feel it would’ve been better and less tedious if you manually sorted a percentage of the crabs collected so you got the idea and a taste of the task at hand, rather than sorting every single crab for hours on end, similar to that of the catch and gut system of Barents Sea.
Since I first started playing Deadliest Catch, the AI has vastly improved and are now quite helpful in aiding you in your tasks. Instead of causing further frustrations or halting progress altogether. You can have them take over just about every task on deck other than the wheelhouse. Back at the dock, you can spend your hard-earned cash on refuelling, upgrading your vessel and your skills, Most of the skills have now been unlocked with the full release, some of the later skills are locked, but I’m yet to discover if they unlock through progress or in a later patch.
Graphically Deadliest Catch looks ok if a little dated, on my 1050ti the game performs well and even during early access play I didn’t encounter many graphical errors, everything appears to be modelled and animated well, most of the animation errors have been fixed, but they could’ve been related to the mechanics of the game rather than the actual animations themselves.
You do get a good sense of immersion out at sea when the ocean really gets rough, you almost get a sense of nauseousness.
The audio is of good quality, the music is fitting and works well for a sim game and the weather audio and sound effects when you’re out at sea is, for the most part, good and adds to the atmosphere of the game.
Since leaving early access longevity has been improved, I did have my concerns during early access play as there really wasn’t anything to keep you playing, however, you now have multiple seasons to play through, Ship upgrades and Skills are on hand to make your gaming quality of life a little more bearable and give you something to spend your money on as well as a sense of something to aim for and achieve other than catching and sorting crabs.
Initially, I did have concerns about the future and longevity of Deadliest Catch, There didn’t feel like there was enough to keep me playing for hours, or even returning to the game, as is often the appeal with simulation games. Since leaving early access the game has improved slightly, you do get a sense that you’re achieving something with the unlocks, leaderboards and skills. The mechanics of the game are good if a little tedious at times.
Hopefully, Moonlit continue to release fixes and content in the coming months to keep players attention. If you’re a fan of the tv series, or enjoy simulation games, at the right price it’s worth picking up. I give Deadliest Catch: The Game a Bronze award.
Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this review.