Get your waterproofs and rods at the ready as we sail the rocky seas in Fishing: Barents Sea Complete Edition. Developed by Misc Games and published by Astragon, Fishing: Barents Sea Complete Edition is available on PC, Nintendo Switch, Xbox and Playstation 4. Released on the 10th December 2019, this edition of the game comes with extras to lure you in. Today I am diving into the Switch port of the game, keep reading to find out how rocky these seas actually were.
So what makes Fishing: Barents Sea Complete Edition different from some of the other fishing games? This fishing simulator is a commercial take. So not only do you have to catch the fish, there is a whole other side where you need to maximize your income to assist with progression within the in-game career.
You start the game by naming your fisherman, nice and easily unless you are extremely indecisive. You are then provided with a trawler, this beast is called The Borge – It is a small run of the mill boat to get you going. The Borge is ideal to get you into the game, although it controls extremely easy and helps you get to grip with the controls of the game.
From The Borge, you can either save your earnings to progress onto the next trawler or upgrade it. Obviously, as you go through the game you earn more money and you can eventually end up with an epic fishing ship. However, that does come at a cost, my advice would be to upgrade slowly and only jump to the next level ship when you need the extra space.
Within the game, there are various types of fishing available with the most popular been long line. The main idea behind the title is you go out with your vessel of choice lay some line and then revisit at a later date to haul in your catch. When you haul in there is a time-based mini-game to determine the quality of fish you receive. Every time you reel one in you have to press a button a certain point in time, the larger the circle the lower class the fish, the smaller the circle the better. You play this game until you have finished the haul.
After this you then have to gut your fish, however, the controls make this very difficult as you have to score a straight line quickly with an analogue stick. This is extremely fiddly and near enough impossible, I haven’t had a 5-star gutting as of yet! So what next? You have your haul which you then take back to the ports in the area to sell. As mentioned earlier you can then use these earning for upgrades, fuel, etc.
The gameplay and the style of the game soon become addictive, however, I did run into several issues. Unfortunately, when going through the tutorial (which I highly recommend) the game was advising me to do certain tasks. However, for some reason (maybe bugs in the software) I couldn’t physically do them. For example – it would remove elements of the game that I couldn’t get back meaning it wouldn’t let me progress with anything. It meant I had to restart the tutorial over and over again, in total I think I restarted it around 5-6 times. For me, this was a huge disappointment as it was a game I was really looking forward to getting my hands on.
Before reviewing, I actually watched a few live streams and some gameplay from other platforms to see how it compared. It was apparent very early on that the Switch was going to be the least impressive. However, I feel like they could have polished them up slightly for the Switch port. At times it felt like my eyes were drifting around the screen. There seemed to be quite a bit of motion blur despite the boats going really slow.
My other issue is that the graphics were extremely buggy. My Switch console is new and plays other titles really well, so the issue must be game related. Not to mention I have read other players complain about this area of the game. At times throughout sailing the seas, the bottom of my boat would disappear. I thought it might be a corrupt save file, so proceeded to test this theory. I can confirm that this happened on every playthrough of the game I tried.
For me, the audio was done extremely well. I have played fishing games in the past and the soundtracks and sound FX have been extremely overwhelming. In Fishing Barents Sea Complete Edition the soundtrack is serene and somewhat relaxing with the ability to change to another backing track if you wish. I never found myself having to change the music and had the game been playable this would have made a perfect match for a simulator of this style.
The great thing titles like this is that you get a lot of gameplay time for your money. You could spend hours, days if not weeks or months trawling the sea. All to makes enough money to buy the trawler of your dreams. This is not the type of title I would usually go for but had the gameplay not been buggy.
Fishing Barents Sea Complete Edition has left me with extremely mixed feelings. I really wanted to play more of the game. However, due to the bugs and unplayable elements of it, I was left stranded with no option other than to turn it off. I think this is one of the titles that I will hopefully get round to playing on another platform. Most likely PC as I think the controls would definitely be in this platform’s favour. Unfortunately, that is why I have awarded Fishing Barents Sea Complete Edition low. It’s not that I don’t recommend the game, I just don’t recommend this port.
I award Fishing: Barents Sea Complete Edition a Broken Award
Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this review.