Dovetail Games and I go back a long way. I’ve played all their fishing games to date, and have thoroughly enjoyed doing so. Now, they are bringing a new flavour of fishing to the table, that of the Bassmaster Classic, which is a real contest in America. And boy is it a really popular thing over the pond, with the top anglers who have worked their way into the highest echelons of Bass fishermen able to take home a pretty penny for winning. In addition, the final ceremony of the season, where the top Bass fisherman of the year is crowned, regularly attracts more than 200,000 people to attend and watch, which should give you some idea of the popularity of the sport.
I was fortunate enough to attend a virtual press event to see the game at first hand, and thought I’d take this opportunity to not only drum up some interest in the title, but also to share my thoughts about what I witnessed. No, no, you’re welcome! So here we go, settle down and let’s look at what is promised in the world of Bassmaster Fishing 2022.
First off, this time around there is a proper career mode to indulge in, with a defined structure and an end goal – to win the Bassmaster Classic! To this end, you can either take control of an existing pro angler – like Scott Martin or Hank Cherry, for instance – or you can create your own angler to accurately represent you in the game. The career mode starts you off in the College Series, before moving on up to the Opens, then the Elite League before finally reaching the mountaintop, the Bassmaster Classic. There is certainly a lot of content promised, and with a variety of customisation options offered, including not just cosmetic tweaks to your chosen angler but fishing tackle items as well, you should be able to kit yourself out in no time.
As always in Dovetail Games’ fishing titles, there is also the chance to play against or, if you prefer, with other people. Freedom Fishing, as the mode is called, is a non competitive multiplayer mode, where you and your buddies can hang out by the water, chatting and hopefully catching a few fish. And there is a good range of venues promised, with eight real world venues to try your luck in. These lakes are exactly as they are in the real world, with the pros able to recognise certain areas from fishing them in competitions. Add to this some advanced fish AI (yes really!) and access to a massive speed boat to zoom about the place in, and the scene is set for some exciting fishing.
“Working directly with Bassmaster and many of the best anglers in the world has allowed us to take the simulation in Bassmaster Fishing 2022 and deliver the most authentic bass angling experience to date,” said Dovetail Games CEO Jon Rissik, “We hope that we can help foster a new generation of anglers who find a lifelong love of fishing, both in-game and in real life, and look forward to working with our fantastic community as we grow and expand the game after launch.”
The big news this time around is the inclusion of a mode I never thought I’d see in a fishing title: Bassmaster Royale. Yes, battle royale. Up to 60 anglers, from across all platforms, load into a lake and have to try and catch the highest cumulative weight of Bass. As the competition goes on, the “cut line” – the minimum weight of Bass needed to stay in the contest rises – and if you are below the line, you are eliminated. You will begin the competition in one of three spots around a lake, and will then have to race to a hotspot, hopefully without 59 other fishermen on your tail, and start catching Bass as fast as possible. If you choose to move spots, this will eat into your fishing time, but may be worth it to find a quiet place to try and winkle a few lunkers out. I’m really not a fan of Battle Royale normally, but this one has piqued my interest, what with its angling twist.
Graphically, the gameplay we saw looked absolutely great, with beautiful landscapes and super water effects looking sumptuous. The way the water settled when the boat came to a halt, the wake behind, the roar of the engines and the scream of the reels; the presentation all looked absolutely bang on. And with the ability to now watch the lure underwater, seeing how the fish react to a certain pattern or retrieve pattern, Bassmaster Fishing 2022 is looking very good indeed. I’m not a Bass fisherman, living in the UK, but I’m excited to get to grips with the fish. And of course, it wouldn’t be a Dovetail game without some boss fish lurking about, would it? Stay tuned for a full review on our pages soon.
Bassmaster Fishing 2022 is available right now on Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Game Pass, PS5, PS4 and PC, yet the game has a couple of varieties to consider if you fancy laying your cash down. The Standard edition is £29.99, whilst the Digital Deluxe version retails at £34.99. There’s the Deluxe Upgrade Pack priced at £6.99 should you wish to upgrade at a later date – it’s this which brings in a selection of rod, reels, boats and new skins.
And an extra piece of good news for those of us that subscribe to Xbox Game Pass is that Bassmaster Fishing 2022 has launched Day One on the service.
The question is, are you feeling the urge to catch a Bass? Let us know in the comments below.
Bassmaster® Fishing 2022, the official video game, is coming this Fall, bringing the thrill of competitive big bass fishing to Xbox One & Xbox Series X|S. Dive into the fully licensed content from the Bassmaster series from amateur to elite events. For the first time ever, compete as or challenge 10 pro anglers from the Elite tour across 8 different real-world venues. Climb the ranks, earn your sponsors, and progress through your B.A.S.S.® career to become the Bassmaster Classic® Champion. Or take to the water and compete with other players in a variety of all-new massive multiplayer modes to conquer the global leader boards.