At launch, The Catch: Carp & Coarse went straight in at #1 on my personal “Best Fishing Games on Xbox One” league. I have previously ranked my five favourite Fishing games on the big black miracle box, but suffice it to say that Dovetail Games’ latest took their own crown back from their previous game, Euro Fishing. Now, the only slight fly in the ointment was that, at launch, The Catch: Carp & Coarse only contained five venues to fish in. Now, these five venues are large, with lots of hidden corners and likely looking spots to try out, but in these kinds of games I’ve always felt that more is, well, more, and as such an expansion can only be good news, right? Well, come with me to Poland as I cast (see what I did there) a critical eye over the latest release for The Catch – the Polish lake of Jezioro Bestii.
Situated in the Polish mountains, this lake is set in an achingly beautiful bit of countryside, surrounded by high mountains; it just looks absolutely gorgeous. At 18 acres, it’s not too big, and bit of observation will show you where the fish are hiding, and could lead you to a memorable catch.
Now, first a little bit of history. This is not, as I was hoping for, an all new venue fresh to the Dovetail Games series of fishing titles. No, Jezioro Bestii was first released for their previous game, Fishing Sim World, and so if you’ve played that game it’s likely you’ll know what to expect here. However, don’t be fooled into thinking that Dovetail have just run this through the photocopier and churned it out. Back in the original release, Jezioro Bestii was home to a paltry 13 species of fish, and the sizes of the specimens to chase were somewhat smaller then as well. This time around, for the release for The Catch, Dovetail Games have added a further three species to the roster, in the shape of eels, barbel and chub, in addition to the many flavours of carp, predators and silver fish that have always lived here. In addition, the Boss Fish have been given a shot of steroids: as an example, the Wels catfish in the lake used to run to 80lbs in weight, now they top 120lbs. With larger pike, zander and perch also available to be caught, this promises to be a stern test of your tackle. And believe you me, some of these new Boss Fish can motor.
So, it all looks like it’s falling nicely into place, with the lake’s name, Jezioro Bestii – which translated into English is “The Lake of the Beast” – now seeming to be more apt than ever. With 25 Boss Fish to aim at, it appears that either the Polish fishing gods are kinder than the rest, or I am considerably luckier than I used to be, but catching these Boss Fish seems to be fairly easy, especially when compared to the older games.
I do however have a complaint about this venue – those islands are totally OP man! I sat myself at one end of the lake as a test, and cast a deadbait to my left, near an island. Every single fish that I hooked in that position ran behind the island, and despite adding side strain to try and persuade them to swim out again, 90% of the fish instead came into the island, and seemed to get themselves beached. Nothing I could do would shift these fish, which the game reported were swimming at 0.0 ft deep, and the only way to retrieve the tackle and move on was to allow the line to fall slack so the hook dropped out. Now, it’s annoying when this happens in real life, but in that situation you’d walk down the bank and apply pressure from a different direction, something that you cannot do in The Catch: Carp & Coarse. Having this happen to a presumed Boss Fish (as I never saw it, I’ll never know) is absolutely heartbreaking, and many bad words were uttered. I now do my fishing on this lake in the middle, as far away from the islands at either end as I can get, and this is my top tip for the venue: you will get lots of bites near the islands, but getting the fish out is another matter.
The fish here are seemingly a little easier to catch as well, and with a little bit of tailoring your approach to suit different species, you’ll soon be able to catch and land the new achievements that have been tied to this lake. With the usual fare of catching all the bosses and so on to aim at, these new cheevos help to focus the mind on what you’re after. As do the new Mastery challenges, completion of which will allow you to select Jezioro Bestii as one of the underwater scenes you can view in the menu screens. In addition, there are new events to take part in on the lake, with the usual kind of competition – either Predator, Coarse, Carp or Hunter Series events to take part in and conquer. The Predator one in particular sounds like it should be a doddle, as it seems at times you’d be able to walk across the lake on the backs of all the pike.
So, a conclusion is required then and that should focus on whether or not you should spend your hard earned cash on The Catch: Carp & Coarse – Jezioro Bestii on Xbox One. Well, at £8.79 it isn’t going to break the bank, but it is almost half the price of the base game, so in that context it doesn’t appear to be much of a bargain. However, the amount of time I’ve spent fishing this lake has certainly provided a decent return on the investment, and I’m still some way from taking down all the Boss Fish. I have to say, I’ve enjoyed my time playing the game on the newest lake, and as such I have to conclude that, yes, in my opinion Jezioro Bestii is a worthy expansion to the best fishing game out there.
Just stay away from those islands!
Massive thanks go out to Dovetail Games for providing access to Jezioro Bestii in The Catch on Xbox One. If you want to purchase the lake for yourself, the Xbox Store will provide the download.