Welcome to This Is Not A Review. In these articles we discuss general impressions, ideas and thoughts on any given game, but as the title implies, it’s not a review. Instead, it’s an exercise in offering a quick recommendation (or dismissal) after spending enough time to grasp the ideas and gameplay of a thing without necessarily playing it from A to Z.

The subject of this installment: Bassmaster Fishing 2022 available on XBO/X/S, PS4, PS5, and PC, developed and published by Dovetail Games.

I’m not sure what it is about fishing and videogames. Whether it’s the mini-game in Ocarina of Time, the arcade classic Sega Marine Fishing, or the countless other digital fishing experiences available out there, they usually keep me… hooked.

Not having played a fishing title in some time, I was excited to give Bassmaster Fishing 2022 a shot. General life has taken priority lately, so I haven’t been able to dive in deep with it, but from what I’ve seen, there’s plenty here for anyone wanting an angling simulation with tons of options.

Unlike most fishing in videogames, Bassmaster Fishing 2022 has a heavy emphasis on realism. There are options galore to customize and tweak everything from the rods, the reels, lures, and even weather options on the lakes. With dozens and dozens of combinations, I barely scratched the surface of this virtual tackle box.

Eight real lakes are available to fish and players can boat around to find a perfect spot to hook the big one. There are also real-life tours available. Players start in the college ranks — try to catch the largest fish, win the prize money, and unlock further tournaments in the series.

The graphics here are acceptable, although the visuals shine underwater and when featuring the various species of fish such as bluegill, catfish, and of course, largemouth bass. The lakes and surrounding vegetation and topography are well-rendered. However, when moving around in the boat, I did find the reflection on the lake surface to be a little distracting – there was too much flicker, which made it appear very unnatural. Fortunately, like real-life fishing, once players find a good spot there’s not much need to drive the boat around.

It’s unfortunate there’s not a fishing rod controller available for the PS4, as this may have helped the experience. However, the controls in Bassmaster Fishing 2022 are still decent, though slightly complex. Every button on the controller is utilized regularly, so it’s advised that players complete the tutorial on casting.

If not for the hustle and bustle of daily life and real-world priorities, I would have put a great deal more time into Bassmaster Fishing 2022, although having some options to make it a slightly more arcade-like experience would be appreciated — I just don’t need that many options in the tackle box.

Brian Theisen
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