STAFF REVIEW of Fisherman: Fishing Planet, The (Xbox One)

Wednesday, November 27, 2019.
by Adam Dileva

Fisherman: Fishing Planet, The Box art I can count the times I’ve actually gone fishing in my life on one hand. Even so, I did enjoy each time I went, and for whatever reason, I’m always drawn towards new fishing games when they release even though I have barely any real world experience. Fishing is much more than simply getting a hook, tackle and drinking some beers on a lazy weekend. For enthusiasts of the sport, they know there’s much more to it than that, and The Fisherman: Fishing Planet aims to bring that reality to console. I even learned quite a few things about the equipment and techniques that I previously didn’t.

Truth be told, Fishing Planet has actually been on PC for quite some time as a free to play title. While The Fisherman: Fishing Planet is essentially the same game but ‘console-fied’, it essentially includes a mass amount of DLC that’s been released for it over the years, including a few bonuses and exclusives on top to entice new players. It’s great to see that a previous free-to-play title riddled with microtransactions now has an all-encompassing package with a ton of content and new additions like the Creuse (France) map and trolling technique.

You begin your fishing career by first creating your character. Now, don’t judge the game by these first 10 minutes, as the character creator is as basic, bare bones and quite frankly, disappointing, as it gets. Visually, it doesn’t impress either, as you only have a selection of a couple faces and clothes, appearing to be from something last gen. Don’t fret, as The Fisherman becomes much better after this point and will start to look much better as you begin to reel in those fish along the lakeside.

While there’s really not an overall traditional campaign structure, instead, you’re guided by tutorials and missions to aim you in a progression path. Think of The Fisherman as a true fishing sim, as you’ll not only need to buy and choose your equipment, but decide what works best for each type of fish you’re wanting to catch that day. You’ll need to setup your ‘profiles’, consisting of what rod, line, bait, hooks, float and more you'll want to use. You’ll cut the line to the length you want, adjust resistance, reel speed and much more. I knew there was a lot to the sport, but this gave me a deeper appreciation for how much thought and purpose goes into every equipment decision.

The tutorials and mission structure are well designed, slowly introducing you to new equipment, techniques and menus, all while highlighting what you need to exactly choose to progress. Obviously, if you want to prove your own worth, you can freely fish at any of the unlocked bodies of water and have at it at your own pace as well. Just like real fishing, you may have a stroke of luck, or sit for hours without nothing but a nibble. Sometimes if you choose the right equipment and time of day, you’ll have fish chomping at your line as soon as you cast, or you may be waiting minutes at a time for any interest as well.

Regardless if you’re a beginner like myself, or a pro angler, there’s a lot to learn here with a surprising amount of depth. With almost 150 different species of fish, they all are distinct and react like their real-world counterparts. Some prefer certain temperatures of water, times of day or even depths, all of which will need different equipment to catch efficiently.

Did you know there are more than one type of fishing? I didn’t (except for fly fishing I guess). The Fisherman includes Float Fishing, Spinning, Bottom Fishing and newly included, Trolling. All of which are different techniques that you’ll need to master. I tended to have the most luck with Bottom fishing, as I found it more successful, but there’s plenty to learn, especially for beginners like myself.

To say that there’s a boatload of content would be putting it mildly. There are nearly twenty different fishing environments to take in the scenery, more than 1000 different products to purchase for your angling career, dynamic weather changes, a day and night cycle, seasons and even single and multiplayer competitions. Yes, at times it can be a bit overwhelming, but as you spend time with it, you become more accustomed to how the menus work and where to find exactly what you’re looking for quickly.

Once you’ve got a grasp of how to set your equipment, line and begin to fish, this is where The Fisherman begins to shine. While the visuals are not going to blow you away by any means, they are quite decent when you’re sitting at the edge of a lake, surrounded by forest, noticing ripples in the water from the fish swimming by and have some sun-rays breaking through the treetops. It’s easy to feel like you’re actually in nature, as there’s no overlying soundtrack either, just you and the sounds of local wildlife. The only downside to this is that I’ve actually fallen asleep numerous times playing late at night, as it was quite calm and relaxing.

Once you’ve figured out where you want to cast your line, a tap of the Right Trigger will set the power meter going, and another to stop it at the distance you want. After that and your float is in the water, it’s time to play the waiting game. While you’re able to look at your float in the water for movement, there’s actually an icon in the top right that shows a more detailed model of what your rod and floater are currently doing. Unfortunately, this is really where you’ll need to stare the whole time, as this is your main indicator that a fish as taken your bait and is on your line. Look away even for a split second and you might miss a bite before you strike. Reeling in your catch is going to depend on a variety of factors as well. Do you risk reeling in quite quickly and putting pressure on your line, hoping it doesn’t snap? Or play the long game, letting the fish tire itself out and slowly reeling in when it’s taking a break? Of course, this also depends on the fish, its weight, your equipment and patience.

The lakes and ponds are shared worlds, so as you fish long the bank, you might see other players populate nearby as well. You’re able to see via chat who has caught what and its weight. It’s a subtle way to introduce players to one another and promote competition. There are of course actual tournaments you can enter as well for sweet prizes and bragging rights, and with free updates and seasonal events, there’s always something new for you to partake in, more than just your standard fishing.

The best thing about The Fisherman is how it doesn’t force you in a specific way to play. If you feel like getting on your kayak or boat to catch some fish by yourself, you’re free to do so. Maybe you want to work on those missions to earn some extra gear and bonuses. Or maybe today you enter that tournament and try and catch one of the trophy fish. If you have friends that play as well, you can even create private rooms to have a calm and relaxing experience together. The more you catch, the more you earn, unlocking new fishing holes, gear and objectives, so there’s always something new to strive towards, even if you’re casually just wanting to catch a few at a time.

My biggest complaint though is how the menus are navigated and controlled. Some menu sections require you to use the D-Pad, while others the Left or Right Stick. Some even require both, one for main and the other for sub menus. I can’t even begin to tell you how frustrated I’ve become at times because I can’t figure out how to simply scroll down and choose the equipment I want to because I hit the wrong bumper or used the wrong stick. It’s confusing and terrible design. Yes, I eventually got used to it, but this menu control scheme needs a tutorial of its own if it’s not going to be changed or fixed.

Given that The Fisherman prides itself on being a broad yet focused fishing simulator, it’s more geared towards those that want to experience the sport, more so than simply throwing your line out and pushing a button to catch your fish. Proper fishing takes patience and preparation, and to get the most out of The Fisherman is no different. Yes, you can jump in for a quick catch here and there, but to become a true angler, you’ll need to dedicate some time to it to learn all of its intricacies.

For those seasoned anglers, you’ll appreciate just how much detail went into the over 1000 items, nearly 150 fish, numerous fishing holes and detailed gameplay. While I may be a fishing beginner, I really appreciated just how in-depth The Fisherman: Fishing Planet really was while also never feeling too overwhelmed with its steady mission structure or the option to freely do whatever I want and still progress. If you’ve been curious about the sport, or simply can’t wait until next summer to do the real thing, The Fisherman: Fishing Planet has more than enough content to keep you busy until the next fishing season begins.

Overall: 7.8 / 10
Gameplay: 8.0 / 10
Visuals: 7.5 / 10
Sound: 7.0 / 10


Site Statistics

Registered Members: 50,960
Forum Posts: 725,924
Xbox One Titles: 3,214
Xbox 360 Titles: 1,086
Xbox 360 Kinect Titles: 95
Xbox 360 Arcade Titles: 586
Original Xbox Titles: 987
Staff Reviews: 2,107
Member Reviews: 10,339
News Articles: 15,820
Screenshots: 34,613
Xbox 360 Achievements: 45,112
Xbox 360 Faceplates: 2,016
Cheat Codes: 1,706

Latest News

Warhammer: Vermintide 2 - Chaos Wastes Out Now

Warhammer: Vermintide 2 - Chaos Wastes Out NowThe next chapter in the Vermintide 2 story has arrived, and it’s available as a free download. In Chaos Wastes, the players will -try- to reach the Citadel of Eternity, but only the pure at heart will be able to complete the journey.

See News Archives

Community Forum Activity

2021: XBA is still here
Post by shrew king
1 Replies, 5294 Views

Watch Dogs: Legion
Post by Nato King
0 Replies, 21245 Views

Xbox Series X or S
Post by Nato King
5 Replies, 25603 Views

Spellbreak Grand Magus Pack (3) and Starter Pack (7) Giveaway!
Post by Variation-XBA
0 Replies, 20081 Views

I pay $ 1000! I search the Element 54 Canadian launch Team signaturen Faceplate
Post by Smill
0 Replies, 18237 Views

Xbox one no signal
Post by debrartin
0 Replies, 44166 Views

do you remember?
Post by SnoochyBoochy
3 Replies, 46128 Views

i haz xbox
Post by SnoochyBoochy
0 Replies, 41025 Views

Claiming the first thread of 2020
Post by Kraft
7 Replies, 68810 Views

Important! I pay $ 1000! I search the Sweden launch and the Element 54 Faceplate
Post by Smill
3 Replies, 28025 Views

Squad Up
Post by samslophead
0 Replies, 67740 Views

TERA Skinned Xbox One X Giveaway!
Post by Variation-XBA
0 Replies, 55974 Views

Starfield Release expectations?
Post by DJ tx
4 Replies, 107247 Views

Issue with Xbox live on Xbox home
Post by rcmpayne
0 Replies, 77213 Views

Happy Birthday, Me.
Post by SnoochyBoochy
4 Replies, 93495 Views

© 2000-2021 - All rights reserved. All trademarks are properties of their respective owners.
Xbox is a registered trademark of Microsoft. is not affiliated with Microsoft.

Made in Canada
Site Design by Cameron Graphics