While there are many fishing games in the market, few offer you the chance to wear your captain’s hat and take the helm of the F/V Viking Power, a state-of-the-art scallop fishing vessel.

It’s true! PlayStation consoles offer more than shooting or racing games, and there are also titles that look at fishing. There are dozens of fishing simulations for the lone angler, and if you’re interested in the subject, search after the term online to discover a multitude of options.

But the fishing industry is not forgotten, and there are some titles that will give you the option to deep dive into commercial fishing… from the comfort of your home.

Fishing: North Atlantic – Scallops, launched almost one year ago, is a PlayStation 4 game – or simulation, if you prefer the term – that expands on the original title and offers you 3 new boats to add to the 27 included in the base title. The three new boats, from a small vintage to a big-sized scallop dredger, include vessels like the F/V Viking Power or F/V Ocean Scout, from the new license partner, US. Fleet Fisheries.

The new title, Fishing: North Atlantic – Scallops, offers a huge map over Nova Scotia, Canada (200x300km) with six realistic ports, and a unique experience: scallop mechanic, control and operate a crane to set, haul and empty dredge nets, sort, and clean scallops. The simulation includes a representation of a key ship from Fleet Fisheries: the F/V Viking Power, a state-of-the-art new fishing vessel that is a part of Fleet Fisheries Inc.

Launched on June 8, 2019, in Alabama, where the fishing vessel was built, the F/V Viking Power is now actively fishing for sea scallops out of the U.S. seaport of New Bedford, Mass. In the simulation, you can choose this vessel and discover all the things that set it apart, from the unique shape to the hydraulic A-frame winches that drop the scallop dredges into the water and then pull them back up to the deck, which is meant to improve efficiency and safety, too.

Fishing: North Atlantic, the original simulation

Like the previous titles in the series, Fishing: North Atlantic – Scallops makes you experience an atmospheric and realistic game world based on real maps, boats, and fish species.

Nova Scotia is not only known for its rich fish stocks such as bluefin tuna, lobster and swordfish, but it is also home to one of the largest scallop fishing industries in the world, and that’s the key element for this DLC, Fishing: North Atlantic – Scallops, which expands on the base product, Fishing: North Atlantic.

Launched in June 2012, Fishing: North Atlantic, which is the base simulation, offers a total of 27 real handcrafted boats available from fishing industry license partners, including A.F. Theriault & Son, Skipasyn, Scanmar, Hermes, Selfa, and Moen Marin. The ships available can be used for all types of fishing styles and fishing techniques like harpooning, which is used to hunt swordfish and tuna.

Start with harpooning, then work your way up to setting deep lines, catching snow crabs or lobster. As well as longline, net, and trawling. Do you have what it takes to fulfill this challenging task?

The base map is the same as the one in the Scallops DLC: a huge portion of Nova Scotia, Canada (200x300km) with six realistic ports. It gives you a virtual window to admire the vast diversity of ocean life, explore the fishing zones with upgradable ships and gear as you progress in your career.

Barents Sea, where it all started

The whole series started back in 2018, when Fishing: Barents Sea was released followed by two DLCs expanding the base title: Our Line and Net Ships and King Crab. In Fishing: Barents Sea you experience life as a fishboat captain, starting out with a small boat inherited from your grandfather, earn money doing fishing with longline, net, or trawl, buy upgrades, bigger and better fishing boats like trawlers, and a lot more.

Fishing: Barents Sea introduced the key characteristics that made the series an interesting simulation: an atmospheric and realistic gameworld, with day and night cycle, seasonal effects, advanced resource, and weather system. Everything is calculated from real maps, real boats, real fishes including age, breeding areas, depth, fish quotas and much more.

The player is invited to discover an open world environment around Hammerfest in northern Norway, maneuver a fishing boat around the map to find the best fishing spots using fish sonar, radar, and GPS. Visit various ports, hire crew or apply for missions, enter dock to repair or upgrade your boat, go to bank for a loan or to the shop to buy supplies.

Fishing: Barents Sea – Complete Edition is a game/simulator about commercial fishing and is available for PC/Steam/Xbox One/Playstation 4/Nintendo Switch!

Use of GPS and sonar

Fishing: North Atlantic took the whole experience a step further, with new weather systems with upgraded atmospheric effects, North American vessels, and fishing techniques like harpoons, deep-line-buoy-fishing and lobster pots. Purchasing larger boats and better gear will increase your fisherman skills.

Search for the best breeding ground, with brand new mini-games. Use cranes to prepare, haul and empty dredge nets, control drums to lower and raise the dredge nets onboard your ship. Sort and keep a steady hand while cleaning the scallops, before you store them fresh at the hatch of your boat. Head back to port to earn your bucks!

Plan the course of your fishing career throughout the whole year: Brave rain and snow while looking for the best fishing areas, but make sure that you are not in danger of exceeding your quotas! The new advanced fish-AI will require the use of GPS and sonar to follow the movement of your prey depending on weather and season.

Some key features of Fishing: North Atlantic

  • Fishing methods – Harpooning, Deepline, Lobster, Crabbing, Longline, Net, Trawling
  • Fish species – Swordfish, Tuna, Lobster, Snow Crab, Cod, Haddock, Pollack, Redfish, Mackerel, Silver Hake
  • Advanced water shader and weather system, with realistic weather data from the area
  • Dynamic fish prices – Other fishing boats will also fish and deliver fish at the ports, which affects the prices
  • Dynamic fish habitats – Fish will swim around the map through the yearly seasons

Developed by Misc Games, a company from Norway that aims to treat video games “like art rather than toys” and wants “to develop games mostly towards the more mature and educated gamers”, the Fishing series is an example of the team’s goal:  to become the world leader in ship simulation games.

One final note: despite being only available for PlayStation at launch, the Fishing: North Atlantic series is now also available for PC and Xbox.

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Jose Antunes is a freelance journalist who writes about technology, software, photography and video.

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