Disclosure: This game was provided to us for free by MIRAGESOFT for the purpose of review.
I’m not going to lie, I haven’t gone fishing in over a decade. That’s not to say I don’t like fishing, or waking up at 5am to take advantage of the sleepy fish that I promise are actually more awake than I am at that point. Oh wait, except I DO especially hate waking up early. I mean fishing IS cool, I find it chill, mildly fun; I just don’t like everything else around it. I think I actually prefer fishing mini-game activities that you’ll find in some RPGs and MMOs.
That is until I played Real VR Fishing.
By a mile, this is the most realistic fishing experience I’ve ever had, and that may not be saying much when compared to my close 2nd being Black Desert Online, but trust me when I say this is the real deal. Real VR Fishing starts off feeling somewhat arcade-y, with loud and colourful visual prompts showing you how, and when to play tug-of-war with your thrashing catch. However, as you get more accustom to the systems in place, you can increase the difficulty which in turn makes those visual prompts disappear, making the fishing experience more immersive and challenging.
The gameplay is the 1st piece of a 2-piece whole that makes Real VR Fishing the immersive experience that it is. The 2nd piece is what makes VR what it intrinsically is: The raw visuals. This VR game’s fishing spots are in over a dozen of the prettiest fishing spots in, and around South Korea. What is phenomenal about this is the way the developers have brought South Korea to your face in such clarity. From what I can tell, MIRAGESOFT has used photogrammetry to take life-like 3D scans of the ground, and flora at such a resolution that I almost made the mistake of trying to sit on the rocks beneath me.
Even the distant flora, trees, shorelines and cities are both high enough resolution and bathed in convincing lighting that you’ll be hard-pressed to tell they’re actually 2-D images. The water too, you’ll discover looks and moves realistically as you attempt to drain the fish from it.
While the visuals are most certainly on point, you’ll also find that the breadth of gameplay and content is another stand out feature of Real VR Fishing. I mentioned earlier that this game’s locations take place entirely within South Korea, while this is true I can safely say that variety was made a priority. At launch, there were 15 different rivers and lakes that you could visit. Since the game has been updated continuously, I’m happy to report that there are now over 20.
However you look at it, having more places to fish is always a good thing, but having a wide variety of fish to hunt with an equally vast array of fishing rod alterations is just as appealing. This level of customization also applies to your own character, as well as your home that also doubles as an aquarium for the fish you decide to keep. You can keep the fish you catch and earn money for doing so, or you can let them go and earn experience instead. This levelling function ties into unlocking new lures, rods, and reels that modify your ability to catch different kinds of fish!
When the developers ported this from the Oculus Go, it wasn’t a one-and-done procedure. They wanted to keep adding to it, and boy have they. From adding new locations, types of water (fresh, salt), and fish, to character customization, and straight-up online multiplayer with up to 4 friends. This kind of “games-as-a-live-service” mentality for developers is always refreshing to see, especially from the perspective of someone who wishes Destiny 2 had fishing.
The innovation doesn’t end with multiplayer either, as you can even do things like whipping out a virtual smart-phone and snapping a selfie of you and your caught fish. Or even cooler, opening a floating window that can take you to YouTube and play any song you search up!
If you’ve ever liked games like “VR Chat” or “Rec Room”, but couldn’t stand the atmosphere full of annoying, screaming pre-teens, and/or like fishing in general then Real VR Fishing may be the experience for you. Real VR Fishing receives the highest recommendation I can give for a social game of this kind. It’s gorgeous real-life fishing spots, polished gameplay, robust multiplayer, and satisfying customization won’t surely fail to reel you in.
Real VR Fishing is currently available on Quest, Quest 2, Rift S for $19.99 or £14.99