In Britain, we're particularly good at ignoring the functional reason for an activity or object so that we can enjoy it as a hobby. Stamps come to mind. We're not alone in this, of course, but I like to think we're the best at it. Olympic level trivialisers and meanderers. Dovetail Games, lords of the Train Simulator series, are masters of this art. Trains go from point A to point B, but some people just enjoy being on trains for the the sake of it, or even standing on a platform to spot a particular engine and jot down notes.
Now, in their first step off the beaten tracks, Dovetail are exploring another activity separated from its original function. Fishing for pleasure rather than for supper.
Let's get this straight. We're watching the trailer, which is revealed to be in the game world, which means that we are all actually fish having a peculiar dream.
No point in skirting around the issue so I'll just come right out and say it - I could fall in love with the right fishing game. I've never 'gone fishin'' in real life because I have the patience of a steroid-infused Roadrunner, am a midge magnet and would probably feel like a rotter dragging a living thing out of the place where it can breathe. Even if I was going to throw it back in again afterwards, I'd feel uncomfortable - it'd be like dunking someone's head in a pond until they had a lungful of water and then leaving them on the bank to dry off in the sun. Except with more hooks.
I'd be fine with digital fishing though. No midges, no possible pain or death, and I've got movies and books aplenty around to keep me occupied during the waiting. They'll bite more often too, in the digital realm, because even a slow-paced game recognises the need to stimulate players at least once every ten minutes to make sure they don't decide to watch Celebrity Masterchef while wanking themselves unconscious instead.
Maybe Dovetail Games Fishing can save us from that fate?
Former EA executives Rob O’Farrell and Chris Roberts are leading the development of Dovetail Games Fishing. Their vision is to create a fishing simulation which, utilising the revolutionary Unreal Engine 4® architecture will recreate in breath-taking detail the immersive and engaging experience of angling for leisure or competition. Dovetail Games are also laying the foundation to grow the Train Simulator franchise using this exciting technology in the future.
In Dovetail Games Fishing, players will tackle every step in the fishing experience, starting with the selection of equipment and rigs based on the type of fishing and objective. Players will then survey their preferred location then take to the waters edge to prepare their gear. Using an intuitive new casting and reeling mechanism termed ‘Total Cast Control’, players can then test their skills by finding, attracting, catching and landing the fish.
Initially specialising in fishing for carp, Dovetail Games Fishing will quickly expand to include a multitude of popular fishing types, including bass and fly-fishing, across a variety of locations around the world.
The promise of future expansion is unnerving given the amount of Train Simulator DLC that exists and is carp fishing enough to start with? I don't know. I need a fishing expert. Izaak Walton's The Compleat Angler says this: "The Carp is the queen of rivers; a stately, a good, and a very subtil fish; that was not at first bred, nor hath been long in England, but is now naturalised."
A game about killing the queen. It should be out later this year.