Ultimate Fishing Simulator 2 (UFS2) is as the title says, an in-depth simulation of fishing. The locations that a player can fish from are varied but they are locked behind leveling. Also locked behind leveling are various pieces of equipment, including lures. The simulation gives a pretty good feel for what it is like to fish, however it is lacking in good feedback, particularly audio feedback. UFS2 has an underwater camera near the hook that can be toggled, and staying in this mode to reel in a fish is possible.
UFS2 has numerous options for graphics and the display, including units of measure. There is language support for multiple languages. There is music and FX sound adjustment, and the music by default is fairly low. Since the FX audio is rather weak, it is probably best to turn up the FX and set the music very low or off. UFS2 is in early access and some of the roughness shows. Although there is a graphics setting menu with numerous options, they are all locked currently. Graphically the game looks fairly good on the locked settings, however the lighting may be a bit too bright or glaring.
UFS2 begins with a tutorial, which competently shows how to fish from the starting pond using a couple of basic techniques. For the beginner there aren’t a lot of options available for fishing equipment, the player starts off with two equipment ‘sets’; a float rig using earthworms and a spinner lure rig. The player also starts with $200, which can be used to purchase additional bait or lures. This is necessary in particular for the lures, because they are easily lost to snapped lines when a larger fish is hooked.
Getting a fish to bite in the starting pond with a lure is pretty much a matter of casting and reeling in slowly, it is no problem at all to get a bite. The trouble comes with recognizing it. The reel doesn’t buzz as the drag is being pulled, there is nothing rippling up the water. The player can’t feel the rod, so there are indicators for line tension and what is happening with the lure on the HUD. The line may appear to dart around a bit if the fish is fairly close. Setting the hook (the sudden upward jerk of the rod to actually hook the fish) feels lethargic, like the player is in slow motion. Because there isn’t a pronounced feedback system, larger fish will easily break the line and the lure/bait will be lost.
However, for every lure lost to a broken line, a good three or four catches of smaller fish is pretty much a given. The starting pond has a variety of small and medium sized fish and money can be earned per catch to finance buying equipment. UFS2 has a leveling system and there are skills that can be acquired to make the fishing slightly easier, cheaper, or more lucrative, but the skills all appear to be fairly minor in impact. There is a quest system featuring daily, weekly, and monthly quests, these appear to give rewards using ‘quest points’ which are separate from XP for leveling. By leveling, the player will unlock more locations to fish in and tiers of equipment to buy. Ultimate Fishing Simulator 2 is enjoyable and is recommended, however it is in early access, so expect frequent updates; hopefully the feedback system will be improved to make broken lines less of a problem.