Game Review: Deadliest Catch: Alaskan Storm
Developer: Liquid Dragon Studios
Platform: Xbox 360 and PC
Player(s): 1(Local) 2-8(Xbox Live)
MSRP: Xbox 360 ($59.99 USD), PC ($39.99)
ESRB Rating: T
The Discovery Channel has not had the best success with bringing their hit TV shows to consoles, actually they have had zero success in the past but that changes with Deadliest Catch: Alaskan Storm because it isn’t that bad. In fact, it is pretty good. Deadliest Catch: Alaskan Storm is a crab hunting simulator where you control one of five boats and go to try and catch crabs in the deadly seas in Alaska. Be careful though, if your crew members get crabby then it could end your hunting season pretty fast.
Playing the game on an HDTV is not just a suggestion, its actually something that you need to do. If you don’t have an HDTV you might as well go to the eyeglass shop. The text is near impossible to read. Otherwise standard and HD look similar. Before you set sail you have a not so interesting menu to look through, but once your past then the graphics really begin to shine. A wonderful feature is that you can customize your boat, I ended up giving mine a bright green top with a pitch black bottom. The real reason that that I loved the graphics so much was because of the fact that most of the game is showing you a video, looking at open sea, or looking at your boat so the game really does not have room for flaws.
I was quite impressed with the sounds in this game. If you take away the buzzer which never sounded more annoying then I have no complaints. The background music in Deadliest Catch is in fact rock music or but that changes to a different music at times when the game warns you that danger is near. Then we have our little special effects that add character to the game like the whales and otters make an appearance in this game as well, they are just as cute to look at as they sound. Deadliest Catch also has plenty of dialog that shows as you can talk to crew members and the Coast Guards. So except for that buzzer, everything is spot on.
Here is the real problem with the game. While the tutorials help, once they are over all your help is over, once you get on the water there is no one that is going to help you . Because of that you have to take in as much of the information as you can and plan accordingly. For instance, almost every season I got fined money for plotting in the wrong areas, my ship starting breaking after one day of use and the guy I hired for captain was an old man who I wasn’t able to make happy. There are a few things while playing that you need to know, every crew member has a moral and energy meter and it is wise to keep both at top levels, you have to drop pots to catch the crabs, but once you set enough pots in your mind, you still have to wait a good amount of time while your catch makes it into your pots. And above all else, when the crew is tried they can be hurt so always make sure you have a properly staffed crew and that you try to give them as much rest as possible. Overall though, I would have loved to have gotten a chance to play as other crew members in addition to the just captain and have more control over everything on my boat.
This crab hunting simulator suffers from the worst boat controls next to Grand Theft Auto’s. All boats feel clunky and difficult to move around. Crew controls are mapped to the Y button and the triggers offer talking to your crew to talking with other boats. The left stick controls your speed and steering while the bumpers control how sharp of a turn you have. I would constantly be either under or overturning and missing my pots. Setting a pot takes a good twenty seconds as the crew actually sets them up one at a time, and then by pressing the buzzer they crew drops them. Picking up them up is easy as going near them, its that simple.
Deadliest Catch hooked me some how. It has the ability to keep you interested, but only before you figure out that you can and can’t do in the game. Featuring twenty achievements and a small amount of Xbox Live players it is kind of difficult to call this something you will be playing day in and out. I see this as a game that you can come back to for a few hours every once in a while. I enjoy a game that can bring you back to it.Yet you probably won’t be playing after you grab all the easy achievements. Most achievements range from ten points to forty-five.
Paying $60 for Deadliest catch is a little steep. Deadliest Catch doesn’t really offer that much to merit a full $60 price tag though. Yes it is something new and fresh, lets be honest, a crabbing simulator, most likely you will never see one of these again. That is not a negative thing though because it was fun but not fully $60 fun. If you want something that you can go back too and play a little then by all means go and buy this. Other people are going to be more on the rental side. This is one game you won’t forget because it is a crab hunting simulator. Yet you probably won’t be playing after you grab all the easy achievements. Most achievements range from ten points to forty-five.
Ross’ BOTTOM LINE:
It is pretty strange to play a game where you hunt crabs but at the same time it is a lot of fun too. One thing that you need to keep in mind is that this is not GTA or Halo so because of that it most likely won’t keep you sucked into it as long as those games have. It is however different, and should not be overlooked in my mind. In the end though I would have to suggest a rental for two reasons, easy achievements and it is different so you get something fresh that you might just like.