Fish Person Shooter Early Access Review – Reely? Better Than CoD?
Developed and published by 8AH
Available on PC
I’m an angler. If you’ve followed me on Twitter, or through my Itch.io Fishing Horror Jam, or even my secret hidden fish-centric ASMR Youtube channel, you’ll know I love fishing. When I saw that Lord of The Meme Dave Oshry (New Blood Interactive) had tweeted about it, I knew I had to check it out. I am so glad I did. Fish Person Shooter is everything that I could want from a fish-based first person shooter.
The game starts simply enough. You are locked up in a cell, guarded by a fish pirate. All you have is your hook hand, and a desire for freedom. With a click of the right mouse button, you can shoot your hook hand off like a harpoon. By doing this, I was able to grab the key to the cell off the sleeping guard. After unlocking the cell, I exited and picked up the first weapon of the game: A double-barreled shotgun. When you’re making a boomer shooter (thanks Civvie), you gotta have a good shotgun. Fish Person Shooter excels in this. The shotgun feels good.
It has a solid oomph, and the spray of blood from your fish captors is satisfying and just a bit brutal. The hook does it’s dark work with glee. It can be used to move around the levels like Spider-man; grabbing ceilings and ledges to pull you around. Another great feature of the hook is that you can hold down the button to hang in place. This opens up combat opportunities, as you can sling yourself onto the ceiling and then hang there while you dump bullets on unsuspecting enemies. Even if they do suspect something, it’s far too late once you’re up there raining down the pain.
The hook also lets you grab enemies. You can go total “GET OVER HERE!” and pull them to your location. A lot of combat encounters involved me pulling in enemies and just absolutely brutalizing them at close range with the shotgun. The pull move stuns cannon fodder enemies, so they don’t have any choice but to be unmercifully blasted into nothingness. Fish Person Shooter’s combat just feels good. Your character moves fast, shoots hard, and zips around levels like staying still was just a friendly suggestion to be discarded. As you go deeper into the levels, you’ll be using the hook to steal shields off of enemies to make them vulnerable, and to provide yourself with a temporary bit of protection.
I hate to go on and on about the hook, but it’s such a cool mechanic. One more thing: the hook is used for so much in the game. You can grab items, pull off parts to complete puzzles, and at one point, it even factors heavily into a certain boss fight. It’s really the star of Fish Person Shooter. It’s reputation is deserved. I don’t want to take away from the other weapons though. The shotgun, as I said above, is an absolute joy. The second weapon you pick up will be the minigun. It’s a multi-barrel pain train that can clear a school of fishmen before you can say, “please stop, they have families”. Rapid fire and accurate, the minigun is an excellent addition to your arsenal. Unlike other games where it feels like the shotgun is king, Fish Person Shooter’s minigun feels like a compliment instead of a detriment.
Later on, you’ll be able to pick up a slew of other weapons. The sniper rifle does excellent ranged damage. The grenade launcher has a small blast radius, so i didn’t use it much. Eventually you’ll get your hands on a missile launcher. The missile launcher is insanely fun. Just go nuts blasting giant crabs that also wield missile launchers. It’s a missile fight, and everyone is invited. If you can’t tell, I enjoyed the weapons in this game very much. Finding a new weapon is a reason to use that weapon, pushing you away from the urge to just use the shotgun forever.
The level design is fantastic. I don’t know if the dev was a DOOM mapper in a previous life, or if they just get FPS mapping. The levels have a sense of verticality that I found refreshing. You won’t stay at ground level for long. The hook ensures that you can move skywards effectively. Enemy placement is fantastic. I never felt like I had been cheated by a blind corner. Deaths are earned in Fish Person Shooter. I love, but am terrible at, these types of games so I was earning a lot. The art style is cartoon-y and a bit goofy. Looking like a Saturday morning special about the dangers of high seas piracy, it’s still effective in highlighting the tropical locales.
The story is fine. The world welcomed the fish pirates into their life, because “pirates are cool”. Soon after, the world is taken by the fish pirates. The player character has a burning hate for fish pirates. His hate is not explained at the beginning of the game, and it really doesn’t have to be. The most important thing is you hate fish, and the resistance needs you. A grizzled combat vet explains that you gotta go murder fish. It’s a simple concept. A throwback to the shooters of old. Your only objective is to
rip and tear hook and gut, and Fish Person Shooter doesn’t care to give you more guidance beyond that.
Now, granted, Fish Person Shooter is in Early Access. Not everything is going to perfect. Sometimes the gun and hook graphics get wonky and misplaced from heavy use. This is not a big deal to me. The core of the game is there. It is a solid entry into the pantheon of old school first person shooters. It just feels good. For a game that came completely out of left field to strike me solidly in the side of the head like a dead fish, it’s amazing. It’s a reel good time, halibut you don’t have to take my word for it: you can pick it up yourself here.