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Lovecraftian fishing RPG Dredge launches on consoles and PC in March

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Dredge, a “sinister fishing adventure” in which players seek fish and fortune, but encounter something, well, rather fishy on their journey, will be released March 30, developer Black Salt Games and publisher Team 17 announced Friday. Dredge is headed to Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X. Switch owners can expect a free demo for Dredge in the coming weeks.

Black Salt Games’ horror-fishing RPG casts players as a fisherman exploring a remote archipelago for a variety of fish and hidden treasures. Players will encounter quest-giving island residents, and learn about their past, as they upgrade their vessel, learn new skills, and encounter increasingly unusual sea life. In Lovecraftian fashion, players will need to have strong mental fortitude to withstand the horrors that await at sea.

As noted in Polygon’s hands-on preview of Dredge from last year’s Gamescom:

Alongside fish, there are also monsters lurking beneath the waves. Some of these slither on board and infect your haul. Other, larger creatures will simply try to smash up your hull, which not only damages your boat and causes you to lose cargo, but increases how panicked you are.

When your panic level in Dredge rises, you become far more prone to being boarded by monsters. Rocks will also randomly start to appear as you sail, with the explanation being that because it’s dark and you’re not thinking straight, you can’t see them until the last minute. You can mitigate this by turning your boat lights on, but obviously that also makes you more visible to the monsters. All of these minor systems are smartly interconnected to craft an experience that rapidly oscillates between calmness and chaos, flitting from tranquility to terror as if it’s nobody’s business.

Check out Dredge’s launch trailer for a taste of things to come.

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