Dredge from Team17 and Black Salt Games on PlayStation is a single-player fishing adventure with a dark twist. Learn more in our Dredge review!
Dredge from Team17 and Black Salt Games on PlayStation is a single-player fishing adventure with a dark twist. You found an ad for a job as a new angler and decided it might be a good option for you. Unfortunately, things don’t go as planned. You end up on Greater Narrow after your boat hits the jagged rocks along the bay. Even though the lighthouse was shining bright, you didn’t manage to avoid them. At least you’re still alive! Your boat was completely damaged beyond repair, so the Mayor asked some of the locals to move all of your things to a new vessel.
After the introduction segment, you’ll be given your first task. The Mayor will request that you go out on your new old vessel and catch some fish. Catch as many as you can and bring them back to Greater Marrow before the fog gets the best of you. Trust me. You don’t want to be out on your boat while the fog creeps up on you! There’s not much cargo for you to consider for your first trip. You’ll have a basic fishing pole that will allow you to catch some coastal fish. Your ship will be equipped with a peculiar engine that will barely help you get the job done.
Once you set out on your first fishing trip, you’ll control your ship with the left analog stick, moving forward by pressing up or going in reverse by pressing down. You can turn by moving the left analog stick left or right as needed. The camera can be rotated with the right analog stick, and you can press it up or down to adjust the height at which it’s placed. You’ll need to keep an eye out for any splashes on the surface so that you can find a fishing spot. Once on top of it, press the X button to start fishing.
This will change the perspective to a top-down view, from which you’ll be able to get started with the fishing minigame. Press the Square button to get going. For this one, you’ll have to press the Square button at the right time while an indicator spins around a circle – or the other figures used for the minigames – so that you can hit the green areas. If successful, your catch will be added to the cargo area. Once there, you can rotate it with the L1 and R1 buttons so that you can place it just right by pressing the X button. There’s also the option of discarding whatever it is you caught by pressing the L2 button.
Once you return to Greater Marrow, the Mayor will let you know that you have the option of buying the replacement vessel you just took for a spin. Since you definitely don’t have the funds needed to buy it, he’ll kindly offer to give you a loan. Until your entire debt is repaid in full, a small portion of the money earned from selling the fish you catch will go towards paying said loan. Oh, and a small interest rate will also be used to improve the town.
The local fishmonger will appraise and purchase whatever you catch, and he’s open at all hours. When you visit the fishmonger, he’ll mention that the bigger your catch, and the fresher it is, the more money you’ll earn. Some species are worth more than others. While you could, in theory, visit other islands to sell your catch for a different price, the fishmonger does remind you that while you have an outstanding debt, you might as well bring him as much fish as possible so that you can work on repaying the loan. Once you’re ready, move the cursor over each of the fish you brought and then press the Square button for the displayed price. You can also press and hold down the Square button so that you can sell all of the fish in one go.
You should go and meet the shipwright in Greater Marrow. She’ll be able to work on modifications for your ship, which can end up making a big difference. She’s not going to do you any favors, so you better be ready to cover her fee! Anything she works on will have a cost, and she will need some time to install this or that item. You should also pay her a visit if your ship takes any damage while you’re out fishing. You could buy new fishing rods, engines, trawl nets, and even some lights for your vessel.
You’ll find some parts as you take on what Dredge has to offer. These can be used to research new equipment since that will make it possible for new stuff to appear for sale in shops. Research a flexible fishing rod to then purchase a new rod that will considerably improve your fishing speed. Perhaps you should research an improved outboard engine so that your ship can travel over the waters at a faster pace. This is very important since time is a very valuable resource in Dredge, so being able to travel further at a faster pace will save you some time in the long run. Researching this or that item will unlock more and more stuff for you to research.
There are also other resources that will serve as materials for upgrading your ship. You could add extra rod spaces, increase net spaces, boost light spaces in your cargo, or even get a hull upgrade so that you can have more overall cargo space. You won’t start with much space in your cargo area, so every extra square counts! While the shipwright will also be taking care of said upgrades, you’ll need to pay her a visit at the dry dock for her to work on them.
Travel a bit further from the starting area, and you’ll reach a new island: Little Marrow: While there, you can visit the merchant who runs the brightly lit store. It’s packed with antiques, jewelry, and this and that. You should pay him a visit in case you find any special trinkets during your travels since you’ll definitely need the extra money to cover the costs for the many repairs you’ll need to take care of, from hitting a rock here or being thrown around by a large monster.
Yeah, a monster. And now, for the creepy part. Exposure to fog and other… peculiar elements will increase your panic. Sleeping and being close to bright, safe lights will reduce it. You’ll run into some bizarre things while fishing and running errands from the Mayor and other people. You might be asked to deliver a package to the dockworker in Little Marrow. While doing so, a creature could bump into your vessel, signaling that something very bad is about to happen. After running this errand, the dockworker gave me a book. I went to the Cabin tab and activated the book by clicking on it so that I could start to read it as time passed. Once I was done reading, well, that’s when things started to get really weird.
I managed to catch what was called an All-Seeing Cod, a peculiar fish that never blinked, with eyes that were certainly not the eyes you’d find on a regular cod. Then I caught a Grotesque Mackerel, a creature that certainly did its name justice, with corrupted scales and bulbous eyes that made me want to look the other way and hope it disappeared. There are other nasty fish to catch, so you’ll have to pay attention to the different fishing spots so that you can notice the energy that will point you in the right direction.
Trophy-wise, Dredge has a full trophy list for you to work on. The list includes 27 Bronze trophies, 8 Silver trophies, and 4 Gold trophies. The first trophy will pop once you’ve completed the introductory segment. After that, you’ll have to do many, many things to be able to get that shiny Platinum for your collection. You should work on having a full cargo, visit every dock in the game, catch 250 fish using rods, catch 100 crabs with crab pots, sell a total of $2,500 worth of fish, deplete a total of 25 fishing spots, upgrade to the 2nd tier hull for your ship, or find and deliver the special relics you need to find to move the story forward.
If you’re having some trouble with the game, you can also make the most of its accessibility options. Along with allowing you to select the colors for the different types of text – emphasis, positive, negative, or important text –you can also add motion smoothing to how the camera moves with the waves, which can help with motion sickness, activate or deactivate chromatic aberration, select the duration of notification popups, the speed of text, as well as activate Relaxed Fishing Mode. What this one does is allow you to successfully complete the minigames on offer, even if it might take you a bit longer.
Dredge is an interesting single-player fishing adventure with a dark twist. Things start off simple enough, with a debt to repay for your new old vessel and a variety of fish to catch. With every fish that you catch, a new entry will be added to the encyclopedia, so if you’re the type who likes to catch ‘em all, you’ll be spending a lot of time playing this one. You can buy Dredge for $24.99, which will give you access to both the PlayStation 4 and the PlayStation 5 versions of the game at no extra cost. You could also go for the Dredge Digital Deluxe Edition, which retails for $26.99. This one will give you both the base game as well as the Blackstone Key DLC. Since the DLC is available as a separate $4.99 purchase, going for the Dredge Digital Deluxe Edition will save you a bit.
This Dredge review is based on a PlayStation 5 copy provided by Team17.