Call of the Wild: The Angler's South Africa reserve makes a great game better

In addition to the Izilo Zasendulo reserve based in South Africa, new quality-of-life improvements have arrived.


Call of the Wild: The Angler is quickly approaching its two-year anniversary, and on March 26 it will launch its fourth reserve. Izilo Zasendulo is based in South Africa and will bring about a whopping 88 new missions and challenges, 16 species of fish, and loads of new collectibles to hunt down.

In addition to the new content will be a handful of quality-of-life improvements, such as fast traveling to your vehicle, using your vehicle as storage for your gear, and more immersive physics for both your fishing line and floats. These additions work together to make a great game even better, especially storing your gear in your vehicle.

One of my complaints about The Angler is that I feel it falls short of building connections with some of its systems. Log into any server and you’ll see players fast traveling directly to the spots they want to fish, then back to an outpost. Rarely do you ever see a player moving through the world in a vehicle, or on foot. You see people in their boat often enough, but I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve passed another player on the road while driving around.

An image showing a player accessing their inventory from their vehicle in The Angler

By storing your gear in your ride, Expansive Worlds have built a connection between players and their vehicles. A reason to drive somewhere instead of fast traveling. A reason to explore the gorgeous worlds they create. This leans into what The Angler does that other fishing games don’t: giving players not only a fishing experience, but a fishing experience in a beautiful and thoughtful open world.

The other feature that caught my eye was the new physics used after you cast a float rig. Previously, your line would remain mostly tense, but now it will slowly fall to the water and even drift. Your float will drift too, meaning if you cast upstream, you can watch your float move past you as the current carries it downstream. It’s a very cool feature that allows you to cover more area while float fishing in rivers. My only issue is that you can’t move your feet once you’ve cast, so there were times my float would end up in places where I could barely see it, and I’d get that weird animation where I was trying to reel in a fish that was essentially over my shoulder. The ability to move around while your line is in the water or while you’re fighting a fish both in boat and on land would really send this QoL improvement over the top.

An image of a Diamond Blue Kurper in Call of the Wild: The Angler

I would be remiss if I didn’t gush about Izilo Zasendulo, because that’s the shiny new toy that everyone is looking forward to. While I haven’t had time to explore every corner of the reserve, so far, I’m in love with how the waterways are connected. There are so many lakes connected to each other by tiny rivers that it feels like you could start at one lake, walk along a river fishing away just to see what you can find, ending up at an entirely different lake, and then walk another river to a third lake. The map design is another example of how Expansive Worlds is starting to build better connections, in this case literally.

While I haven’t had time to catch every species of fish in Izilo Zasendulo, I found it refreshing to dig blindly into a new reserve with nothing but the in-game handbook. I adore The Angler community and resources maintained by the folks in the Discord, but you can’t beat that feeling of discovery when you step foot in a new reserve. Armed with an assortment of rods, reels, lures, and bait, I simply popped open my handbook, chose a fish to target, checked the map, and then set out. I even managed to land a Diamond Blue Kurper, cashing in on that new reserve luck.

I’ve been beating The Angler’s drum since it was first released nearly two years ago, and I’m going to be louder about it every time there’s an update or new content. It’s simply a delightful game for anyone who enjoys fishing. With this South Africa reserve coming in only a few days, the content has caught up to the ambition of Expansive Worlds. Four fully stocked reserves packed with missions, challenges, and collectibles will keep you busy for dozens of hours. If you like to relax and fish at the end of a long day like I do, you’re going to love the vibes in Izilo Zasendulo.

Managing Editor

Bill, who is also known as Rumpo, is a lifelong gamer and Toronto Maple Leafs fan. He made his mark early in his career through guide writing and a deep understanding of editorial SEO. He enjoys putting in the work to create a great content, be it a wild feature or grinding out an in-depth collectible guide. Tweet him @RumpoPlays if you have a question or comment about one of his articles.

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