Deadliest Catch is a sim. You won’t feel like a deck hand, engineer, or medic after you’ve completed a season. Alaskan Storm is all captain all the time, and it hurts the experience because the most interesting parts of the show aren’t plotting courses and deciding were to drop pots. Sure, you can watch your crew, but it’s impossible to join them.
Deadliest Catch is a good simulation though. You make the same sorts of decisions that captains on the show do, and if falls to you to upgrade your ship, hire deck hands, and decide where to fish and how long. Simulated King and Opelio seasons are the meat of the game, but there is more available for those that enjoy a more structured game.
Deadliest Catch has a mission mode that concentrates less on fishing and more on the types of situations seen on the show. You’ll navigate your giant ship down the Yukon River after picking up a worker, you’ll take control of the Coast Guard cutter Mellon to catch poachers, you’ll park your ship in tight spots, and you’ll compete in harbor races in a dinghy. Sadly, the missions are over far too quickly and then you’re right back in either simulation mode or multiplayer simulation mode.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with Alaskan Storm, but it’s slow and methodical (like real crab fishing must be) and that doesn’t translate well into a video game. If you’re a die hard fan of the show and really want to catch some simulated crab then you’ll enjoy Deadliest Catch. Everybody else would be wise to steer clear.