Genre: Compilation, Simulation
Vehicular: Naval / watercraft, Vehicular combat
Setting: Historical events, Oceania
Published by: Strategic Simulations
Developed by: Aeon Electronic Entertainment, Strategic Simulations
What requirements should a good simulator meet? Of course, for many: this is an interesting gameplay, and beautiful graphics, and a convenient interface, and all sorts of variety (techniques, weapons, levels, and so on) - all this is very important. But the main criterion is still realism, or rather, the maximum approximation to it, since it is impossible to recreate it 100% within the framework of the game. Therefore, if the simulator is too far from reality, then, in principle, it can be interesting, but it ceases to be a simulator.
Silent Hunter fully meets ALL of these requirements. No matter how high the yardstick to approach it, only one thing can be said: it is a masterpiece. No review will fully reflect the merits of this game - they must be seen - so I will try to briefly outline all the features of the Silent Hunter so that the reader can at least get a general idea of \u200b\u200bthis simulator.
Silent Hunter Commander's Edition includes the original game and its expansion pack. You have to command a submarine during the Second World War: unfortunately, only an American boat and only in the Pacific Ocean - here you have no choice. But in all other respects there is a huge variety: you can go through the campaign, real historical scenarios, or randomly generated battles. Each task (by the way, there is also an editor for creating them) has a specific goal - to attack Japanese warships or convoys, engage in a duel with an enemy submarine, reconnoiter the coast or save someone; in all scenarios (except historical ones), you can choose any boat that was in service with the US Navy at that time. All this is very exciting, but the campaign is even more interesting, and, perhaps, it is worth talking about it in more detail.
As you know, the participation of the American Navy in the Pacific War began on December 7, 1941 and ended on September 2, 1945, when Japan officially capitulated. You can start your campaign in any month and year of this time period, but, of course, the most interesting thing is to do it on the fateful day of the Pearl Harbor tragedy in order to fight through the entire war. Combat consists of individual campaigns of your submarine, which are breathtakingly realistic. All aspects and features of submarine warfare are wonderfully recreated, and almost everything that was in reality is in the game. Well, apart from the war itself, of course...
Graphically, the situation of that time is presented perfectly, and I am sure that this will be said not only by such an unpretentious person in matters of graphics, like me, but also by a picky connoisseur of it. The equipment and armament of the boats and the Japanese ships opposing them operate in the same way as in life: firing from a gun is precisely firing from a gun, and not some kind of conditional hitting a target; the concept of "torpedo triangle" has a very definite meaning - launching torpedoes "by eye" will not bring you success; the radio room will be damaged - you will lose contact with the base; this seems to be a trifle, but your boat will “go blind”, since you will not receive messages about enemy movements; Batteries discharged at the wrong time will immobilize your submarine, and there will be only one way out - ascent and reloading, but if the battery compartments are flooded and chlorine is released, then - if there is no way to surface - your crew will quickly die from suffocation.
In general, in the game, death awaits you from all the reasons that real submariners died from: depth charges, damage to a strong hull, and so on - up to death from your own torpedo when it is launched incorrectly. (Here, perhaps, it is worth making a purely technical digression: when you return to the base or the death of your submarine, the last entry is automatically updated, so you should have several positions for saving. Although there is no menu for recording during the trip, you can save there - Alt + O, - but only when there is no contact with the enemy).
This realism determines your actions. To succeed, you need to use the same tactics that were used in life. And take into account the peculiarities of both the war in the Pacific in general and the American submarine fleet in particular. For example, US Navy torpedoes were distinguished by their, to put it mildly, not the best combat qualities - so don't be surprised if, having achieved a hit, you don't see an explosion - that means you're out of luck, there are upsets in life. They fired a torpedo at point-blank range and don't see the explosion either? And this is understandable: the fuse did not have time to cock, because a torpedo is a dangerous thing and should explode at a certain distance from your boat, and you, as the commander of this boat, MUST know this (and very, very much more) know!
Artificial intelligence in the game of stars from the sky is not enough, but it knows its business more than well: if slow-moving transport can also put its defenseless side under attack, then large warships and, especially, escort forces are deadly opponents. Enemy formations, as a rule, do not move in a direct course, but in an anti-submarine zigzag, the escort constantly patrols in their security zone, and the planes in the game are generally a real scourge of submarines. Having found you, escort ships and planes will naturally begin pursuit (they have a huge superiority in speed), but if you try to surface, you will also become a target for cruiser and battleship guns, one shell of which is enough to send a fragile submarine to the bottom .. .
It must be added that your command requires results from you - as, indeed, always and everywhere - therefore, if your boat does not sink a single ship within three trips (fishing junks do not count), then you will be sent "to the household platoon, pigs twist the tails ”(sorry, I made a mistake with the era and the army, but the essence is the same). But if you regularly send the Japanese to the bottom, you will be marked with all sorts of awards from the American Navy and thanks from your commander and even the president.
Perhaps, when describing the features of the game, I, as they say, "went too far", and for some it will seem super complicated. No. It is neither simple nor complex, it is precisely realistic, and from this - I repeat - all your actions should proceed; By the way, it should be noted that in the options there are various settings for displaying realism, with which you can create any conditions you need: you can change the level of the enemy, the quality of weapons, the weather, and more.
Of course, the first glance at the compartments of the boat, stuffed to capacity with ingenious devices and mechanisms, is terrifying, but having gained experience and knowledge during the game, you will understand that there is nothing superfluous here, and you will navigate automatically. A user-friendly interface also contributes to this: you can control the boat both from the wheelhouse and on the map, and in the surface position - from the bridge.
Avoid templates - this is the best way to master the game, as there are tons of opportunities; everyone can create their own unique tactics for themselves and become an excellent submarine commander. Moreover, unlike real submariners, you have a powerful "weapon" in the form of saving and reading records. So your achievements can easily surpass the historical ones by several times.
There is only one verdict of Silent Hunter: you need to play or, in extreme cases, familiarize yourself. Absolutely everyone (the only "contraindication" is the "individual intolerance" of simulators as a genre). Many scold the subsequent continuations of this game for the lack of fundamental innovations and even some deterioration; I think this is not entirely correct, although I myself consider the first part to be the best in the series: they are not bad, it is she who is a masterpiece, but creating another one next to a masterpiece is incredibly difficult. In general, successful hunting and returning to your base (without torpedoes, of course).