Advantages Varied gameplay, can be very tense and atmospheric
Disadvantages No wolf packs or multiplayer
|Value for Money|
|Difficulty & Complexity|
|Longevity||Very good longevity|
There are many submarine simulators on the market at prestent, many of them are average, some terrible and only one excels. SH3 stands along amongst submarine simulators since it combines technical difficulty with enjoyable game play.Despite being a submarine simulator it is not as hardcore as many would think, it is quite possible to jump into a game without having read the manual if you have set the correct settings. That said it does have a nasty learning curve, after all it is a WW2 simulator.
Once you find the enemy things get nasty very quickly. If you are lucky enough to have detected them first you are fortuanate, you will then be able to submerge and carefully plan your approach. If they find you first you are in for a world of hurt, planes will track your U-boat and force you to submerge whilst AI capable destroyers will hunt you down mercilessly.
That said nothing is more scary than mucking this up, I cannot recall the amount of times I have thought myself safe only to turn the periscope and find a whopping huge destroyer coming in way too fast. In moments like these all you can do is dive and dive fast.ALL of the destroyers in the convoy will now start looking for you. At first they will try to detect you with sonar, this is suprisingly disturbing as all you hear is the slow plunk of sonar wvaes hitting your boat. Once they get close the sonar plunks will speed up until they reach a constant pitch, it is then that you know you are in serious trouble. The destroyer is now right above you and will start dropping depth charges. As these explode around you all you can do is rapidly change course and pray that they will not quess your depth. It gets worse, the destoyers are listening in for engine sounds therefore any manouvers you make must be very slow, i cannot understate how teeth clenching these moments can be.
If you do manage to evade the destoyers you will be able to slip into the convoy and start shooting down the merchant shipping. After the trials you have been trhough this part is sweet indeed. After you release your torpedos it will take a minute or so for them to reach their target. At this time you can hear only the the ticking of the stop watch, other then that ...silence. Has your topedo missed? Suddenly BOOM the target lights up into flames and it is time for you to start thinking about getting out of there and fast. If the destroyers didnt detect you before they will know a submarine is there this time.Once you have attacked shipping they will really hunt you, before they were willing to let you go as long as you were forced away from the convoy but now they have to destroy you. For this reason hunts are best done at night and when the moon is small.
Once you escape the kill zone things arent quite over. There are task hunter groups out looking for submarines. Beleive me you will know when you meet one, they have cruisers and carriers and can't wait to make micemeat out of you.
Once all of this is over you will head back to shore for a bit of rest, but wait as you near home your watchmen scream alarm. God Damn! The coast regions are patrolled by aircraft waiting to bomb you. The warning you get is always too little and you have little choice but to force a dive.
If you survive all this you will return to port a hero, with experience points available to spend on upgrades and training your crew.
Each mission is quite different, some are in the atlantic some are in the baltic or africa. Some will have you fuming at the lack of reliable intelligence while others will have you dribbling at mega convoys. In all cases you really must be as stealthy and fast as a hunter, each attack must be planned, the upmost importance must be given to stealth and you must always remember that you are not the meanest son of a gun on the high seas. There are many things that are actively hunting you and you must always remeber to keep one eye on them as well as the juicy targets.
Rarely have I found a game use sound so effectively. When hunting and being hunted sound is key, the ping of sonar or the breaking of hulls can all signify major events and lead to sticky situations or worse. The crew also speak, granted much of it is basic but there is an option for speech to remain in German or American English. Even still this adds to the overall atmosphere.
Much of the game can be run solely through the point and click mechanism with very few (but important) key bindings. A quick flick through the manual will be required to pick up some of the more important ones before serious play. Overall the interface is fluid and well designed with intuitive command menus and useful icons. Many of the commands and sub menus can be easily activated from the main screen. Impressively many of the features and crew interactions can be selected by clicking on the appropriate part of the ship i.e. to activate the periscope you can click on the nearby periscope depth lever. This adds some welcome candy to an otherwise streamlined command system.
There are some great and devoted mods that can be added to this game, one being GWX. Once you are bored of the stock game you can take things to a WHOLE new level with campaigns in india and the world over.
The only downside to this game is that there is no mechanism for wolfpack hunting. this may seems a large problem but in reality the game cuts down on the number of destroyers in a convoy to make up for this.
I would recommend this game to WW2 enthsiasts. I would also like to point out that if you have watched "das boot" you will find that you can recreate this very well in game. So get your sea boots on, wear a large pair of soil proof underpants and good hunting!
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Command the cunning and deadly U-boats of the North Atlantic and experience the tension-filled atmosphere of a WWII submarine.
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Platforms: Windows XP Windows 2000, ESRB Rating: Rating Pending
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