By Tim Stone on October 4th, 2009 at 12:11 pm.
As excited as I am at the prospect of scrambling through the fetid interior of a fully-modelled U-boat, a small patriotic part of me is sad that Silent Hunter 5, like its predecessors, won’t be flying the White Ensign. It was our turn, dammit! It didn’t have to be British subs – a single captainable RN corvette class would have sufficed. Hunting the hunters now and again can be a barrel of fun as Enigma: Rising Tide, recently released in free, StarForce-stripped iso form, proves.
Half Silent Hunter 3, half Battlestations Midway, ERT is probably better known for the bad luck that dogged it than for for being a novel, varied, rather well-executed naval sim. The fact that it was built by ex-Dynamix folk shows in the elegant UI and sensibly simplified instrumentation. If you want to dial numbers into a Torpedo Data Computer and pore over charts, stick with SH. This is a lighter, more manoeuvrable craft.
Which isn’t to say there aren’t sim-like subtleties. As a corvette captain you get to set your depth charge depths and patterns. As a torpedo-loosing destroyer or sub skipper, you can play with gyro angles and run depths. Best of all there’s an excellent voice-recognition system which allows mic-equipped mariners to bawl orders rather than mouse or key them.
Tesseraction’s brave decision to go with an alternate history setting (It’s the late Thirties and an Anglo-Japanese alliance are at war with a US-German axis…)
probably cost it some sales, as did the unambitious campaign approach and absent multiplayer. Complaining about these things today would be terribly impolite. Better to raise a tot of rum to Kelly ‘East’ Assay for freleasing ™ this notable nautical novelty.