Silent Hunter Online Hunts Quite Silently In A Browser

By Jim Rossignol on October 10th, 2012 at 8:00 am.


Ubi’s march into the realms of browser and F2P games continues apace, and Silent Hunter will be getting the browser-treatment. It doesn’t look too bad, as the first gameplay trailer reveals. However, we visited the underwater realms of Silent Hunter Online back in August and Mr Cobbett had this to say: “In a word: Hmm.” See if you chime with his ambivalence by checking out the gameplay trailer that Ubisoft have just loaded into the torpedo (You)tubes, below.

There’s currently a registration for an upcoming closed beta going on at the game’s website.

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40 Comments »

  1. Gap Gen says:

    Wait, Tim Stone reviews a game about exploding robots and Jim writes about submarine sims? Confuse.

  2. Stackler says:

    Sorry Ubi, you can stick your half-assed games where the sun don’t shine.

  3. Hunchback says:

    I think i might submerge in this when it’s out…

  4. danimalkingdom says:

    I just hope it has depth. Otherwise I could keel them.

    I wonder if they’ll port it.

    But now I’m just listing.

  5. danimalkingdom says:

    I should add- I’m not entirely sure about playing a game that insists you play as Nazis. And don’t get all ‘the navy weren’t as nazi as the rest’ about it, because it’s still the Nazi war machine, trying to enslave the world etc. Something about that irks me…

    • Gap Gen says:

      I’d argue that it’s a simulation game – it’s not demanding that you believe in fascism, but rather simulating someone who was fighting under a fascist regime. Ultimately, you’re not furthering or hurting the cause of fascism any more than playing as the Confederates in a Gettysburg game supports the institution of slavery. Plus there’s no propaganda there, and as far as I can tell it’s very difficult to survive 1945, so it’s not like, say, Battlefield 3′s heavily jingoistic subtext, where American right-wing nationalism is woven into the story itself, with the game crescendoing in a straw-man revenge fantasy. You’re not sailing to New York to stab Roosevelt to death in a bad quick-time sequence.

      Plus I would argue that geopolitics and ideology are largely decoupled, and that national/foreign policy is often independent of social/domestic policy, but that’s one for another time.

      • danimalkingdom says:

        Indeed, all good points! But I still feel that a game where you play exclusively as the most repugnant force in human history, (rather than being able to play as the royal navy for instance,) and that you’re largely sinking civilian vessels and by implication killing their crews, is a bit… icky. I presume as an Online game it won’t have an endgame as in the single player SH games, where as Germany loses the war you’re up against tougher and tougher odds until you’re sunk.

        I mean, you could potentially pitch this as “you play a member of the Nazi war machine and you get to murder civilians wholesale”. Just my opinion, of course; I’m not seeking to confirm Godwin’s law here or anything!

        • bstard77 says:

          Yes, repugnant Nazis. Why haven’t they been like romans that committed countless genocides on dacians and gauls, aztec that sacrificed whole tribes for their gods, crusaders that wiped out all life when they took jerusalem (even dogs and cattle), spanish who eradicated 90% of native americans, mongols that devastated middle asia so thoroughly that they haven’t recovered in 1000 years, USSR with holodomor, Turks with armenian genocide….. Don’t get me started on US and their slavery, Britain with their plunder of India and other countries. But yes, those Nazis were so repugnant in those 10 years that they ruled germany. Nazis committed horrible crimes, no one argues that, but it is disrespectful toward all those other innocents that were killed by other, without doubt, worse regimes, throughout history

          Be objective…

          • danimalkingdom says:

            I’m not ignoring other genocides. But you can’t compare any of those deaths to what the Nazis unleashed on the world. I’m just saying it doesn’t sit that well with me. I’m also saying that the U-boat campaign was overwhelmingly directed against civilian shipping. It’s total war, fine, I’m not going to get into the ethical pedantry, but if even if you had a game in which you control ancient Romans, took most of the battles and armed combat out and just left the mass killing of civilians, wouldn’t it feel a little in poor taste?

            I’m not saying SH games are bad, or unethical, or anything of the kind – I really like the Silent Hunter games. I’m just wary of an online version taking what the U-boats did out of the context of the war which is simulated so well in the sp campaigns and into an online, PvE, points-based context. Surely you see why I might find that uncomfortable?

          • Cuddlefish says:

            @Danimalkingdom

            I certainly understand your premise and agree – I feel the same way about SH [just as I would, say, a strategic bombing simulator set in a B-17], but I just wanted to quibble on one point. One of those “cannot be compared to the Nazis” genocides he brought up, Holodomor? Generally is agreed by scholars to have been on the exact same scale as the holocaust. It was even in more or less the same time period (1932-33). That’s not even getting into the scale of death in the New World under the colonizers. Not to mention the death in India under the British and so on.So while it is certainly okay to be upset about getting too friendly with the Nazi crimes, please do try and remember that they are not at all unique.

          • bstard77 says:

            @Danimalkingdom

            I can’t compare those deaths to Nazis? Why, tell me?
            Cuddlefish already told you about those other genocides that are so easily forgotten and neglected.
            They committed terrible atrocities, yes, but don’t be so ignorant.
            They weren’t some monsters that ate babies. 99% of german soldiers in ww2 were honest, normal men that were caught up in things that were above their control and their will. Same as with soldiers from other nations. Main difference is that they lost the war

      • Gap Gen says:

        Well, this is all good. A good simulation should keep the repugnant parts of it in. When I’m charging guns in Scourge of War and they unload canister onto my men, it feels horrible. I think often games try too hard to build a good guy / bad guy dynamic, but in the end that only ends up being more repugnant because of the jingoism that I mentioned before, as well as the implicit understanding that problems are best solved by violence, rather than, say, violence being the problem itself.

        Ultimately, I think you can play a game that puts you in the position of someone doing something bad, in the same way that I can watch films with antiheroes. As long as it says something interesting in that context, or at least doesn’t glorify bad things, it’s OK.

        Bear in mind too that no Western nation is whiter-than-white. Britain invented concentration camps, while the USA is guilty of genocide (re: the native Americans) and overthrowing democracies (e.g. Chile). Geopolitics is a nasty, cynical game, and states often do bad things to keep playing that game.

    • Volker says:

      Oh, come on. You can’t just discard the “the navy weren’t as Nazi as the rest” because it’s the Goddamn truth. The German forces, whether Wehrmacht or Kriegsmarine or Luftwaffe or whatever else, were comprised of soldiers just as diverse in personal beliefs and political opinion as any Allied army. But they were first and foremost soldiers, and had a military duty to their nation. There were plenty of Nazi sympathisers in the armed forces, no doubt, but it wasn’t universal.

      The Silent Hunter games – aside from 4, which concerned the Pacific – have you play as a U-Boat captain because the Germans were the ones who made the biggest deal out of submarines, who used them to the broadest extent, and who most developed them technologically. Submarines were a German threat and presence to a far greater degree than any of the other navies.

      • Stellar Duck says:

        Being a soldier does not in any way absolve you of the crimes of whatever government you’re fighting for.

        ‘Just doing my job’ is not an excuse.

        • JackShandy says:

          “Being a soldier does not in any way absolve you of the crimes of whatever government you’re fighting for.”

          Being a soldier does not make you responsible for the crimes of your commanders. Being a citizen does not make you responsible for the crimes of your government. You may be responsible if you contributed to those crimes, or to putting that government in power, but it doesn’t occur by default. The desire to protect your country does not mean you accept and endorse every decision it makes.

          It’s very easy to take the moral high ground from this far away.

          • Stellar Duck says:

            Fair enough and a relevant distinction.

            To clarify my position a bit: while indeed not every soldier in the Wehrmacht or Navy were nazis that doesn’t change the fact that both organisations as a whole were a part of the Reich.

            On the level of the individual soldier, if they opposed the governments policies that much they could defect at any time or refuse to carry out orders.

            I may be on a high horse, but I don’t really care all that much. If you’re part of armed forces that commits crimes I think you’ve got a part of that whether you took part or not.

        • Volker says:

          “Just doing my job” does not excuse you of the crimes you commit, or are personally involved with, or aid the execution of. And every person, especially in the modern age, has a moral responsibility to be aware of the actions of their government, their superiors and the people who represent them. But a man does not inherit the sins of his nation because he happened to be born there, nor is he culpable for the crimes that country commits under a dictatorship. That is madness.

          • Stellar Duck says:

            If you chose to be part of the armed forces of said dictatorship I don’t really think it matters if you took part yourself in a crime. If you are aware of it and do nothing you’re on the moral hook as far as I’m concerned.

            You can always defect or refuse to carry out the orders. Granted that has repercussions but that’s how it is.

            To say the the Uboot nave is not involved in the crimes committed by Germany as a whole is silly.

            And no, a man does not inherit any sins in any situation. But a soldier who silently stands by while his government and commanders commits crimes is, in my mind, guilty of the same crimes by not opposing them.

            When I was in the army we got told that whatever the commander says you can’t obey an illegal order and you can refuse to obey if you’re against it on moral ground. You just got to deal with the consequences. But if you stand by you’re part of it.

          • Dances to Podcasts says:

            So what you’re saying is that every American/British soldier/pilot/whatever who took part in the war in Iraq should go to trial for taking part in a war of aggression? Or, perhaps a clearer example, all those who were part of the Vietnam war? We’re gonna need a few more lawyers, I think.

  6. Createx says:

    Hooray for German accents! Guess they needed to recruit authentic Nazis, as everyone knows all of us are fascist basterds.

    • Hunchback says:

      All nazis or not, having authentic accents on a german boat does make for some immersion etc, even though i am sure german captains didn’t speak english with the crew… I guess best solution would be to record in all-german and subtitle it, but i don’t see this happening as game devs are pussies afraid of displeasing the masses, mostly. Still, i’d rather have german accent cast over dull american. *shrug*

      • maninahat says:

        I think Silent Hunter 2 and 3 has a German with subtitles option. Best way to play it. Wait no, the best way to play it is to download the Das Boot mod for Silent Hunter 3, which replaces all the officers with characters from the movie.

        • Stellar Duck says:

          Tiefe 100 Meter! 15 Grade Backbord!

          Edit: the best way to play it is with the GWX mod and the various intruments mods so you can make calculations and feel like a damn hero when the torpedo hits.

  7. destroy.all.monsters says:

    On the bright side this will be DRM free!

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