Categories: submarine simulators
On the online forums there were always long discussions why there wasn’t ever a simulator of World War I submarine and even there were people, who took a shot at such game, but usually it all ended up on few simple screenshots or very short demos. 1914 Shells of Fury is one of the projects that actually was taken seriously and so far it is the only known sub sim that gives us chance to take part in World War I. But before you get your hopes to high the game, even though it was published as commercial game, is far from the standards of big studios productions. First of all the graphic side is not very impressive, the game look like improved version of Silent Service rather than Silent Hunter competition - we have only few stations available, they were done with decent level of realism, although the gauges are all put together on one screen. We have interactive map, we have the option of looking around using the mouse, which is all nice, but overall the game has some old-fashioned indie feeling about it - doesn’t look bad, but doesn’t look great either.
We are put in charge of the German submarine and can take part in single missions and campaigns. We have about 10 missions available, some of them tutorials, some of them historic scenarios, where we can use the arsenal of weapons we have available - on some of the submarines, apart from torpedoes, we also have deck gun, anti-aircraft machine gun and mines. All of it sounds great, but just like in case of the graphics side again the whole game has some weird feeling about the details - enemy can spot our periscope from 2 kilometers away on heavy sea, enemy airplanes move in a bit strange fashion, enemy cruisers chase our submerged U-Boat even though they have absolutely no weapon to attack us with, and so on, and so on... The interface is not bad, but especially on the map it is far from being user-friendly, the missions are rather short, the campaigns are not that good either.
Overall 1914 Shells of Fury has one strong point - it is what so many people wanted it to be - finally a World War I submarine simulator. There are some strong points (number of available weapons, mission builder) and some weak points (not very impressive artificial intelligence, general amateurish feeling about the game), for some people it can be a nice variety to see how submarine warfare looked like during World War I, but for many users it is a well planned project that failed to deliver. Still, it is so far the only such simulator, which means it is the best World War I submarine simulator ever!