Silent Hunter 5 war game
Silent Hunter 5 war game

Silent Hunter 5 (2010)

Categories: naval simulatorssubmarine simulators

Fifth game from Silent Hunter series again simulated the German U-boats on Atlantic and North Sea, but this time the creators decided that there is the need for revolution. And revolution they’ve made by switching from simulating the whole submarine to simulating the captain of the submarine. Literally. Whad does that mean? We can’t just jump between sections of the boat or stations, we actually have to walk between them, which is quite fun... for first few minutes. After that it was just annoying. Very annoying, to be exact. What is more in first version of that project it was impossible to give orders to someone who is not close to our character, which means that f.e. to give order to submerge you would have to walk to the bridge and give order to your officers. Luckily that part of the revolution was eventually dropped, but unfortunately other parts weren’t, like the idea that at the beginning or end of patrol you can’t just visit some office and review the orders or patrol summary - instead you can talk to your superior... in the dock where your U-Boat is being prepared for departure. In fact there isn’t actually proper patrol summary - you can’t see what kind of ships you have sinked or how much tons were each of them, you are just given the number of ships sunk and total tonnage.

The patrols / missions system is also one of the weak points of Silent Hunter 5 - before leaving the port we are given the list of current operations and we can request the mission in one or few of them that we intend to fulfill during the patrol. It is something between the system used in Silent Hunter II (which was a disaster) and in Silent Hunter 4 (which wasn’t perfect either). Everything would be nice if we would not be given surprisingly detailed orders, like in mission to Norway part of the mission is to sink battleship on route to Narvik and 5 other ships, which means that there is always battleship on route to Narvik and you just have to find it. In another mission we are give the task of sinking 100,000 tons of merchant ships on the western coast of Great Britain, which means that within few months we have to sink more tonnage than most of the U-Boat commanders managed throughout the war. But it is hardly surprising when you take under consideration that the game was actually switched from simulation to more or less multiplayer shoot-em-up game - there is a ranking of best commanders with millions of tons sunk, there are dozens of gadgets that help you avoid any danger (like the rings on the map that show the visibility from escort ships or the range of their sonars depending on your speed). Not to mention that your crew, like in RPG games, gain skills and experience. Sounds quite reasonable, right? Yes, until you will find that with the increase of their skills the torpedoes will run faster, their warheads will be more deadly and the chance of dud torpedoes will decrease...

The game offers improved graphics, not bad atmosphere, the chance to walk around the boat and see the confined interior of the U-Boat, but at the same time from the beginning it was full of bugs (that are still present) and the whole idea of the multiplayer elements and the lame story mode, in which you can talk to the crew members (or rather ask them the same few questions for months), made the Silent Hunter 5 a bit of a joke.

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