Silent Hunter III

by Wencke Schuncken
author awarded score: 70/100

Silent Hunter III Review
Published by: Ubisoft
Developed by: Ubisoft
Format Reviewed: PC
Review by: Wencke Schuncken

All hands on deck! We’re going down, deep down into the water with a nice U-boat. Captain are you ready? Captain? Of course you’re not ready! Have you ever had to command an U-boat in World War II missions? Give the captain a break and get comfortable with controlling the available U-boats in Silent Hunter III.

Silent Hunter 3 female game review

Silent Hunter III is a submarine simulation game with quite a lot of features and controlling options. Due to training and playing the career mode you’ll find out that this game is very realistic and it’s impossible just to move your U-boat to a dangerous area with enemy ships and simply shoot them down. No that’s not the way to do it. As the title reveals, you’re going to be a silent hunter, sneaking around the oceans, spotting ships and determine if they are on your site or the enemies one. You also need to take in account the depth of the water, the ships’ speed, the number of torpedo’s and loading time. But that’s not all. Many more options are available which needs to be taken care of before you can call yourself victorious. Thanks to a very good tutorial mode you’ll get used to all features and after finishing four successful tutorials you’re ready for the career mode.

It’s the year 1939 and you’re going on your first mission in career mode. A career to become one of the best U-boat captains, working for the Germans. The career mode is a campaign mode to become familiar with all the game play facets and to bring in practice what you learned in the tutorial mode. You’ll learn how to command your crew, how to change the sub-marines course, locking and firing of torpedo’s, how to handle the ship and so on. Again this career mode teaches you everything to control the submarine and to be a victorious captain. At the start you get a description of your objectives plus some clues to achieve them. But the objectives are easy in the beginning but don’t be too optimistic as the difficulty increases and it could turn out that you become a prey instead of a hunter. Pay attention to the detailed information and in no time your going to be one of the best sub marine captain.

Silent Hunter 3 female game review

Boring? A submarine simulator can be quite boring if it would be a simple find and destroy the enemy game. But that’s not the case. Yes, it surprised me to find out that for example the career mode is based on a random system and while replaying earlier missions, these will not be the same! And if that isn’t satisfying anymore you can always play with the mission editor to change the missions! There’s enough variety although the start is always the same; leave the harbor, go to a certain region and check out the environment to see if there are any enemy ships to take down, coordinate your ship to a good location and note the sea depth. Planning and coordination are the two most important capabilities of a good captain. As soon as you’ve completed a mission, you can order new crew members, better materials or even a new submarine. This is very handy of course if your ship gets damaged or lost some of your crew during battle. Oh that’s bad, losing crewmembers as they already have gathered experience while being on missions. The more you win as a team, the more experience points you get. The crew becomes more experienced and reacts better to situations. For example a sonar man with experience notices a enemy ship earlier then a non qualified sonar man. And it may sound strange but as this is a simulation game, the experienced crewmembers can work longer hours and aren’t easily tired. Of course the captain knows the ship and all its features but it’s good to work with an experienced team which can perform many tasks for you.

Oh Oh adrenaline is running through my body as I spotted an enemy ship. What to do? I contact my navigator and check out the maps to see how we can sink the enemy ship without getting noticed first. The navigator informs me about the distance to the enemies’ ship and how deep the surface is. Now it’s up to tactics and how to approach the enemy. But also we need to check if the fuel level is sufficient compared to the ships speed. The more faster the ship moves under water, the more fuel it will swallow. As it is daytime we could be noticed my the enemy which we try to avoid in any circumstance. Also the navigator informs me that we still could go deeper without hitting the bottom of the sea. I plan a sneaky underwater action and sneaky move to a good torpedo launch place without being noticed. Three torpedo’s are getting launched and a small screen shows the way the torpedo is moving towards its target. In the meantime I turn the ship to another location where it is safe and have some time left to see how the enemy gets hit and sinks. Yeah, mission accomplished!

Silent Hunter 3 female game review

As this is a simulation game, Ubisoft has tried to make it as realistic as possible. Not only the many features the crew and you should notice, but also graphically. The resolution is set to 1024x768 pixels which creates a brilliant high standard game play on screen. In the beginning of the game you’ll be in the submarine together with many crewmembers who seem to be very busy checking the available data and filtering it. The crew has been designed very detailed and looks very good which is also the case with the surroundings. But it gets even better in battles, seeing the torpedo’s on their journey to destroy a certain ship causing possible explosions and sinking ships, beautifully animated. But it’s a shame that you cannot see the torpedo when it hits its target, only the results: explosions. Also if you increase speed while being above water, you can see the water being crushed by your ship and the more speed, the higher the water smashes against your ship. Silent Hunter also includes a museum to view all types of warships and merchants available in the game. It is very detailed but not as spectacular as the gameplay graphics.

And what about the sound? Just like the graphics, it’s very good. An orchestral soundtrack provides the main background music and combined with the very cool sound effects it’s a great mix. Listen to the sonar, explosions, water splashing against the ship, etc. But the most impressive is the sound of the submarine itself when the material starts working while the ship is moving below sea level. If you’ve seen the movies “the hunt for red October” or “Das Boot”, you know which sounds I’m talking about. The characters voices are also perfect and changes when danger is ahead. Although I chose for the English game version, the intro still was in the German language which was quite odd. But the rest of the game was completely in English. Short descriptions are visualised with subtitles when you change course, depth, fire a torpedo and so on. But you need to listen to the crew and especially to the sonar.

Silent Hunter 3 female game review

The female gamer aspect of this really doesn’t matter. Or does it? I start to wonder if this game is more suitable for male gamers as they prefer the war simulation games more then women. Nevertheless this game can be played by anyone of course. And back in the days (WWII) it was a men’s job to go into the marine and fight for their country. Therefore no female characters are available in this game, at least I haven’t seen any and played for hours!

Silent Hunter III is a very good submarine simulator game, which doesn’t have much competition in the gaming world. It’s the first time I had the change to play an U-boat simulator and was quite stunned about the gameplay, graphics and sound. Although no female characters are available, I felt quite comfortable surrounded by my crew which were doing a great job. The games’ atmosphere is marvellous and guarantees to pump some extra adrenaline through your blood veins! If you like simulation games, you really should try out this game!