Silent Hunter III

Howling under the sea

The third installment of the illustrious Silent Hunter arrives to us and the doubts of always gnaw us. Will he be to the height or will he live of the achievements of his predecessors? Luckily UbiSoft has done its job well and all our resentments are cleared immediately, the sea lion has returned, more fierce than ever.

The third installment of the illustrious Silent Hunter arrives to us, and we are devastated by our usual doubts. Will he be up to the task or will he live from the achievements of his predecessors? Luckily UbiSoft has done his job well and all our resentments are cleared immediately, the sea lion has returned, more fierce than ever.

In 1939, at the start of the Second World War, the absolute owner of the seas had a name, Great Britain, the corsairs of the Kriegsmarine could do little against the all-powerful Royal Navy. At least on the water, underneath it, the gray wolves howled and even Churchill had to cover his ears.

The objective of the German submarines was none other than the merchant ships that supplied the British war machinery, more than twenty million tons were the price to be paid by the English. 30,000 of the 40,000 U-Boat sailors was the price paid by the Kriegsmarine.

In Silent Hunter III we will be able to control in detail a German submarine and try to survive the attempt. Throughout a dynamic campaign UbiSoft’s game will bring us closer to submarine warfare with all its consequences. We will have to trace the route on our maps, assign tasks to our crew, and of course, decide when and how to attack.

Let no one be frightened, the degree of simulation of such a great task is configurable. From pointing with the mouse and shooting, leaving the computer to take care of everything, to taking care of the complicated mathematics ourselves of putting a torpedo between the eyebrow and eyebrow of the ship in sight.

If we decide to be the ones who apply trigonometry, we should not take our hands to the head and get a ruler and calculator. With the help of the mouse and the tools arranged on screen, we will proceed first to identify the ship by comparing its deck with those of the reconnaissance manual, second, measuring its height in degrees above our periscope, knowing the height of the mast thanks to the manual (and the calculations of sinuses and cosines that the CPU will do for us) and we will have the distance to which our objective is found. Easy not?

The next step is a visual calculation of the bow angle. Here you will have to win the success based on experience. Now we only have the calculation of the speed of the chronometer ship in hand, and we can shoot.

If we have done well our calculations, the enemy ship does not turn, the torpedo was not defective and does not commit the wrong move of bouncing against the hull. Congratulations, you have just left a hundred orphans.

It is not only by firing torpedoes that we will earn our bread in our submarine. The U-Boats also have a deck cannon, which we can fire ourselves, useful for sinking merchants without escort, and an anti-aircraft weapon, to defend us from our worst enemies, the annoying RAF.

Between mission and mission, anchored in the dry dock, and playing the role of exemplary captain obsessed with his work, instead of wasting time in brothels we will spend our precious time recruiting new men and tuning our submarine (with new weapons and accessories minimally useful for war is understood, here there are no stickers). Our points of prestige will be the currency of change to improve the U-Boat, they are obtained according to our performance in campaign.

Another task that will have us busy once done at sea is to intercept the English merchants. Their appearance with coordinates and course on the navigation map, after a warning from the sonar station, only allows us to try to guess where they are going. How we should cross their path is our business.

The crew of our U-Boat is not made up of real Nietzsche super men and gets tired, nothing happens, we have bunk beds and a comfortable menu to assign and unassign them from the different tasks of the ship.

Without a doubt being captained of a U-Boat was more difficult than sitting in a mouse chair in hand, but Ubisoft has put its effort in getting us closer to the experience and has achieved it more than enough, always with varying degrees of complexity so that those who are afraid of simulators dare to try it, and those who demand truthfulness above all also have their chance to enjoy it.

Graphics and sound

The graphics of Silent Hunter 3 are spectacular, although as is customary in these cases, demanding with your machine. The effects of light on the water, the waves of the North Sea in full storm or the impeccable appearance of the English battleships leave no doubt about the work of Ubi in this regard.

The interior of the submarine, also accessible as if it were a living interface, is made with care and detail, allowing to approach the idea of the oppressive atmosphere to which the German sailors were subjected. Another point for programmers.

As negative aspects the appearance of the particles in the explosions (spectacular on the other hand) cause some jumps in our card that I doubt are due to the expansive wave, some problem of performance that should be squared, and the impossibility of changing the resolution by default, 1024×768.

The sound is impeccable, you only have to adopt the free camera and hear the passage of the projectiles next to you, the roar of your submarine chasing a merchant at full speed or the electrical bursts of a storm in the channel of the stain, the waves only have to splash from the screen. The soundtrack, however, is a bit… let’s say soda, perhaps some classic theme of the time would not have been too much.

Script

From 1939 to 1945 your mission is to survive and accumulate the maximum enemy tonnage. Don’t expect to win the war alone, but your achievements will allow you to have the best submarine, the best crew in the Atlantic and who knows if a date alone with Adolfo.

Playability

Excellent, with no need to be addicted to simulators, as is the case of the editor here. From the lowest level of realism, it is easy to ascend out of curiosity until you believe yourself to be a sea lion.

The intuitive interface is based on icons, occupy the left side of the screen, and a control bar at the bottom. From the sidebar we can access various sections and options of the submarine, such as the control station, the cartographic map, the assignment of personnel, and so on. In the lower bar we will control the course, the depth and the speed, as well as the temporal compression, the reports of our men and the options of dialogue with our officers.

The dynamic campaign allows that the games are not equal to each other, and avoids the stagnation of the prefixed missions, that there are them, but they lose attractiveness in front of the main mode.

The game also has a multiplayer mode, but don’t expect ‘Red October’ scenes, only cooperative and competition.

Silent Hunter III is in English. It’s not that it’s a drama as the numbers matter more than the non-existent verbiage, but the guys from flotilla 24 have made at their own risk an excellent translation that’s not too bad.

Strategy and tricks

The one that embraces much does not squeeze. It obeys the popular saying and begins with a low degree of realism. Before the campaign it is indispensable to pass the training exams and to do some mission to test your aptitudes.

Once you’re done with your chest, it’s time to develop your own strategies, but to begin with, and as the manual itself indicates, start with a good approximation, the best angle of attack is ninety degrees and going unnoticed for as long as possible. Once they know where you are the enemy destroyers will stick their tails on you and the merchants will move away from you doing annoying eses. If you stumble upon a solitary merchant, take the forward cannon for a walk and don’t waste your time trying to sneak a torpedo into it.

Manual

In Spanish, 42 pages in black and pastel blue. Before playing… LEETELO, remember that the game is about a submarine, not an x-wing, so don’t expect to know how it works by divine intuition, then the forums are filled with silly questions…

Buying it with…

… its predecessor Silent Hunter II, the third installment has better graphics, better interface, and above all better campaign, all a step forward.

The sensations it evokes when you succeed in hitting that torpedo that you have calculated all by yourself. Accessible to all audiences and more than decent graphics.

The bad

The sensations it evokes when you succeed in hitting that torpedo that you have calculated all by yourself and that bounces off the hull. The absence of herds of wolves (where are the other submarines?). Small details such as the censorship in the form of a white sphere on the Nazi symbol as a prevention against porn.