Some games just take a hell of a lot of patience. Hunting for submarines fits in that category.
Silent Hunter Online seeks to bring back the nostalgia of a classic strategy game from the 1990s as a collaborative online browser-based title. Ubisoft showed it off at its recent Digital Day event in San Francisco, and we got a video briefing on it.
With online play, gamers can gather in the ultimate Wolfpack of submarine commanders. You command a German U-boat during World War II. Silent Hunter, which is being developed by Ubisoft’s Bluebyte studio, starts in the Atlantic Ocean near German U-boat bases, and the mission is to attack Allied convoys.
The gameplay is geared to be as authentic as possible, but it is accessible too. Die-hard players can use the navigational tools to calculate their own firing solutions for torpedo strikes. But you can also tap your advisers to create intercept courses for you if you prefer.
You have to create your U-boat’s own kit, customizing the engines, sonar, and weaponry such as torpedoes and anti-aircraft guns. You can earn virtual currency from your missions to upgrade your submarine. Then you get to go hunting in the Atlantic. The game presents you with a commander’s view of the submarine’s controls. You can choose torpedoes that explode under water. When you’re nearing the enemy, you can flood your torpedo tubes. And hopefully you’ll get within 2,000 yards so that you can fire accurately.
You can set a course for an Allied convoy. Then you can move to the bridge and look through the periscope. You can move to the surface or dive deep to avoid detection. The hunting happens in real-time, which means you’ll spend a lot of time doing nothing. You can speed the travel up four times, and it will slow down when you make a contact. As you see in the video, we made contact with one enemy and then lost the target in the vast blue ocean.
The player can own up to six U-boats at once. The browser-based game doesn’t have a launch date yet.
Unfortunately, you can’t play on the Allied side in this game. So you’ll have to remember that it’s just a game. Check out our video briefing below.