Silent Hunter 5

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Snake Man
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Silent Hunter 5

Post by Snake Man » 2010-03-03, 11:36:35 AM

PMC Tactical is about OFP, ArmA, ArmA 2 and Falcon 4... however I have long history on other games/sims than those too. This topic is bit offtopic so its on the main forum area ;)

I love submarine simulations, dating back to Silent Service and Red Storm Rising on Commodore C64.

Today I purchased digital download of Silent Hunter 5.

I have been playing a lot of Silent Hunter 3 (SH3) and also I tested Silent Hunter 4 (SH4) when it came out, but at that time my computer was so old that it didn't run it good. Only now few weeks ago I installed SH4 again to give it a run on my new hardware and it runs smooth, finally.

In many ways SH4 is more advanced... but as its on pacific it somehow lacks the dirty and gritty German U-Boat feeling ala Das Boot. Sure there is uboat missions expansion out, but still it lacks all "heart" of SH3. Currently I have both SH3 and SH4 installed, I ended up playing more SH3 because it just feels more "dirtier" overall.

Now comes along SH5 then.

In many ways the previews I've seen from it looks really bad with the console user interface, ship health bars, god eye mini map and the ridiculous 3d crew role playing game elements.

However few of the latest screenshots and especially the videos have started to turn me around a bit, I'm trying to keep objective mind now that I wont start it up expecting trash... although I wont be surprised if it is.

All in all, I'm looking forward to try it out and definitely hoping it would be great and make SH3 finally obsolete.

Download is ongoing, I'll post my review of it when its done :)
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Snake Man
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Posts: 8561
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Re: Silent Hunter 5

Post by Snake Man » 2010-03-04, 12:58:08 PM

Quick 4 hour game play "review".

I finally finished the download, installed it and played 2 hours last night. Today I played another 2 hours on the first campaign patrol of mine.

Silent Hunter 5 looks great graphically.

The keyboard controls with the user interface has been totally reworked, its like nothing we have gotten used to.

The first person shooter style walking around feels somehow clunky, difficult to explain. Also the moving around sub using the new WASD keys feels wrong, again difficult to explain.

Had some problems to get on way for the first patrol, I tried to board the submarine on the sub pen but couldn't, had to dig deep to find the select mission from the officer RPG dialog menu.

Its nice that you can select travel mode for time compression (TC) so it wont stop TC for shallow water, land proximity and other ship proximity.

When plotting course I got several stutters, maybe because of loading new map terrain data.

The torpedo data computer (TDC) is totally insane now, you have to somehow lead the targets... I don't get it.

I found out that I had no interest of "talking to the crew", I mostly admired the new graphics on deck of the sub. I walked to the bow and just stood there for minutes observing the Kiel canal etc :)

Explosions are somehow strange, they are too quick and seems some parts of the flame graphics seem like almost 2d sprites while others are really great looking flames, again difficult to explain.

All in all I only had 4 or so hours time on the game yet, difficult to say if its good or not... I'm okay with it so far, but it does feel very different and console like. Remains to be seen how much can be tweaked by options and modding.

I'll try to post more after few days of gaming time.
PMC since 1984

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Snake Man
Commander-In-Chief
Posts: 8561
Joined: 2000-07-31, 10:01:01 PM
Gaming Interests: ArmA, ArmA 2, Falcon 4.0 and OFP.
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Location: PMC

Re: Silent Hunter 5

Post by Snake Man » 2010-03-08, 08:15:50 AM

I wrote this to BIS forums SH5 topic so I decided to paste it here as there are maybe few lines new to the existing comments I made.

Silent Hunter 5. I bought it (I cant believe that happened), played it... well it is looking great, the graphics are like watching a movie really (not including crew animations). There are few new features like the time compression travel mode and SHIFT-+ key combination to immediately jump into 8192 time compression etc... but there is also tons and tons of old features removed from the UI.

As expected the console UI is horrible, just disgusting really.

So far of about 10hrs or so gameplay, I have not used the RPG elements in crew management much at all, I think I once clicked the discussion dialog and it was really stupid in my opinion. It has no place in sub sim. I have nothing against it being there if it can be avoided which looks like it can, but thinking about how much more developing time the dev team would had if such rubbish would have been left out, oh well.

Default 1.00 shop version is buggy, really buggy. v1.1 patch was out before the game was shops in EU area, which is ok to me.

Editing support seems to be very good also, there is the default mission editor which has been changed (upgraded?), goblin editor for 3D and other stuff and also terrain editor which curiously need to be launched withing SH5 game itself.

Honestly I've had so little time in-game for it so far that even though I've familiar with the basic operations now, I still cant really go either way to say if its good or bad. I need more time to play to get more deeper into the campaign and so on. Oh and sure, more patches from developers, there is still bad bugs which need to be fixed.

At this point, right now, would I recommend anyone to buy this... uh tough call, if you are die hard sub sim fan, yes buy it just for the sake of being sub sim guy... but for average joe who might find some nice screenshots interesting, dunno really.

I don't really want to take part of the DRM discussion and its relation to the game itself.
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Snake Man
Commander-In-Chief
Posts: 8561
Joined: 2000-07-31, 10:01:01 PM
Gaming Interests: ArmA, ArmA 2, Falcon 4.0 and OFP.
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Location: PMC

Re: Silent Hunter 5

Post by Snake Man » 2010-03-17, 11:29:37 AM

"A better question is: What exactly is a finished game? One thing I know, Silent Hunter 5 isn't one." -Subsim.com review.

That review is quite nice, although I'm personally bit surprised how "bad" Mr Neal Stevens slammed SH5 even though his site is even linked on official ubisoft's SH5 main page. But then again... should he lie, he spoke the truth, so I guess its OK.

I have now been playing quite a lot of SH5. I'm using few mods, but none of those that change the UI, I'm still sort of punishing myself to stick with the idiotic console UI and keyboard setup and to that I've now learned how to use it.

It still amazes me how incredibly beautiful the graphics are, while I never take graphics over game play, I must admit that cool graphics go long way. I'd say the generic SH3/SH4 game play is on the "bottom" of the SH5 core so its pretty okay setup as it is (with the console UI and stuff).

Campaign is being advertised as "Dynamic", well I'm kind of wondering if that's one of those things where people call it dynamic just for the fancy D word. I mean when looking at the campaign files all the convoys, ship routes etc are scripted. Hey did you hear that, SCRIPTED? Yep, so its dynamic by how exactly? yes sure there is for example convoy X traveling from New York to London and then returning back to New York... but if you as player intercept the convoy, sink it... it disappears and is never to be seen in the campaign. Yes in a way that's dynamic, but lets not kid ourselves, real dynamic with the capital D is campaign like Falcon 4 has where targets are tasked, ground units moved etc according to the game phase/player actions etc.

The campaign is on phases and feels even more scripted that way. I've had to endure some *cough* "save game" problems and was stuck hammering the first two missions without passing them. I discovered that there seems to be few task forces, convoys and harbor ships that appear time after time even when you sink them. Is this due my save game problems or by designs, I can't say. Just and observation really.

Anyways, the campaign rocks in SH5, don't get me wrong. It is so huge that there is way too much to discover and so forth.

The ubisoft launcher seems to save games terribly long time with my internet connection. It can be easily staying up more than 5 minutes after I exit from SH5. Maybe this is my lagging internet connection or maybe its this slow for everyone, I cant say.

Today after several hours of game play... SH5 feels OK enough to keep me playing and learning more. Yes there are issues, severe issues... but I think I start to see the bright future with user made mod's and so on. The near future shows if ubisoft authorizes the dev team to release more patches. Without patches as is now... in the long run, I'd go back to SH3/SH4 I think.
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