Thursday, March 18, 2010

Silent Hunter 5 - patience will reward...

Yes, like a bat outta hell we are blessed with another iteration of one of the best, most earnest and faithful subsims a pc gamer could hope for with Silent Hunter 5 "Battle of the Atlantic". WHoooo HOoooo!

 All is not well, however, since it seems the tradition has held true with this series, that it is inevitably released as a buggy and incomplete mess. A passing glance at the 'ratings' on Amazon indicate the typical 1 star rating for a game released with the infamous DRM anti-theft scheme. It's not that this is the single most restrictive and handicapping version of the piracy 'protecting' code ever, it's also that the game appears [as always] rushed out the door before QA testers apparently got there hands on it. I'm beginning to wonder if developers even have QA testers on their payroll anymore!

As you will read a thousand times on the Amazon reviews, the chosen version of Securom DRM that installs itself with this game requires a constant, full-time internet connection in order to even play the game. If your connection drops, it supposedly saves the current state and brings up a bothersome error, essentially locking you out of your game. Hoping to trade in SH3 for SH5 as a actual Navy seaman on duty at sea? Forget about it, unless you have some high-powered Wi-Fi on your laptop, your days of sinking digital Kriegsmarine are over! Ironic, isn't it?

I write this post as a fan of the series, having played more SH3 [with undeniably necessary Grey Wolves supermod 3.x.] for many years off and on...I have loved that game. The chance to experience the other side of the story, hearing all orders carried out in German, and spurring my curiosity to read much more about the plight of the men of the German U-boats. In SH3 there is a very real sense of 'being out there' in the cold dark Atlantic, the loneliness and boredom all-too real, interrupted by the adrenaline inducing discovery of a looming convoy full targets through the rain. The cries of joy or pain as your torpedoes smash into a gigantic oil tanker, or maddeningly bounce off their hulls in failure...the paranoia of listening for multiple destroyers endlessly searching for they drop their death cans from above.
So regarding this newest addition to the series, Silent Hunter 5: As a fan, I wish to say this, hold your horses. Yes the game is a buggy mess, but patience does reward with this series, if not for a few developer patches to clean things up, but also an entire SubSim Community foaming at the mouth to get their hands on this baby. [SubSim Forums HERE]. There will sure to be quality and game improving mods to come of this. And maybe, just maybe, UbiSoft will, after perhaps reading up a bit on the Spore launch release, loosen the reigns a tad to let people actually enjoy this game. I'm honestly not sure if they will budge from their staunch attempt at anti-piracy, but if their pocketbooks could talk, I think they'd be crying out at the irony of damage from piracy vs. damage done to their image and legitimate sales of their games.

I will wait a bit to see, then most likely still buy it, hoping that things will have been sorted out by then, and those Grew Wolves fellas get the team back together for one last crack at this one. (hint hint)

In the meantime, you can score a copy of Silent Hunter III for a pack of cigarettes!(see above),  Then head to the Grey Wolves site and download the supermod for free..and have years of immersive, engaging fun.
Good Hunting!


Slayer said...

Seems to be good. It´s only por PC?

mobias said...

It's only available in PC...yeah. It will get better after the patches. We just have to wait a while... :(

Slayer said...

Well it´s a typical trouble in PC games and in play and xbox games now they´re connected to the Internet. It´s a bit budering (It´s writed good, no?) to wait to the patch but, it can make good games better