Silent Hunter 4 - Review

Who I am
Valery Aloyants
@valeryaloyants
Author and references

Welcome to the Silent Service

In this new chapter the scene of the clashes has moved from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean and, more specifically, to the seas bordering the Philippines: as commander of an American submarine you will have to face, since 1941, the entire immense Japanese fleet, actively contributing to its defeat.
The strength of Silent Hunter 4 is represented by the new dynamic campaign, now enriched with new missions no longer limited to just patrolling a specific sector for a certain period of time, but it will also be up to the player to take care of photographing an enemy port, to work for the insertion of allied troops in a territory or to sink a specific ship, obviously without forgetting the special operations.



The "dynamic" attribute indicates that your every action will lead to a consequence, positive or negative: if you fail an assigned mission you will not encounter the game over, but as it happened in reality, this will have a negative impact on the success of future objectives; not sinking Japanese landing ships will (probably) lead to the conquest of an allied port, thus forcing you to choose a mooring point much further away, exposing you to the risk of running out of fuel prematurely (and crossing the ocean with electric motors is not just the best).
Your behavior will be evaluated by assigning the classic Notoriety Points, obtainable by sinking enemy ships, completing objectives and saving allied crews left at the mercy of the waves: these points will then be invested to improve not only the technologies at your disposal (radar, sonar, baits and so on), but also your crew, enlisting more experienced men or with certain skills, all obviously taking care of historical fidelity: you will not be able to mount nuclear warheads, so to speak, and any upgrades will be available only when they are really appeared on the historical scene.
A small note of applause: the new dynamic campaign is much more crowded than that of the previous chapter; the possibility of crossing convoys, colliding with planes and witnessing epic battles has significantly increased, to the delight of all of us submariners, thus reducing downtime to a few real minutes.



Wasn't it important to be beautiful inside?

Running the risk of being branded as superficial by the fanatics of the genre (who would only need so many 2D writings), we mere mortals cannot fail to notice the excellent graphic rendering of this new chapter; in particular the Ubisoft artists have lingered for a long time to make water more realistically possible: in addition to having a transparency coefficient (you will be able to glimpse the keel of the ships, for example), new algorithms have been implemented to create rippling and splitting effects of waves; if you think it is a mere aesthetic aspect, you will have to change your mind, since the sea conditions will heavily influence the trajectory of your torpedoes, both negatively and positively: the positive aspect is that, with rough sea, it is difficult for the target to spot the wake of your "sugared almond", while the negative is that you will have to take into account a deviation on the original trajectory, depending on the direction of the wind (and that's what the ripple on the waves is for).
Don't start to worry: if you already have a big headache, it probably means that you will prefer to face the Japanese in a more arcade mode, where all these factors can be ignored.

Tora this, damn Japanese!

And if you have a powerful enough computer, do not hesitate to activate the three-dimensional rendering of the damage done to ships (after the impact of torpedoes or cannon shots) and the mapping on ships, which will give a decidedly more realistic look to the boats.
From a particle point of view, the yield of explosions and columns of smoke is decidedly satisfactory, although sometimes annoying glitches occur, especially in the thinnest decorative elements, such as wires or profiles of small boats, while we strongly advise you to keep the filter deactivated. makes the game image like an ancient film, as it will make it impossible for you to correctly identify a ship even at a distance of 500 meters (significantly complicating your life if you intend to face SH4 in realistic mode).
The engine used by Ubisoft turns out to be absolutely valid and does not have any kind of excessively gross bugs: even on machines that are not too powerful, the framerate will be constant and its high configurability allows you to "shape" it according to your personal needs, obviously at the expense of the final graphic quality.



The importance of the Manual

In spite of the new graphics and the rich dynamic campaign, the gameplay remains unchanged, which faithfully reproduces the mechanics of the previous chapter: if you face the game with a low level of realism you will not have to worry about anything other than aligning yourself correctly with the target, firing and run away; needless to say, in these cases, Silent Hunter 4 is almost reduced to an action title, and you will miss out on much of the tension and thrill of the hunt.
If played at a higher level of realism (starting from 40%), the new Ubisoft title brings out its best part: you will have to get to know not only your submarine, with its characteristics and its times (you won't want to). order a fast dive late?), but also enemy ships: a cruiser, for example, will have a much higher turn angle than a massive aircraft carrier and will therefore be able to carry out evasive maneuvers even in the last moments.

the role of the predatory feline will first be your turn, but you will quickly find yourself in the role of the little rat as soon as your presence is revealed

The importance of the Manual

Basically, Silent Hunter 4 can also become a complex simulator, raising to the nth degree the elements to be taken into consideration even just to launch a torpedo, starting from the atmospheric conditions (such as the wind and the direction in which it blows), the speed and the direction of the target and the type of ship to attack (a Yamato is more resistant than a submarine).
Not enough for you? You can also choose at what depth to make the torpedo travel, its speed and also its detonation method, whether by impact or magnetic contact: the first ensures a high probability of detonation, but if these occur on the side of the keel, they will be less powerful; on the contrary, magnetic detonations occur under the ship's keel, causing such damage that, if you are lucky, a single torpedo will cause you to sink a warship, but you will have to run the risk of premature explosions, even too close to your submarine. .
All these elements, combined with the tension of the perennial unknown "will they have caught me?" transform the missions of Silent Hunter 4 into something that is rarely experienced with a video game: total involvement.



The prophetic icing

Basically, two categories of videogames can be identified: those that involve you, that will remain installed on our hard drives for a long time, and those that simply entertain you.

The prophetic icing

As mentioned, Silent Hunter 4 involves, and quite a lot, first of all because it requires exaggerated attention to even the smallest details: you will have to carry out many small micromanagement operations on your submarine, assign shifts to the crew so that they do not get tired and keep always under control many elements, first of all the gasoline and the oxygen reserve during the dive: being able to correctly build the trajectory of a single torpedo is already something full of pathos, but seeing it hit successfully against a ship it is absolutely exhilarating: an exaltation destined to disappear immediately, as soon as the cruisers begin to "ping" you with their sonar: you will hear their propellers overhead, the depth bombs and their dull bang, while your submarine will attempt desperate maneuvers evasive.
It is, in hindsight, the classic game of cat and mouse: you will first have to play the role of the predatory feline, having to sneak up on the target, find the right combination of elements and then hit it, but you will quickly find yourself in the shoes of the little one. rat as soon as your presence is revealed: and then you will have to hide using all the possible tricks that are not written anywhere, but that only with experience you will be able to know.
Involvement therefore: the best reward to which all entertainment media (video games and films in the first place) aspire.

We need to eat more phosphorus

The guys from Ubisoft have done a great job, not only for the aspects described so far, but also for the most important element in a simulated title: Artificial Intelligence.
Although the algorithms of this were already well developed in the previous chapter, with Wolves of the Pacific the developers have made our enemies even more cunning: during your night attacks they will not hesitate to light up the sky with their flares, while the ports, so much loved in SH3 because they have a rich pool of immobile targets, they have become extremely risky, both for their antisubmarine vests and for the continuous patrols of enemy cruisers.
The latter use probable maneuvers to hunt your submarine, and you will rarely find yourself facing an equal duel: much more often it will be at least three or four naval units to hunt you at the same time and, even more frequently, you will also find yourself having to face the planes (including the fearsome Zero): this means that it will no longer be enough for you to enter a port, sink the sinking and then flee in silent navigation; the farther you go from the rest of the allied fleet, the greater the number of enemy units (finding a Yamato in front of you will guarantee you immediate defeat) and the lower your chances of surviving. It will therefore be up to you to decide how much to risk and, above all, how to do it.

Conclusions

In short, the perfect game? Maybe not, but undoubtedly the best submarine simulator on the market and, at the same time, an extremely enjoyable title even for those who do not intend to commit excessively: the defects are absolutely marginal and easily solved by patch (we refer you to the box for more information) and we can therefore assure you that, if you loved the third chapter, this Wolves of the Pacific is an absolutely must purchase.

For

  • Excellent graphic rendering
  • Guaranteed involvement
  • High malleability
Cons
  • It remains a game about submarines
  • Risk of long downtime

Patch my submarine

In Day One, here is a nice surprise from the Romanian Ubisoft developers: the release of the first patch that will update the software to version 1.1; this will not only improve some elements of the campaign, but will add new voices, better graphic effects (especially for waves), a new submarine and many other improvements, even to the main campaign.
Do you want the complete list? Dive into our download section!

System requirements


Minimum requirements:

  • Processor: Pentium 4 2.0 GHz or equivalent AMD
  • RAM: MB 1024
  • Video Card: Pixel Shader 2.0 compatible with 128 MB
  • Disk space: 6.0 GB
Recommended Requirements:
  • Processor: Pentium 4 3,0 GHz or equivalent AMD
  • RAM: 2 GB
  • Video Card: Pixel Shader 2.0 compatible with 256 MB
  • Disk space: 6.0 GB
Test setup:
  • Processor: Intel Core Duo E6700, 2.7 GHz
  • RAM: 2 GB
  • Video Card: NVIDIA 8800 GTX

Introduction

You can breathe a sigh of relief: Silent Hunter 4, in its final version, leaves the game mechanics of its predecessor unchanged, deviating only to make some welcome improvements.
For those who missed this modern phoenix (reborn from the ashes of the terrifying Silent Hunter 2), the third chapter had also allowed those who did not have a degree in mechanical engineering to play with a simulator, offering the user a considerable possibility of customization the level of difficulty and realism, by activating or deactivating a whole series of parameters.
Ubisoft's studios in Romania have obviously adopted the philosophy of preserving the old route as much as possible, which had led to considerable commercial and critical success: if fans are already turning up their noses, we can reassure you that you will also find pleasant novelty, not transforming this Wolves of the Pacific into a simple graphic restyling, but into a real game in its own right.

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