Three meters under the sea

Who I am
Aina Martin
Author and references

From 1939 to 1945, Nazi submarine technology, as terrifying as it was fascinating, spared ocean liners and rescue ships and had allied supplies as its primary objective. But the submarine imagery remains distant from the atrocious one of the battlefields.

Although the war is always terrible the aura of mystery and strategy that has always enveloped them and their silent war is what matters, at least remaining within the confines of the videogame series produced to date. The campaign then, after the parenthesis of the fourth chapter, puts us back in command of a German submarine, a U-boat engaged in the invasion of Poland. The first target is three almost helpless ships waiting for us in the middle of the Baltic Sea. Easily eliminated the weak threat we just have to return to Kiel and then face a new mission ...

What a periscopio

From this moment on it gets serious. The opponents move and above all defend themselves. The hunt begins. The best way to spot enemies is to stay on deck with the captain and two lookouts who physically indicate any sightings. On the other hand, once you have entered the heart or during the silent approach attempts, it is advisable to stay below the surface of the water, entrusting the view to the periscope. In both situations it is possible to give orders to the crew or to act directly on the commands to launch torpedoes or to fire with the external cannon if some enemy caught us unprepared while we were staring at the wrong horizon on the upper terrace.

The indispensable tools are always present in the lower left and upper right. We find the depth indicator that allows us to dive slowly or quickly, the rudder, some direct orders, the advancement of the game speed, the selector that allows us to let the engine room know whether to speed up or slow down and the map, fundamental to navigate towards the objectives and to set longer or shorter navigation routes. The series has already accustomed us to a radical change in playability as the difficulty varies and Silent Hunter 5 it makes no difference. At the lowest degree of simulation the title is almost an arcade, although the immense expanses of sea remain to be crossed and it is always necessary to calculate the route well, carefully observe the horizon. But we don't find any other obstacles. Torpedoes almost always hit the target while countermeasures are almost infallible in saving us from enemy attacks. Raising the simulation level the question becomes decidedly more complex but the customization allows you to keep a high difficulty without having to know the mechanics of submarine by heart, as it happened with the previous chapters. In short, we can enjoy a high degree of simulation during the clashes, without including the need to recharge batteries and compressed air which, despite increasing the realism and there is still the possibility of increasing the speed of the game, often results in long and senseless pauses. .

Submarine or submarine?

Many of the diving vessels used in World War II were not submarines but submarines, which are surface vessels with the ability to stay underwater for a limited time. Today the two terms are equivalent as submarines are no longer in use.
Despite the German technological supremacy, during the second war only two models of U-boats were in effect submarines capable of carrying out long missions while remaining hidden but only one, the XXIII class, was actually used during the Second World War.


Ubisoft Romania introduced the human dimension inside the submarine with the third Silent Hunter, but only in this fifth chapter are we really inside a submarine vessel. While above us the waves shake a dark and inscrutable sea we find ourselves observing the sailors who move along the vessel physically carrying out the orders we have formulated. We live with them the drama of a canned war, made up of disturbing noises and screaming bulkheads. And the crew now has a mood that goes up when we get a hit but goes down with tension and fatigue.

In short, these are rather substantial additions even if largely almost exclusively aesthetic. Furthermore, due to the need to keep the submarine simulation intact, we are allowed to always act on the commands directly, wherever we are, and this possibility can make "life on board" superfluous. On the contrary, a dynamic element returns to the campaign that allows us to choose objectives and see the result of our defeats and victories in the current strategic situation. Nothing that upsets the history of course and no crossroads that allows Germany to upset the destinies of the world, but even the choice of the coasts to patrol is a fundamental element to immerse ourselves in the world of those years and make us feel that the coasts of England are there, a few steps away. Furthermore, at the mooring, made with particular care, it can happen to hear about what is happening in the world while the crews chat and prepare to set sail.

Very rough sea

The atmosphere is more than good, the volumetric clouds are not bad, the waves and the foam of the engines defend themselves with value. In addition, the campaign and missions offer significant historical insights such as the defense of the Bismarck, the legendary German battleship hunted by an entire fleet. If we add to this the more intuitive interface and the new life on board, the result should be more than good. It should, we said, because the graphics engine is starting to show too many weaknesses and this incarnation of Silent Hunter unfortunately it is full of bugs, problems, graphic defects and flaws of all sorts.

The only noteworthy improvements seem to be those related to the models and are functional to the novelties of the title, but they even become harmful when we realize that on board the frame rate loses too many hits by touching 19 fps even on our test configuration. The explosions seem even worse and while the ships wallow as quiet as ducks, the rough sea often badly submerges our submarine which sometimes sails worse than a perforated raft. In fact, it happens that the waves sweep the outer deck even while the crew occupies it, with an unpleasant effect that sees the sailors disappear underwater and emerge carelessly despite tons of water having just hit them at dizzying speeds. And we're just talking about the tip of the iceberg because during gameplay we have seen things that you humans can't even imagine. Combat ships on fire travel in reverse. Phantom torpedoes. Aborted missions. And all these moments will be remembered as flaws capable of invalidating a potentially incredible experience. Not to mention that we have not yet mentioned the worst inconvenience. In fact, the protection of the title obliges you to synchronize your saves with a Ubisoft server and obliges you to always remain connected to the internet in order to play. Well, in the first few days of the game we can assure you that the communication problems with the server prevented us from playing more than once and for considerable periods of time (At the moment the problems seem solved, Ed).



Readers (22)


Your vote

Less complicated but no less complex, Silent Hunter 5 it is a valid title from the simulation point of view and is able to offer several hours of play seasoned by an excellent atmosphere. Of course, today we would expect something more from a graphics engine and to enjoy the aforementioned hours of play it is necessary to digest a quantity of errors and defects that are incredible and that we hope will be solved as soon as possible with a miraculous patch. Moreover, despite the simplified approach, the timing of the game and the total absence of exhaustive tutorials make it a title dedicated almost exclusively to fans.


  • Great atmosphere with the return to the German front
  • Complete experience
  • Underwater life has its why
  • Too many bugs
  • Technically swinging
  • Underwater life is not for everyone

PC System Requirements

Test Setup

  • Operating System: Windows 7
  • CPU: Intel Core i7 920
  • RAM: 6 GB
  • Video Card: GeForce GTX 275

Minimum requirements

  • Sistema Operativo: Windows® XP (Service Pack 3), Windows Vista® (Service Pack 2), Windows 7
  • CPU: Intel® Core2Duo® E4400 / AMD® Athlon™ 64 X2 4000+ o superiori
  • RAM: 1 GB (XP) / 2 GB (Vista/7)
  • Hard Disk: 10 GB of free space
  • Video Card: 256 MB DirectX9, (ATI® Radeon HD2600 / GeForce® 8800 or better)
  • Permanent internet connection.

Recommended Requirements

  • Operating System: Windows XP / Vista / Windows 7
  • CPU: Intel® Core2Duo® E6850 / AMD® Athlon™ 64 X2 5600+ o superiori
  • RAM: 2 GB
  • Hard Disk: 15 GB of free space
  • Scheda Video: 512 MB RAM DirectX 9, (ATI® Radeon HD3000 series / GeForce® 9 Series o superiori)
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