George S. Patton
On December 7th, 1941, Japan attacked the American base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, thus forcing the United States to officially join World War II. The movement was Japan’s response to the drastic embargo that the US had imposed over the year; (particularly over oil) an action which deeply prejudiced a highly isolated nation. Mostly importantly, a nation with a heavy dependence on the resources received by sea. Of course these were not the only reasons for the Pearl Harbor incident, but that event was nonetheless decisive in changing United States’ neutral policy regarding the conflict between the Allies (Great Britain, France, US and later on, Romania, alongside other countries) and the Axis. (Germany, Italy, Japan, and so on) The United States eventually joined the Allies, carrying the weight of the war over the calm waters of the Pacific. Since we are talking about “waters”, a very important part of this war took place on them and in the depths themselves. That’s where we come in, despite the fact that now it’s 2007 and the most devastating events of humankind have now become history.
Courtesy of Ubisoft Romania, we have been given the chance to become an American submarine captain and to travel the not-so-calm waters of the Pacific, with intentions that are anything but peaceful. The adventure I am talking about is called Silent Hunter 4: Wolves of the Pacific and it is a sequel of the famous Silent Hunter III, a sub simulation that put us in the role of a German captain of the legendary U-Boats and the mission to patrol the Atlantic in the same WWII. Silent Hunter III, now almost 2 years old, is one of the best simulation games ever and clearly the best submarine simulator ever made.
This is the reputation that must be upheld and the torch that Ubisoft Romania must carry forth with the newly launched sequel. I have postponed this review because, as I have mentioned in the Hands On Preview, Silent Hunter 4 is an extraordinary game, but you can tell from the start that the launch was greatly hurried. Some may remember that SH 3 also had its problems and its patches; therefore it’s not much to ask for a little indulgence with the new sequel. Having only been on the market for several months, SH 4 has already received two major patches, the last one (1.2) introducing the much-requested FSAA, as well as many other fixes. These patches, however, have not yet fixed all the bugs as of yet.
Oh well, nobody is perfect and even with all its bugs, Silent Hunter 4 tops the US and Great Britain’s gaming markets and receives very favorable reviews from all over the world.
My little tin can
I have never been passionate about simulation games; WWII, or any war for that matter. But I must admit that I have always admired the bravery and the courage of those who fought them and maybe that’s why I keep my handkerchiefs at hand when I watch war movies. One of them holds a special place for me – Das Boot; SH 4 inspred me to watch it again, as well as a whole bunch of other submarine movies (K-19, U 571 and The Hunt For Red October, of course). The problem with Das Boot is that the movie is so faithful to reality and so well made that anything thematic you might watch after it seems like nothing but a cheap copy. Das Boot made my heart beat faster when the enemy sonar was pinging me, made me pray for the lives of the crew when the submarine was assaulted by depth charges, filled me with hope when an enemy ship was spotted – a ship that could be taken down. Obviously, my job here is not to talk about the movie, but I just want to show you my feelings when I watched it – feelings that SH 4 also stirred in me.