Silent Hunter Online Beta

This is a very slick web based environment where player actions affect all other players through asynchronous gameplay. Given the absolute debacle Silent Hunter 5: Battle of the Atlantic was to the series, it is nice to see Ubisoft throw a bone out to the community that can be played for free and does not require a disc or the dreaded Starforce DRM (which is solely responsible for ruining a multitude of games through the years).

The mainstay feature is the persistent dynamic campaign: “All players participate in a global, server-wide campaign and work together to turn the tides of war in their favor. Every individual success will influence the dynamic game world and impact the Battle of the Atlantic. Your war effort shall not go unrewarded!” Given the options that I see so far on the web, this iteration far more than any other presents RPG elements to the series which is a welcome change.

In previous games, the only options you had regarding your captain was naming it at the career start, or via some third-party modification. Right out of the sub pen on this one, you have several captain personas to take on and the ability to name your Captain. I played through the first tutorial mission that allows the sinking of a few British merchants and have to say I am impressed by what I see so far.

This final screen shot is just something I put up, the game does not smack you in the face with it at the completion of each mission (at least not in my experience). I have no problem with the Pay to Play model as the developer has to make money somehow. The game is still fun at the free level though and for a web based solution is actually quite polished at this point.

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