Sub Command: Akula, Seawolf, 688(I)

Snap40Blown out of the water.

If there’s any one modern sub simulation you should play, it’s probably this one. Enter Sub Command, a modern-era submarine warfare sim that puts you at the controls of three complex nuclear submarines (two American and one Russian). These number the US-built SSN-21 Seawolf, Los Angeles 688(I), and Russian Akula. You’ll have full access to each one of these subs in their own respective campaigns, or through the huge pool of 23 standalone missions.

No quarter has been spared in delivering one of the most detailed and complex representations of modern sub warfare ever for the PC. You’re effectively locked away in a silent metal tube surrounded by myriad stations, including sonar, Target Motion Analysis, fire control, and navigation. (An optional 3D-view window has also been tossed in to reduce the claustrophobia somewhat, as well as to show off the game’s attractive animated water and pyrotechnic effects.)

Experienced submariners will have a field day with all of the hands-on buttons and scopes, but newbies are toast. You can hand most of the sub’s stations over to AI control, but unlike the game’s remarkably savvy enemy AI, these auto-crews are a tad unreliable. The included 208-page PDF manual is almost certainly required a flip through, especially if you’re new to this sort of game. You also get a series of three interactive training missions for some hands-on experience, but the in the end this is a very technical sim aimed at seasoned players.

Snap14Campaign missions are affected by your earlier results, and random dynamic elements (including storms and such) keep the replay value as fresh as possible. Extras include multiplayer, a cool editor that lets you design and set your own missions literally anywhere in the world, and also a very nice in-game encyclopedia that lists every ship, submarine and aircraft that you may or may not face on your tours of duty. In any case, this is one of the most polished and complete submarine sims you’ll find, blowing what little competition there is out of the water. Try it.

System Requirements: Pentium II 300 MHz, 32 MB RAM, Win98

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