Silent Hunter: Wolves of the Pacific (PC)Wollf - July 1, 2007
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Closer Look (Quick Missions):
Quick Missions are exactly that; quick. Hop in, find your target(s), and start the action. This is a much more ideal option for the person who just wants to get in there and do some damage, without all the hassle of travel times or reloading at docking stations. For the casual player, I recommend this option whole heartedly; it's a great way to get that little destruction fix we all need now and again.
Once you're ready and refit your boat, you're off on the next leg of your mission, whatever it may be. So let's take a look at some of the things that didn't seem to work.
First and foremost, was the time compression. Without it, you would be in for a very long trip. To get from Pearl Harbor to Japan in a sub would take days, at least, and there is no fun in that. To alleviate those long trips, you can hit the compression button. Sounds great, right? Yes and no. To take advantage of the fastest compression (8142x), you have to expand your map out (really far out) and that is like looking at a world map. Not a big deal, except that this is a very realistic game, and as such, that means there are small islands everywhere that you can't see when you are that far out. So you're flying along heading to Japan and all off a sudden your crew starts screaming; hull breached, tubes damaged, batteries destroyed. Then, you sink; no warnings. So you brush it off and figure you have to pay a little closer attention next time. So you try to zoom in a little bit, and you either can't keep up on the map due to the speed of your ship with the time compression, or you actually zoom too close and the compression wont let you go past 32x, at which point it will take hours to get anywhere. It is very hard to find a happy medium. I learned to find a clear course and not change it unless I was planning to slow right down to close to normal time.
Second thing that bothered me was the large map. When you are traveling the long road home or to your destination, you see a map of the Pacific and a small dot representing your sub. It's not very interesting or graphically intense, yes this was the laggiest part of the game. I quickly learned to not move my mouse off the directional compass and use the keyboard's + and - keys for the time compression, otherwise I wouldn't be able to react fast enough when needed. Ubisoft seems to have tried to fix the problems of smashing into enemy ships or missing something important you might want to sink with an automatic knockdown to 1x speed every time there is a ship, plane, or tanker near by. Heck, sometimes I wondered if even the birds were slowing me down. Try to get out of an enemy port using time compression and you will be hitting + for a long time to speed yourself up again and again. It becomes mildly frustrating very often, leading to a need to use every last bullet to try and take out the search planes, even when you know you don't have enough, just to stop them from slowing down your compression. Some kind of filtering system would be very handy in this area to help speed up your travels.
Last, but not least, is the load times. This is downright agonizing. Sometimes it takes as long as a minute as you sit there staring at the the load bar crawl along the screen. When it finally reaches the end, you think yourself "Yay!" only to see the next screen that says, "Please wait." Do we really need two load screens? Unfortunately, get used to those load screens, because I recommend saving often, especially before you think you might be making a mistake, like wondering if your deck gun can take out that gunship in the distance. Save, but pray you don't have to load it.