In the fifth installment of the Silent Hunter series
, the game returns to the Atlantic-setting and puts the player back in the control of German submarines starting from the attack on Poland until 1943. As opposed to previous installments of the series however, the game features only four Type VII-U-boats as playable submarines. The Type VII was the most produced class during World War II (more than 700 units), saw seven iterations in total and sunk more ships than any other submarine.
To really appreciate the realistic simulation of every aspect of this U-boat, this time around the player can actually walk from back to front both in- and outside his very detailed submarine, looking his crew over the shoulder while they load the next torpedo or engage in chit-chat with the ship's cook to increase his morale and most importantly use all the stations himself as it is no longer possible to switch between every station with the press of a button. Moral is important to keep the ship running and the efficiency of the crew up. Low moral may even lead to an early Game Over when the crew decides the player is no longer fit for command.
The core of the game remains the same and is once again a complete and realistic simulation of the submarine-war during World War II. The player takes control of his ship, navigates it to the mission area and searches for enemy merchant ships. Once found, he uses his torpedoes to sink them and come home as a hero. To do just that, the player can either play several different historic scenarios or engage in the dynamic single player campaign. Split into different time-frames, the player talks to his officer in base at the start of the game who gives him a general overview of the war and explains what the goal in the next few month is on a map. Once he's finished, the player can pick a mission and is then send off to basically do what he wants in the mission-area as long as the overall goal is accomplished, giving the player total freedom over what he does with his submarines, which targets he engages and, to a limit, how long he takes to do so.
As the player successfully takes down enemy ships and survives, he earns career-points. These points are used to unlock and increase the passive and active skills of the main crew-members like the navigator or the ship's cook. The ship's machinist for example has the passive skill to increase the reloading speed of the internal batteries once the ship is above water. One of his active skills on the other hand allows him to increase the output of the diesel-engine for a short amount of time.
The game features a multiplayer-mode for up to four (online) and eight (LAN) players in which they form a wolf-pack to fulfill different, general objectives including famous historic battles. In addition an editor allows the players to create their own scripted missions to enjoy with friends.
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The PC version originally required a permanent internet connection even in single-player. In November 2011, Ubisoft removed this copy protection and the game only requires a one-time activation since then.
References to the game
Silent Hunter 5: Battle of the Atlantic
was parodied in an episode of "Die Redaktion" (The Editorial Team), a monthly comedy video produced by the German gaming magazine GameStar. It was published on the DVD of issue 08/2010.
This entry to the MobyGames database was contributed by Sicarius (61056)
on Mar 03, 2010.