Available :Fall 2004
Strike up the band and begin the festivities a Navy Sim is nearing port and preparing to dock. Ok now that I’m out of navy puns that are in good taste let’s get to the punch line.
Dangerous Waters looks and feels similar to the harpoon series. In the early build I got to mess around with I had my choice of missions, campaign, or multiplayer though I was only able to play the missions. The first thing that I wanted to do was blow something up and I made my course for the nearest neutral ship on the map to have my way with it. A noobie to this game will think “whoa, how do I get started” the learning curve looks like it will be really steep in this early build but it really isn’t as bad as I thought.
I don’t need no stinking manual!
I being a man, in all sense of the word decided to not look at the manual (don’t even know if there is a manual), I just wanted to see what it was like at a glance. The first minute of gameplay I was a lost puppy, the second minute I was steering the boat, by five minutes I was sinking poor neutral ships for fun. The learning curve might look daunting but it’s actually very easy, there are many views of the ship including guns, bridge, torpedo “room” you don’t actually aim the torpedo tube like you would in an arcade sim like Battlefield 1942 instead you are in a room and have to set the guidance of the torpedo, ready it, then fire it. You can switch views to use binoculars for a glimpse at your destruction “BOOM, CRASH, YAY happy fun time!”
You are given a choice on what you want to cruise around in, destroyers, subs, and helicopters all add a special flavor to the game. Subs are more work because of surfacing/diving but back a punch to other subs and ships alike. Helos like wise are more difficult than surface ships because surface ships can’t crash. Surface ships are the easiest to start with because you just cruise around and drop sensors and chase down subs in order to blow them up, you can also shoot down choppers with your heavy machine guns. Many avenues of naval warfare will be covered in Dangerous Waters but none so elegant as actually having a new naval warfare sim to play!
Recently the naval sim department is about as full as a dry dock, with Harpoon 3 looking to be in a bad way as far as publishing goes, there is a real slump for all the swabbies in the world. Nothing now can compete with the infantry/squad based sims flooding the market let alone pass off as even a “kinda cool” way to pass the time. It’s an acquired taste to play a naval sim and I have it... well maybe just a little but enough to know that things might be looking up for a down and out genre.
To the shores of Tripoli!
Let’s hope that Dangerous Waters is as good as it can be and won’t get bogged down in the way Harpoon 3 was. We’ll see when Dangerous Waters is out for public consumption whether or not it’s got what it takes to head the controls and lead the Naval forces of “Sim” to a victory over the Foot soldiers of “Arcade”!