Red Storm Rising is based on a novel by Tom Clancy creating the background for this submarine simulation by the outbreak of a conflict during the last phase of the Cold War. The player as the commander of an US attack submarine has to fulfill various missions whose success may influence the outcome of the war.
Before leaving port for the first time the player must decide when the action will take place. He can even even choose future developments - but future from a view of the late eighties. By these decisions the possible units and weapon systems for both sides are selected. Furthermore the difficulty level and type of mission (training, different single missions, or campaign) must be chosen.
So far the game is neither extraordinary nor fascinating. Furthermore the new skipper will miss the sound, graphics, and animations of more modern games. Red Storm Rising is a tactical submarine simulator concentrating on the basic principles. A player willing to accept its spartan environment will be rewarded with a simulation of its finest! Even with my old C64 Red Storm Rising was an outstanding , realistic, and very challenging game.
The missions will start on a global map where the player can see the strategic movements of the enemy units and navigate his own sub. If contacting an enemy the view will change to a tactical screen where all (!) necessary informations can be found and where the control will be done by keyboard. From the main screen the player may change to special maps and control screens providing supplementary data. Contrary to other sub-simulators the skipper (=player) does not jump from one station to another (he doesn't even have the time to do that) but can control the whole fight from one screen while keeping the survey over all necessary tactical and technical details.
If the description so far leaves the impression that Red Storm Rising is a boring simulation without tension or excitement - totally wrong. If the player got near a convoy believing he detected all enemy units and is suddenly confronted with a torpedo appearing from nowhere (Damn, how did that enemy Sierra get there?), all enemy units change course to hunt the own sub and an anti-sub helicopter is dropping sonobuoys and torpedoes - here he gets realtime action! To evade incoming torpedoes, use counter-measures, track the enemy units, and even go to counter attack neither fascinating graphics nor realistic sound are needed. The player profits from a good survey and a fast control embedded in a simulation that incorporates the influence of such divers factors as availabe technology or the water conditions - that's Red Storm Rising. Because so many different elements are taken into account (especially for detecting the enemy) this game is more realistic than others. Therefore the ambitioned player will have to study the basics in the manual to understand the technical correlations making this game so interesting and realistic. The computer mustn't be underestimated - he knows all tricks and can give the player a real hard time, using his obviously inferior systems in a highly effective manner.
Fulfilling his missions the player will be confronted by different enemy units in varying composition. Detecting the enemy is easy in most cases but getting exact data on the enemy unrecognized by him can be very challenging. To fight him there are several weapon systems with their pros and cons. Missiles can be used at great distances but they will reveal the position of the sub. Torpedoes can only be used at short range but often with the advantage of surprise. A great feature of them is that they can be guided until activation.
Red Storm Rising - that's a real great submarine simulation, which is outstanding because of its unique gameplay and realism. We are used to play games with elaborate graphics, animations , and sounds - but these features are not necessary to create a thrilling scenario full of atmosphere.
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