Silent Hunter II and Destroyer Command

The patch that adds multiplayer between the two games was just released…

That doesn’t exactly make me want to run out and get it, though. No idea how well it works, or even at all. Just a heads up for those two :60 reviews.


The patch has been out for a while. The types of games you can play are extremely limited, but the main problem is that MP is very unstable, routinely falling out of sync and disconnecting players. UbiSoft has said that due to some kind of licensing problems with the company that provided the network code, they won’t be able to improve the interoperability any further.


Both Ultimation products are basically trash.

The blame is not wholly Ultimations as both titles were abandoned by their previous developers and were given to Ultimation to try and fix.

Mind you it appears Ultimation didn’t try that hard. They would have been better off dumping both products and starting from scratch.

But the release of Destroyer Command and Silent Hunter II wreaks of profiteering. I distinctly remember when Ultimation was first given Silent Hunter II most of the fan community specifically asked for a dynamic campaign in Silent Hunter II. Ultimation totally ignored us. The fact that the 1995 game Aces Of The Deep had a dynamic campaign seems to have gone right over their heads.

Let’s hope this does not impact on Ultimations release of Harpoon 4. I am not holding my breath.

And now for a subsim that works… Sub Command.

Yeah, as far as anything further that ultimation does, I can’t say I’d touch it without it having been on the shelf for a month or three and a thorough reading of the support forums. Hell, they could program the 2nd coming of Christ and I’d still let it rot on the shelf.

Amen … Sub Command is a spectacular simulation.

Except fully dynamic campaigns so far have been BOR-RING. Shallow.

I’m not denying that a good dynamic campaign is the holy grail. But so far, we haven’t seen it. Current dynamic campaigns are shallow, sterile, and mechanized.

Longbow 2 struck a good balance by throwing in some interesting scripted missions, along with a dynamic campaign.

I think we’re at the level of experience and CPU power where someone could actually create a dynamic campaign that felt alive. But I wonder if the time it would take to do so would be prohibitively expensive?

Um - EECH? Falcon 4? And the ultimate, Red Baron 2 3D?

The dynamic campaigns that have worked best have all added flavor by playing up the role-playing aspect with your squadron mates. The missions are random, but the outcomes have a real effect on virtual people that you come to care about.

But even games without dynamic campaigns have done this well, albeit not recently. Wings of Glory is one of my favorite examples (great WWI sim, highly underrated game). Modern sims are sometimes the worst of both worlds–sterile missions with no dynamic elements at all.

There are two games that I’d pony up $300 apiece to see a remake of, brought to current “modern” technical status.

That would be: Xcom and Longbow 2.

Honestly, if I could just get these two games redone with no change to the play but just a technology upgrade, then it would be the holy grail.

I even went so far as to strike up an email conversation with Romero about the possibility of Monkeystone perhaps getting the rights to do an Ipaq port of Xcom. I mean, the platform is 320x200 rez, and so was the game, and there’s really no reason the Ipaq couldn’t handle it in great style. Hell, if you can port SNES games directly over to the GBA and sell them for $40 again, why not some elder PC titles for PocketPC?

Longbow2… well, that game was just pure sex. If I could have LB2 with EECH graphics, then there ya go - I’m a happy camper. Since I spent years being an AH64 crewchief I guess I’ve got a particular spot in my heart fot the bird, and there’s just no cure for it.

Doesn’t seem like Gilman Louie knows a lot about games… there’s a shocker.

— Alan

Maybe so, but Thomas L. MacDonald in Computer Games World gave it a 4 stars - who says Tom Chick’s opinion is right?