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Enigma: Rising Tide: Gold Edition

Score: 75%
ESRB: Teen
Publisher: DreamCatcher Interactive
Developer: Tesseraction Games
Media: CD/4
Players: 1
Genre: Simulation/ Action

Graphics & Sound:

Enigma: Rising Tide: Gold Edition is a treat for any simulation fan around, especially the lovers of the naval arena. DreamCatcher has helped bring us a very unique game as well; there aren’t many naval sims out there aside from the infamous Silent Hunter and Silent Hunter II, and the lesser know but equally solid Sub Command and Jane’s Navy Fighters collection.

Those who enjoyed the original Enigma: Rising Tide will enjoy the many new features included in this expanded and polished version.

Graphically, Enigma shines with detail. From the detail of the bridge to the numerous dials, pipes, and systems of the submarines, the developers spent many hours to try and bring realistic models to life. The physics are true to life as well, with massive cruisers swaying in the high seas and depth charges churning underwater leaving bubbles in their wake. Make sure to bring your parka if you’re out on the deck; a host of weather effects from fog, rain, and choppy seas will have an impact on you and your crew’s performance, from navigation to targeting.

Sadly, the explosions and other damage effects are underwhelming. Most of the time, you encounter lots and lots of smoke; I suppose these vessels did contain a lot of flammable material, but it seems overdone at times.

Sound wise, Enigma: Rising Tide: Gold Edition boasts some impressive auditory effects, and if you have played previous naval games, you’ll feel right at home among the plinking of the sonar and roar of the deck guns. The ambiance created from planes buzzing overhead on strafing runs combined with aforementioned guns thundering, creates a real sense of danger and mortality. One shot could take your ship out if landed just right. Perhaps the best addition to sound is voice command, as you can control your crew using many sets of commands, such as “Periscope depth!” or “Deck guns fire!” All of this is followed by your crew’s immediate audio response as they dutifully carry out their task. Very few games have tried this feature and Enigma nails it, and is one of the highpoints of the title. Rounding out the sound department, the score is typical of many WWII games; lots of orchestral, grand wind and string sections with menacing overtones when the action heats up.


Enigma: Rising Tide: Gold Edition adds a good deal to the original game, from new ships, completely redone weapon systems, and added voice commands to help immerse the gamer into the naval warfare. The storyline places you in an alternate 1939, and the world is at war with three playable factions: the U.S., the League of Free Nations, and Imperial Germany. There are more than 90 missions available, along with a grand campaign where you take your captain persona up through the war, and all factions are available for use. The story is linked by newspaper headlines and mission briefings, and it does a good job of incorporating both into a believable alternate timeline. You can choose to command either a submarine or cruiser, both served with capable A.I. crewmembers that respond to your every command. If the captain wants to take more control over various sub-systems, such as manning an anti-aircraft gun, he can do so by manually overriding the A.I. However, you lose your focus of the bigger picture and it is considered unwise in the more hectic situations – best to let your men handle it.

There are innumerable combinations of tactics for each encounter, from going in silent with your sub and picking them off one by one, or going in deck guns blazing at full speed as you yell commands to cut a swathe through an enemy blockade.


Thankfully, there are more intricate simulation titles out there. The developers did a good job of balancing realism with a fun factor, and even included a full tutorial to go over all the aspects of Enigma: Rising Tide. The voice command system also streamlines much of the action for you. There are, of course, adjustable difficulty settings, and you should find a pleasant environment to play in... with a bit of adjusting. At times, using the submarine can be more challenging than the cruiser, mainly based on the stealth aspect. You can’t just plug away at a ship with a submarine. You have to shoot and relocate, not unlike a sniper does. Overall, gamers should have no problem with this game’s difficulty, and those who have played similar games in the past should find it a cinch to play.

Game Mechanics:

Controls are mouse intensive, but thankfully, if you use the many voice commands, it speeds things up greatly. Also included are many views, from external to gunner views as you man the various weapons at your disposal. The heads-up-display, or HUD, isn’t the prettiest thing I have seen, but it is functional with ship alerts and voice commands on the bottom, and compass and other helpful info like bearing and heading in the top corner.

Enigma: Rising Tide: Gold Edition should be on every sim fan’s wish list – especially those sailors out there. It’s a great deal for fewer than $30, and comes with ongoing updates that expand the universe, perhaps advancing the alternate timeline into the modern era with new technology and factions. Add in the slick voice command feature, and this is a solid and unique naval adventure.

-Tybo, GameVortex Communications
AKA Tyler Whitney

Minimum System Requirements:

Windows 98/ME/2000/XP, Processor: 750 MHz Pentium III, 256 MB RAM, DirectX 8.1 Compatible 32 MB Video Card, Hardware Audio Card, 1.0 GB Free Hard Drive Space, 4X CD-ROM Drive

Test System:

1.53ghz AMD 1800+, 1GB DDR RAM, GeForce Ti4200 128MB

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