All Features


  PlayStation 3
  PlayStation 4
  Wii U
  Xbox 360
  Xbox One


Dangerous Waters

Score: 86%
ESRB: Teen
Publisher: Strategy First
Developer: Sonalysts
Media: CD/1
Players: 1 - 32
Genre: Simulation

Graphics & Sound:

Dangerous Waters is the latest ocean warfare simulation, something that isn?t very common outside of the Silent Hunter series, or Enigma: Rising Tide, the latter being more arcade than sim. DW, brought to us by hardcore sim developers Sonalysts ( 688II and Jane?s Fleet Command) and Battlefront.com, is a deep, complex foray into the world of submarine hunting - from air to sea.

Graphically, this title is rather sharp looking. The various vehicle models are all painstakingly recreated here from submarines, destroyers, and helicopters. Each strut, wing, joint, nut and bolt are here, folks. The realistic pixel-shaded water sways and shifts beneath your massive steel ships, and bubbles violently upon an emergency surface from your sub. Explosion and other weapons effects are handled workman-like, nothing jaw-dropping here. Sadly, there isn?t a very realistic damage model either. I was hoping for ships to rend apart; bows breaking off, tail booms careening to the ground and so on. All you get is a few flames, some smoke and then POOF - they are gone. Also, the plethora of duty stations (sonar, radar, weapons, etc.) are modeled accurately of course, but are a bit muddy with low-resolution textures. The graphics can?t compete with the amazing Silent Hunter 3, but they get the job done- that?s what counts.

The sound is your usual naval fare: sonar pings, radar blips, engine rumblings, as well as your odd explosion or two. The soundtrack is decent as well, helping to add some nice atmosphere to your naval adventures. Voice wise, your crew shouts at this and that, though mainly they just repeat your orders. Speaking of which, you can, like Enigma, use voice activation orders to speed things up.


Dangerous Waters is one helluva deep game, highlighted by the 700+ page manual (optional .pdf file for cheaper) that covers everything from arming torpedoes, range finding, and how to use your sonar buoys. You can command 12 platforms in all, from subs, destroyers and aircraft, each crucial in submarine warfare. From the United States, you can control the Oliver Hazard Perry FFG-7 Class Frigate, the Los Angeles SSN 668I Nuclear Sub, the SeaWolf SSN-21 Class Attack Nuclear Sub, the MH-60 Multi Mission Helicopter and the P3-C ASW turboprop. For the Russians, you have access to the Akula/Kilo Diesel/Nuke subs. Rounding this out are Kilo S/Kilo improved SS subs for the Chinese. That's just the stuff you can use. I didn?t even touch on the plethora of other enemy ships, vehicles and so forth.

You can choose from a huge dynamic campaign, and by dynamic, I mean your actions affect another mission later on. Blow up an enemy ship in one, and it won?t be in the next. Also included are single player missions that you can jump into, from various vehicles and sides. There is even a Mission Editor, allowing for some diverse creations and scenarios. I messed around with a few scenarios involving the sea off of Iceland, with the US and Russian navies, in a massive sea battle involving many capitol ships and submarines.

The sheer complexity of the in-game options can be daunting at times, but just remember to refer to your manual for help. If that doesn?t work, they even included a bunch of in-game videos for training purposes. Thankfully, you don?t have to micro-manage every aspect of your fleet, with a handy auto crew feature. I wasn?t really into constantly scanning my sonar or radar, nor did I enjoy manually plotting target points. Best to let the computer handle the fine details. Still, if you?re a naval junkie, you can handle everything yourself.

Frantically scrambling to acquire enemy ?screws? (torpedoes), while launching depth charges is one of the most harrowing experiences I have ever had. Sadly though, there are long periods of inactivity as the ?hunt? plays out, so don?t expect explosions left and right. This is not unlike a pair of snipers pitted against each other, or a game of chess - you need to know when to strike and hide. Occasionally, you can bypass the boring spots with the time compression feature, which comes in very handy sometimes.

I haven?t had a chance to try multiplayer, due in part to the clunky interface (read: No match-making) in finding someone to play. It does allow for your buddies to multi-crew the various platforms, assigning each to a particular station. I can just imagine all the Ex-Sailors out there who can recreate their time spent onboard these vessels, honing their skills at their familiar terminals.


Don?t get me wrong, this game has a steep learning curve, but be patient. With a highly detailed manual and in-game training videos, most novice sim fans should be able to grasp the nuts and bolts in no time. More veteran gamers should be able to hop right into some missions with a few scans of the information and turn out all right. The auto crewing and voice commands really help streamline the gameplay.

Game Mechanics:

You have all types of view options like most simulators, but most of the time you will be staring at a menu or terminal screen of some type. Navigating these is hard at first, but is a bit easier with the awesome voice commands. Most of the controls consist of simple point and click, or a few typed commands.

Suffice it to say, Dangerous Waters is a massive collection of naval warfare, one that stands alone for it?s use of modern technology, wealth of platforms and attention to detail. Sadly, it?s only available for purchase from Battlefront.com and not at major retail outlets, so most gamers will never see this title. But for those sea dogs out there, this game is a perfect fit. Check it out at Battlefront.com for yourself.

-Tybo, GameVortex Communications
AKA Tyler Whitney

Minimum System Requirements:

System: 550Mhz, Ram: 128 MB, Video Memory: 32 MB, CD-Rom 8x, HD space: 590 MB

Test System:

Windows XP, 1.83ghz AMD 2500+, 512 MB of RAM, ATI Radeon 9800 Pro 128mb

Microsoft Xbox Ghost Recon 2: Summit Strike Sony PlayStation 2 EyeToy Play 2

Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated