Sub Culture has a great premise: you're a sea-merchant and go around collecting valuable items to trade with various cities in a vast, non-linear underwater world. Your overall goal is to find out who destroyed your home city. To do this, you must travel between the various underwater cities and interact with their inhabitants. They'll give you missions in which you must search out and pick up certain valuable resources, such as scrap metal or stop a certain pirate from anymore wrong doing. The missions that are provided for you are all very diverse and different so the game never seems repetitive. By carrying out these tasks, you'll build up money and fame. You'll also get to trade and sell items in the cities. If you happen to find some rare artifacts or something that the city really needs, you can cash it in for various supplies, such as fuel for your submarine or more powerful weapons, such as homing missiles and depth charges. So this is basically what you do throughout the whole game and you get to do it in a vast underwater world, which makes Sub Culture the great game it is.
The ocean world you're provided is massive. It's filled with over twenty different kinds of marine life, pirates, coral reefs, dark caves and rare, and wacky, artifacts. The graphics are absolutely gorgeous, featuring highly detailed textures, realistic light sourcing and water effects and great animation. In fact, you'll probably just go out exploring from time to time to marvel at how beautiful the world of Sub Culture is. And because the game is completely non-linear, you will get to do this without penalty. Controlling your sub is also very fun, thanks to the great controls. It can be played with a keyboard, mouse or joystick and is basically flawless with each device. There's also different camera views to choose from, such as a first person view and an external view.
The only real problem with Sub Culture is that it's a bit short. Though the game offers non-linear gameplay, you just aren't offered that many missions throughout the course of the game and it's a bit on the easy side. And though there are three different storylines you can follow, the missions are all basically the same for each.
Still, Sub Culture is just a blast to play. It's got gorgeous visuals (especially with a 3DFX card), a vast aquatic world that you can explore for hours, fun and diverse missions with just the right amount of action. This is truly a breath of fresh air and is highly recommended to anyone looking for a game to immerse themselves with for hours and hours.
Graphics: Sub Culture is a beautiful looking game thanks to highly detailed underwater textures and fabulous lighting effects.
Sound: The sound effects are pretty good, though there really isn't that many and the music is okay.
Enjoyment: This game is a blast to play. You can roam around the vast aquatic world for hours doing nothing but exploring, or you can complete missions, trade items with cities and fight off vicious sea pirates. It's all very diverse and interesting.
Replay Value: Though their are 3 different storylines, there really isn't that much of a reason to play through the game again after completion. Sure, it's fun to just explore the world, but going through the game twice would be pointless.
Sub Culture is THE best underwater simulation game I have ever played, bar none (well, except for Archimedean Dynasty perhaps). In the spirit of mercenary games e.g. Privateer, Sub Culture is an open-ended game allowing players to accept missions or just explore their surroundings. As a freelance mercenary running dangerous missions, you trade goods at the various cities and-- on the side of course-- bring peace to your underwater world where a nasty war is raging between two undersea nations Procha and Bohine.
Trading is integral to the game, as you must earn cash to upgrade her equipment. You can make money by prospecting for ore, pearls, and scrap metal, or by completing the missions that advance the plot, which starts off interesting but gets even better as time goes on. What qualifies this game as a simulation rather than trigger-happy action game is the fact that all objects and creature have been designed using realistic physics models which affect movement through the water. For example, if you stop your sub, you'll drift. This can make it difficult to accurately line up targets, but at the same time it really makes you feel as if you're moving underwater. If your joystick supports force-feedback, the game provides near-perfect immersion: you'll feel collisions shaking the ship and explosions rocking your little sub. All in all, Sub Culture is a wonderful underwater simulation that is even better than MicroProse's underrated SubWar 2050. It might disappoint arcade fans due to some "lull" periods of relative quiet as you navigate to the waypoints and just taking in the amazing surroundings. For the rest of us, however, and even for reflex-impaired people like me, Sub Culture is a must have. Highly recommended!
People who downloaded Sub Culture have also downloaded:
Subwar 2050 (CD-ROM), Terminus, Archimedean Dynasty, Starlancer, Tachyon: The Fringe, Sub Command: Akula Seawolf 688(I), Super EF 2000 (a.k.a. Super EuroFighter 2000), Red Baron 3D
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