Dangerous Waters is a naval combat simulation that has players controlling 12 types of submarines, frigates, helicopters, and planes. Each vessel's detailed cluster of instruments and capabilities can be monitored entirely by the player or assigned to the computer AI to handle all or a select few operations. More than 270 surface, submarine, and air units from 17 navies have been recreated using actual data from the U.S. Naval Institute. Dangerous Waters also includes a dynamic, randomly generated campaign with the option for players to create their own missions with the built-in scenario editor. In addition to the campaign, the game features a series of single or quick missions that pits different nations against one another for supremacy over the high seas. Both cooperative and competitive multiplayer modes are supported for up to 32 players, allowing friends to command different crew stations from within the same ship or challenge each other to all-out naval warfare.
Dangerous Waters is an ultra realistic naval simulation. To call it a game would be doing an injustice to the incredible depth of knowledge and research put into the game by its developer, Sonalysts. The best thing I can say about this simulation is that it has more detail than I have ever seen from any other game. Likewise, the worst thing I can say about this simulation is that it has more detail than I have ever seen from any other game.
A disappointment with Dangerous Waters is the lack of an included printed manual with the basic level software. A printed manual is provided with the deluxe version but only as a PDF file with the basic version. IMHO, the manual is absolutely essential to mastering Dangerous Waters. Since the manual has over 500 pages, I highly encourage you to get the printed version. This is one simulation that proved to me how little I knew about the real life operation of the simulated vehicles modeled in this game. You will need the manual close at hand.
The game is not for those looking to hop on there computer and experience naval battles in a matter if minutes. Patience and a love for detail are required by players to truly enjoy Dangerous Waters. Players are required to operate radar, sonar, weapon controls, and navigation on submarines, ships, helicopters, and fixed wing aircraft. Dangerous Waters has most aspects of maritime battles covered. Just remember to ensure your schedule provides plenty of uninterrupted time before starting into a mission. If this sounds like what you are looking for, Dangerous Waters will be a smash hit. If you are starting to get intimidated by my constant emphasis of the games complexities, steer clear and join the rest of us playing with games closer to the arcade end of the spectrum.
Those who notice the "auto crew" option may be lulled into a false sense that they can handle Dangerous Waters before hours of practice and in depth knowledge of the manual, and the game. That would be the same mistake I made when first attempting to master this game, only to find myself adrift in the ocean aimlessly hitting buttons in a desperate attempt to gain control of the situation.
Gameplay is campaign based with eleven missions with up to four choices of platforms in each. The graphics and sound effects are not what I would call cutting edge. However, they are sufficient for the target audience who is more interested in the realism of controls and instruments than flashy graphics. I doubt that the enjoyment of those who like this type of simulation would be improved by additional graphical and audio depth.
Dangerous Waters is a very challenging game, and unless you are a fan of absolutely true-to-life realism and don't mind mastering all of the small details of submarine operation, then you'll probably want to steer clear of this one. If you're a fan of the genre, and enjoy the realism, then it doesn't get much better then this. I can't help but think that, if you can operate this simulation properly, you would be an asset on any actual maritime vessel.
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