Enigma: Rising Tide

Simulation 2003 Windows DreamCatcher Interactive Naval

Fine naval action game

This is an intriguing, if not entirely successful, military simulation that mixes alternate history with naval combat to flawed effect, but is still worth investigating for fans of unusual games or sims like Silent Service and Silent Hunter. The game places players in 1937, but where Germany won the First World War and with three major factions now engaged in a global conflict. This interesting and well developed history acts as a backdrop for a series of surface- and submarine-based missions which can be carried out from the perspective of any of the three factions, and which sees players rising up through the ranks of naval command. To begin with, only one vessel is under your control but as you complete more missions you also get to issue commands others in your fleet, adding new tactical depth to the gameplay. Missions are highly action-oriented and get down to business quickly, with no need to worry about resource management or sailing around trying to find enemie, but which do a good job of creating an exciting atmosphere. The game is slightly lacking in detail or realism, with combat that is designed to be fast and accessible, and with things like damage location proving unimportant, as enemies simply have a health bar which must be reduced to zero in order to destroy them. There is a wide array of vessels to control, which each handle differently and have different weapons and which add to the fun and replay value. If you're looking for a detailed and realistic naval sim, this probably isn't it. However, as a fast-paced and tense action game, it scores more highly. The graphics and sound are of a reasonable standard, and create a strong, dramatic atmosphere, while the streamlined combat is exciting and enjoyable, so if this is what you are looking for, Enigma makes for an entertaining ride.

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