Tom Clancy's SSN

Simulation 1996 Windows Simon & Schuster Interactive Naval

Decent sub sim for genre newcomers

This is another in the seemingly endless array of Tom Clancy-endorsed games, standing alongside the likes of Ghost Recon, H.A.W.X, Rainbow Six and Splinter Cell. In this case, the game is a sub simulation that takes on Harpoon and Hunter Killer at their own game and comes out looking pretty good, at least for beginners. Here, players take control of a nuclear sub, the USS Cheyenne, and find themselves caught up in a war between the US and China. The fifteen mission campaign will test your naval command skills with a nice variety of tasks, ranging from simple patrol and escort missions, to more complex convoy attacks that will really push you to the limit. In one of the game's strongest features, you get your mission details and background information via video briefings and news reports which convey how the war is progressing in an atmospheric and engaging fashion. In-game, you view your sub via third-person perspective and get to issue commands relating to your position, while also activating sonar, launching weapons and making evasive manoeuvres. SSN is pretty absorbing stuff for the most part, with an excellent array of missions that do a good job of recreating the tension of sub engagements and which is highly accessible, thanks to the intuitive interface. Hardcore sim fans are likely to find that it lacks depth as the controls, options and background details are not as detailed as they might and are instead simplified to help the game appeal to newcomers. This is really the biggest problem with SSN so if you are a hardened sub sim veteran you will find little to interest you here. If however, you are curious about the genre, this is a good place to start.

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