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Old 06-02-2017, 04:51 PM   #1
Onkel Neal
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bullhorn Countdown to Launch

With the first full-featured nuke subsim since 2008 about to break cover any minute now, I thought I would post a preview and some screenshots.

Remember how spoiled we were back in the day, when modern era subsims were released every year or so? Well, those days are gone, my friend, but prepare yourself for a treat. Cold Waters aims to bring back that Red Storm Rising/Hunt For Red October/Fast Attack/ Fleet Command level of gameplay we remember so well. It's long overdue for us subsim vets and a real plum for the newer members of our community who may have missed the golden era of simulations.



As you know, Killerfish Games made their rep on excellent turn-based WWII naval games. Well, they've upped their game with Cold Waters. It's real time action all the way, and that makes a real difference in the gameplay. I liked KF's previous game, but the realtime pacing makes a world of difference.



The player manages his sub through a tactical map with the familiar naval icons or the 3D viewer. You may not see an enemy in the 3D view if he has not been detected in the sonar suite. However, to deliver a better grasp of what is happening around you, the event camera will switch to action taking place that may affect you, such as an undetected ship launching a SS-N-16 your way. The devs tell me "if you are running with 'hide low solution contacts' on it comes off working much like the hidden aliens in XCOM taking potshots at you." So b warned, there are aggressive enemies out there even if you have not detected them. Raise your periscope or ESM mast for too long and you may get some event camera fun.

Event camera took me to this scene. (The modeling even includes jettisoning the boosters.)

..
..
.



Followed by this:


.
.
.

Which resulted in this sad scene:



.
I am impressed with the craftsmanship and care. The devs have taken a lot of steps to make this game fun with solid physics and tactics, and most importantly, competent but realistic AI. If you found Dangerous Waters and Sub Command too tedious, you will appreciate the approach Cold Waters employs toward TMA and fire control. You do not have to struggle with the nuts and bolts of TMA and sonar, in Cold Waters you are the captain and your AI crew will do most of the pencil-whipping for you. If you want to get involved, you can help speed up a good solution by using the signature classification tools. But it's optional. You still have plenty of gameplay to manage by determining your course, depth, and speed and using the thermal layers to maintain a stealthy profile.





You do get a nice periscope station, but you better be wise on how you use it. The enemy has radar and extensive use of the scope will be detected, as it should be. And the damage modeling can be pretty neat; I went to flank speed with the scope up and dmaged it, I couldn't even lower it after that. The crew message scolded me and said the repairs could only be made in port. (More about the damage modeling and repair scheme in the full review)





It even has night vision, right? Oh, this guy is gonna get it.




And this guy!



There are no crew voices to inform you about changes in depth, course, passing layers, contact updates, etc but I think that may change in future updates (Can't wait to hear "Torpedo in the water!" in this game). There is a difficulty setting, for easy, Normal, Hard, and badass; plus an option for scaling the speed of the game that should satisfy everyone who may think the game is too slow paced/too fast paced....using this they can get it just right.



That's all for now. Keep your eyes sharp, a full review in underway.
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Old 06-02-2017, 05:06 PM   #2
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I'd better start being nice to she who is in charge of the purse strings
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Old 06-02-2017, 05:55 PM   #3
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So you've got the game first!...You are gloating now. You must feel proud about it!...That did not happen in a long time!...And you rub our faces in it!...Empathy is the best shared commodity among us, because anyway provided, we always seem to have enough of it!...
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Old 06-02-2017, 06:50 PM   #4
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Not to be disrespectful but enough of the "TEASER" releasers and more of the ACTUAL release? Just my 52 year old opinion. After a 12 hour L.E.O. patrol it would be nice to see this release.


Jack!
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Old 06-02-2017, 10:24 PM   #5
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the attention to detail is definitely top notch. it's clear a lot of research and hard work went into this. how moddable are the ocean shader files though. i hope it's like silent hunter 4's engine where you could add a lot of advanced rendering techniques.
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Old 06-02-2017, 10:29 PM   #6
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I like Atlantic Fleet, but this looks much better!

Also, not only is this the first modern subsim since 2008, but as far as I know, it's the first subsim at all since 2010
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Old 06-02-2017, 11:02 PM   #7
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Thanks for taking the time Neal as i really value your opinion. Got to say that it seems more and more that Killerfish really crafted something particularly special. That said, i am a bit disappointed and frustrated it didn't get released today as was indicated Thursday evening. Hoping that the Steam / Valve approval process they are waiting on is speedy. Though this does scratch that itch a bit
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Old 06-02-2017, 11:58 PM   #8
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Thank you Neal. Appreciate you trying to soften the wait.
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Old 06-04-2017, 03:24 AM   #9
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Does it feature a truly dynamic campaign?

Looks good might just be my next sim!

Keltos
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Old 06-04-2017, 10:41 AM   #10
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Neal,

I am sensing less of a simulator and more of a slight "Arcady" vibe to this game.

Is this your sense or would you classify it as a hardcore simulator.
I suspect that the guys on this forum WANT to work the TMA. Maybe I'm wrong about this. No doubt the game LOOKS beautiful.....just love all those radar antenna spinning on those ships!

Just looking for you honest opinion.

Salute
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Old 06-04-2017, 01:19 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keltos01 View Post
Does it feature a truly dynamic campaign?

Looks good might just be my next sim!

Keltos
I think the campaign, being as large in scope as it is,and with all the random elements the mission creation system employs, is dynamic. The opening and ending are probably structured; war begins, you get the same news breaks, war ends, but all the gameplay activity in between is wide open. Say you start a campaign, you will get orders to do intercept a Soviet landing. If you start the campaign over again, you will get a different start time, different orders and sub and different objectives. And of course, where you decide to sail to will result in different encounters. I have only played a little of the campaign, so I cannot ascertain everything, but that is my current impression after starting several campaigns and playing a little in each.




Quote:
Originally Posted by Lanzfeld View Post
Neal,

I am sensing less of a simulator and more of a slight "Arcady" vibe to this game.

Is this your sense or would you classify it as a hardcore simulator.
I suspect that the guys on this forum WANT to work the TMA. Maybe I'm wrong about this. No doubt the game LOOKS beautiful.....just love all those radar antenna spinning on those ships!

Just looking for you honest opinion.

Salute
Hey buddy,

You are correct, some guys on this forum would like to get more hands-on with the TMA, fire control, and sonar stations. That's my first choice as well. However, to be honest probably a lot more people want to be the captain and let the "crew" do the trigonometry and work the solution. That's why WWII subsims sell 10x more than hardcore nuke subsims--more visual, and more intuitive (easier).

In the case of Cold Waters I would not say it is a completely hardcore simulation, but it certainly isn't "arcady" in any fashion. Because the devs have gone to great lengths to model the enemy AI, tactics, and capabilities as realistically as they can and still have a game that can be played. Cold Waters is not an action game or even a sim lite, I guess I would say it is a hardcore simulation minus the TMA and sonar stations. And even Sonalysts included an AI crew to work those stations for you if you wished.

And the 3D: first, similar to the Sonalysts titles, the game does a good job of keeping ships and platforms off the visual 3D window IF they have not been detected by sonar or periscope. If your crew has a good solution on a ship, you may see if on the 3D screen. Let's face it, that's just more fun as a game. If a guy wants to be more "purist", all he has to do is hit the TAB key and the 3D screen goes away and he does not have to use it any further. He can stick with the 2D tactical map.

I hope that helps, Lanz, that's how I see this game.
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Old 06-04-2017, 01:26 PM   #12
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It sounds awesome Neal and thank you!

Just waiting for the release.

I'm sold.

Salute!
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Old 06-04-2017, 03:02 PM   #13
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So big question. How hard is it to get to periscope depth? because the video missed it twice. Seems everybody is really hung up on wasd controls in the steam forums.
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Old 06-04-2017, 03:08 PM   #14
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The news breaks are completely dynamic, too. Only the start of the campaign is fixed, and there are multiple campaign endings.
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Old 06-04-2017, 03:09 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seaniam81 View Post
So big question. How hard is it to get to periscope depth? because the video missed it twice. Seems everybody is really hung up on wasd controls in the steam forums.
It is not difficult. With a bit of practice you will level out nicely in no time at all.
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