Thursday, 19 May 2011

Steel Diver review

Steel Diver is a game about submarines. There aren't many games which utilise the vehicle, and it's a nice change from the usual war vehicles, like planes and tanks. Perhaps the reason for the exclusion of submarines in the gaming world is that they aren't much fun? Read on to find out if that's the case.

In an unspecified year in the 20th century, a rogue, powerful nation has started to attack it's neighbouring countries, and there is threat of a world war. In order to prevent this, the rest of the world has selected three of the worlds best submarine commanders, and they are known as the Steel Divers. And this is where you come in! There are three subs to choose from, all with different statistics. The small, easily manoeuvrable sub with low HP, the medium sized, all rounder, and the long and slow sub with heavy defences. The ships all have slightly different control methods and weapons, and getting used to each different one can be fun, and the more challenging ones to control are also the most rewarding and enjoyable.

It's a very slow game, and this is about as exciting as it gets

There are 3 modes, and they're all very different from each other, which is always a good thing. The campaign mode is where you have direct control over the submarine and all weapons. From a side view, you traverse many different aquatic environments, from deep caves with prehistoric creatures, to an explosive, underwater volcano, which erupts and throws rocks at you. It has moments of excitement, but the missions feel all over the place and some just don't fit with the rest of the game at all. Periscope mode is the second, and sees you controlling just that, the periscope. Using the gyroscope built into the 3DS, you must spin around, all 360 degrees, and fire torpedoes at enemy ships and subs. It is somewhat entertaining, but not so much in public. Fortunately, you can play this mode with the touch screen, so you don't have to miss out due to embarrassment. The final mode is completely different, and is a mix of Battleships and Risk. Steel Commander is a turn based strategy game, in which you must destroy the opponents supply ships or submarine. You must also defend your supply ships with your own submarine or escort ships. It is quite a complex game, and not one for casual players. Fans of the genre will definitely enjoy it however, and it's a great addition which could have easily been left out.

Using the periscope is fun, but it's very repetitive

Steel Diver is fun for a while, but soon enough the missions become confusing and out of place, and after controlling each submarine a few times, the fun factor dramatically reduces. It's a slow game, and each mission can take around ten minutes, despite not much happening. It also doesn't feel like it needs to be a 3DS title. The controls would be more accurate and less complex on other consoles. Worth a try, but perhaps not a full price purchase.


by Louis Gardner

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