Today, Ubisoft announced the development of Silent Hunter Online, a new free-to-play, browser-based multiplayer game inspired by the highly-acclaimed submarine simulation series.
Developed by Ubisoft Blue Byte, the renowned studio behind popular PC game series such as The Settlers and Anno, Silent Hunter Online is promising players a ‘realistic, constantly evolving submarine simulation unlike any other’. According to the press release, ‘the game takes full advantage of Adobe Flash Player 11 technology to bring stunning 3D graphics to browsers,’ so by the looks of things, we’re looking at a browser based approach to the submarine franchise.
Will a browser-based approach to the franchise meet with the approval of the die-hard sim enthusiasts that have stuck with Silent Hunter for many years, even after accusations of ‘dumbing down’ were hurled at its last offering? With such a strong community unafraid to criticize Ubisoft for playing with their franchise, they could be sailing into a minefield. I’m just terrified that by ‘browser-based,’ they mean Facebook.
Ubisoft have stated SH-Online will provide ‘asynchronous gameplay’, and promise players will be able to experience historically accurate submarines in ‘new ways’. I’m feeling a little pessimistic about what’s about to come around the corner, but I’m going to withhold judgement until I’ve got further (by which I mean any) information.
For people interested in taking an early look at what Ubisoft is cooking up, players can get early access to the game by visiting www.silenthunteronline.com and applying to be part of the closed beta.
The final words of the release fill me with a cold damp chill. “This is the most innovative Silent Hunter experience ever created and we can’t wait to let our fans dive into the game.” I’m not sure I want people getting innovation all over my favourite submarine franchise. I’ll be providing further information as soon as I’ve got anything substantial to give you.