As with AOTD, the heart and soul of Silent Hunter is the career mode. If you start your career early in the war, you will be assigned a S-Class sub with limited torpedoes, speed and depth. Surviving a few patrols in this submarine is a real challenge. If you do survive, you will be assigned new subs and equipment as they become available. If you are very lucky, you can play through to the end of the war, an unrealistic, but appreciated option. If a career doesn't appeal to you, Silent Hunter allows you to generate your own missions. The mission generator lets you set the date, time, crew quality, convoy size, warship type, escort size, air cover, and weather. You can also set various realism levels such as limited fuel, battery life, ammo, visibility, and depth data, as well as dud torpedoes, realistic torpedo reloads, ship vulnerability, running aground, realistic charts and combat experience level. The variations here are enough to give the game almost limitless replayability. The mission generator is also very useful for setting up practice scenarios to develop the skills necessary to survive a career.
With outstanding SVGA graphics (although with arguably less realistic weather effects than AOTD), strong gameplay, and no compromise on realism, Silent Hunter is a must-have for every armchair naval commander. Two thumbs up!