Submarine sim surfaces
688(I) Hunter / Killer follow-up in the works
Rumours of the hardcore sim genre's demise have evidently been somewhat exaggerated, with a handful of promising flight sims currently in the works and now word of a new submarine sim from Sonalysts and Electronic Arts, building on their work on Fleet Command and 688(I) Hunter / Killer. The new game, currently going by the rather clumsy title of "Sub Command : Seawolf / Akula / 688(I)", allows you to take command of any of the eponymous three submarines as you take on enemy naval and submarine forces, carry out intelligence operations and sneak in and out of hostile waters. And Sonalysts' Kim Castro is eager to make it clear that "hardcore sim players are our prime audience and we will not dumb down the realism for the sake of easier play", instead allowing players to customise the difficulty to match their tastes.
Graphics have also received an overhaul, with a new DirectX 8 based engine powering the game and a mixture of old and new art, as Castro (no relation, we assume) explained in an interview with SimHQ. "A lot of the effects in the game have been taken and reworked from the Fleet Command engine. In addition, we now use custom vertex shaders to light the submarines with underwater caustic effects. We have new water plume explosion effects, and a number of under-ice effects. We have remodeled the 3 player controllable subs in much higher detail, and have added many new 3D models. We were also able to import many 3D models from our Fleet Command game so that allows us to add many surface and air assets that would normally fall by the way side in a submarine simulation game. Needless to say, the graphics treatment in this game far surpasses what we did for 688I"