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Ubisoft floats Silent Hunter III

Should sneak up later this year.

Ubisoft has announced plans to publish U-boat captain simulation Silent Hunter III on the PC in late 2004, and in this writer's view it's about damn time sometime tackled the untapped "World War II" genre.

If you've ever settled back into an armchair on a Sunday afternoon and watched a black-and-white submarine film then you know exactly what to expect - hunting enemies with sonar and periscope, torpedo attacks on destroyers and knuckling down quietly to evade depth charges - and SH3 aims to recreate that down to the minutest detail, using exact replica WWII technology and detailed 3D models of U-boats.

Outside the tube sim-captains can expect believable ocean environments with dynamic weather effects, whilst inside the combination of 3D engine and cinematic camera angles highlighting crucial events should give it something of a WWII war movie atmosphere. We'd suggest a Project Zero style grainy black-and-white filter for that extra burst of authenticity.

It's not all hard graft for a captain though, with a multiplayer co-operative mode (as well as a "top-ace" competition offering) and the chance to assign crew to essential positions, ordering them to the deck gun to finish off a rival sub and even handling career evolution matters - that'll be three pips for the first bloke to get me a cup of coffee, right? Aye, aye!