Dangerous Waters Review

I’ll tell you right off the bat that Dangerous Waters will either be one of the most boring games that you’ve ever played or an engrossing sim that will suck away the hours as you sit hunched over a virtual sonar screen. Your opinion of whether or not it is a good game will depend greatly on what type of person you are. If you don’t enjoy sims … if you’re new to the genre and are interested in getting into it … if you’re attention span and/or patience is short … if you shudder at the thought of reading through reams of documentation before jumping into a game … if any of this sounds anything like you, I can’t emphasize strongly enough that this is not the game for you.

Dangerous Waters is essentially a sonar simulator. The vast majority of the game is spent deploying various antennas and detection systems in an attempt to paint an accurate picture of who and what are around you and whether or not they’d like to shoot at you. Just about every one of the screens in the game is a collection of displays, dials, and gauges that you’ll need to spend a lot of time staring at or flipping switches on. The game’s map screen lets you open a window with an external view of your platform or an image of what you think the currently selected contact is, but this is basically there for cosmetic reasons. It’s a basic but nice enough 3D view, but not really much happens in it – even an express trip to Davy Jones’ locker is devoid of much drama. Its real purpose is probably to appease those who can’t think of playing a warfare game without ever seeing a piece of military hardware other than a control panel, and hardcore simmers will probably keep it closed while playing.

There’s not really much of a damage model to speak of in the game, because the object is to not get caught as doing so pretty much means you’ll wind up dead. Dangerous Waters is like a game of hide & seek – you’re either found or you’re not, and if you’re found you lose.

Dangerous Waters also allows you to fly aircraft or command a destroyer, but when you do so you’re still playing the detection game. You’ll be flying planes like the Orion rather than Hornets, and although you can take the controls the game is designed for you to turn on the autopilot and plunk yourself in front of the sensors panel.

The game comes with both a collection of stand-alone missions and a campaign game complete with a fictional, near-future conflict storyline. You can also use a quick mission generator to set a few parameters to use to generate a random mission, giving you plenty of replay value long after you’ve made your way through the campaign and missions.

The game allows you to automate the crew positions as an aid to learning the game, but if you use this option you’re automating the things that form the backbone of the gameplay. In other words, you won’t be left with much game. Again I must emphasize that this is not for the feint of heart. If you’re going in you have to go all in, the Mount Everest-sized learning curve be damned. Dangerous Waters is a complex simulation with a very steep learning curve. If you like that sort of thing then you’ll really appreciate the game … but you had really better like that sort of thing.

In The End, This Game Hath Been Rated: 70%.  Dangerous Waters is a hardore sim for the truly hardcore sim fan.