• Publisher: Ubisoft
  • Release Date: Mar 15, 2005
User Score
7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 75 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 60 out of 75
  2. Negative: 12 out of 75

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  1. May 29, 2012
    5
    Without its severe flaws, this game would be a 9/10. Worth looking at if you are a mature, very patient gamer willing to put in some serious time. Still worth picking up 2012+ as there has been no really good sub-sim game since. I played it in 2011 with the GWX 3.0 mega-mod (there are newer mods but GWX is still one of the best or most polished). Setup can be difficult. I played a single career for 100 odd hours till 1943 before giving up due to the many bugs (permanent storm weather bug did it for me), but in that time I had some great and intense moments. Expand
  2. Oct 27, 2012
    9
    Well, if you are expecting some arcade style WW2 submarine game, you better stay away from SH3.
    Otherwise you'll get bored, you'll come here and start writing reviews saying how boring this game is, etc.
    This is a WW2 U-boat simulator, this means that you'll spend most of the time sailing the huge empty ocean waiting for a ship or a convoy to get within your reach. If you are fine with
    this, then keep reading, if you're not, then forget about the Silent Hunter saga.
    I'm using the GWX 3.0 supermod in combination with other minor mods, and I think this is the best ww2 Uboat game ever made.
    You start your career as an officer of the kriegsmarine (you can start anytime between 1939 and 1944)
    you are given the command of one of the most advanced "submarines" in the world, your mission is simple: patrol your ocean sector and sink as many enemy ships as you can. Depending on the realism settings you decide to activate, you will need to use trigonometric formulas in order to calculate the target's course, angle of the bow and speed...thus enabling you to launch your torpedoes in the exact time and course to sink the target ship (just like in WW2). Only for this, SH3 should be a game to be respected. Of course you can also use some instruments and members of your crew to help you find out the "torpedo solution", so don't worry, you can sink enemy ships even if you are not fond of trigonometry! SH3 has other virtues too, the graphics engine isn't bad at all (is still acceptable even for today's standards), perhaps the main issue you'll find is that the game doesn't have widescreen support (though you can use mods to make it so). I'd recommend to use the GWX supermod and the SH3Commander app to play SH3, as they bring the game to a whole new level. They give SH3 a lot of the quality it lacked at first. Another virtue of SH3 is that you can upgrade your u-boat's engine,batteries,electronic systems (radar, sonar,hydrophone),torpedoes,conning tower, guns, etc. You will receive promotions and medals and your crew members aswell. You can also change your "old" u-boat for a newer one (like the uboat type XXI). You can manage your crew all the time, deciding to rest or deploy them in order to get the maximum efficiency from your men. The AI in this game isn't bad, so if you're not careful you'll be sunk. By 1943 you'd better be like a ghost in the ocean, otherwise you'll be sunk before you can even launch the first torpedo against a convoy. Another aspect to point out is the HUGENESS of the ocean...you'll literally spend months in the sea unless you use the time compression setting (using SH3Commander you'll be able to reach a time compression of 8192x...provided your computer can take it). Don't be surprised, the uboats used to sail at speeds around 10knots (20km/h, roughly), so yes, you'll need a lot of time compression in order to finish a patrol of several months in just some hours...the uboats were slow and the oceans are HUGE.
    As a result, finding a convoy in the ocean is like finding a needle in a haystack. You could spend most of your fuel reserves by looking for convoys at sea without finding anything...it may be frustrating, but it's realistic: 90% of the time spent in uboats was pure boredom, just sailing the ocean for months without any enemy contact. Some people may think this is an issue, but it's not, it's just realistic.
    Don't worry, in my experience, I've never returned to port empty-handed. I've always sunk 20000 tons of shipping at least. You only need to check the shipping routes map and deploy your uboat in a "hot spot" like northern Ireland... there you'll find some ship sooner or later. Still, the game has some issues. For instance, you can't save your game while you have another ship WITHIN YOUR SIGHT...If you do so, your savegame will crash to desktop the next time you try to load it. There's another issue concerning the change of weather conditions (they don't seem to change), you can solve this by applying some mod or editing some game files, but still, this shouldn't be happening.

    Anyway, I think SH3 is the best and most complete WW2 uboat game ever. Using GWX, SH3Commander and other mods you'll greatly increase its quality.

    Enjoy the hunt!
    Expand
  3. Apr 16, 2011
    1
    I don't get it!

    Whatever these reviewers are smoking to give this an average score of 90- I want some!

    Mind numbingly boring is the only way to describe this.
  4. Jul 28, 2012
    10
    This game is pretty good and by far the best of the whole SH series but with mods it gets to be one of the best and most complex simulators ever! One of my personal favs!
  5. Apr 29, 2014
    1
    I got a glimpse of the game through the academy tutorial, which looked interesting. After that, couldn't see much more.

    I launched the career and started in Kiel. First assignment was to get to some area in North Sea. Alright, so I leave the doc filled with people waving us goodbye. Bye bye!
    After some time sailing out the harbour, then toward the Nord-Ostsee canal, I I tried to
    increase the time compression. Not that I don't appreciate the landscapes, but I was eager to get into the real thing. Unfortunately, It wouldn't let me get above 4. I suspect because I was close to the shore. At one point, we passed another ship, for which time I could get to 32x. Once it was too far, back to 4x (not really logical, but well...).

    So I don't know how long it took in real time to cross the canal, but at least it was a game which let me practice my guitar.
    After about 30 minutes, and 1/3 way in the canal, i had other things to do, so I saved and quit.

    I should have known better. Next time, trying to load my save... Loading screen.. and crash.
    Damned. Try again, same thing.
    30 minutes sailing gone to waste.
    Ok, I try to load the start save in the harbour... Same crash.
    Try to start the career over ? Same. Delete it and create a new one ? Just crash.

    Sailing the forums for solutions, at least one thing appeared, crashes are a quite common thing with this game. Especially, I read you mustn't save while a boat is in sight, or the game will crash on next load.
    Wha-- ??
    Wait a minute, you can't save if there's a boat in sight ? In a friggin submarine game ? No wonder it wouldn't load my harbour save! How could Ubisoft quality control let this kind of problem out?? If I was playing a game about guiding camels in the desert, I could be ok with a such a rare circumstance. But this is a naval battle game goddamnit.

    1 because the few I saw of the game was interesting. Still, it was 6 wasted dollars.
    Expand
  6. Apr 13, 2014
    10
    Silent Hunter 3 is one of the best sub simulators out there. For a game made in 2005? It does an amazing job at everything. The game is really easy to play and if you say that the game can't run? Well don't put the installation in Program Files(x86) Put it in your C: Drive instead. Overall I have no complaints about this game. Better than any sub Sim right now!
Metascore
90

Universal acclaim - based on 23 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 23
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 23
  3. Negative: 0 out of 23
  1. 88
    Definitely worth the wait. The campaign is fantastic and the overall presentation is a sim fan's dream.
  2. You will be able to control almost every single aspect of what went on during World War II campaigns to see if you have what it takes to be a good commander and stay alive.
  3. It lets you feel like you are a submarine captain in charge of a powerful but fragile U-boat, it provides a sobering history lesson, and the campaign makes you feel like you are a small but important part of a much larger conflict. Those are the hallmarks of a truly great simulation.