Generally favorable reviews - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 22
  2. Negative: 0 out of 22
  1. The change of scenery to the Pacific is refreshing, but unfortunately it is pretty much the only thing that has changed since the last version. The new graphics are nice, but what is really needed is a better damage model and other gameplay improvements. [June 2007]
  2. 88
    A brilliant submarine simulation that manages that rarest of balancing acts: providing instant accessibility to the newbies out there while still managing to provide enough detail and realism for the core grognard fan base. It does this by focusing on the decisions rather than the details of submarine operation.
  3. 87
    This is very much a game where stealth and planning wins out over gung-ho heroism. The more successful kills you rack up the more popular you'll become with the Navy top brass, this'll lead to you being able to improve the quality of your crew and even fit your sub out with some important upgrades if you're lucky.
  4. Silent Hunter 4's awesome intro movie demands immediate wordage. [May 2007, p.84]
  5. This is one of the slowest games I've ever played...Rash or even casual actions will be your undoing in Silent Hunter. Every move requires careful planning. [May 2007, p.58]
  6. With some more polish, SH4 has the potential to surpass its predecessor and to take its rightful place as the best submarine simulator ever made.
  7. An excellent simulation of World War II submarine warfare in the Pacific.
  8. Once you get past that initial irritation, it's one of the best underwater games. [June 2007, p.78]
  9. A good game and graphically far superior to Silent Hunter III, but a couple of weeks more in beta, and some outside testing to tell the designers to stuff their interface where the sun doesn't shine would have done wonders for the game.
  10. Ubisoft have given us a gripping, gorgeous, WW2 submarine sim, it's just a bit of a shame its fundamentally so similar to the last gripping, gorgeous, WW2 submarine sim they gave us. Finger-crossed Silent Hunter 5: Meerkats of the Med will be braver.
  11. What Wolves of the Pacific lacks in explanation and polish it makes up for in tense, exciting ship-to-sub combat, tons of replayability, and loads of depth.
  12. While there are a few stability issues, it's nothing that can't be fixed, and the gorgeous effects of the game outweigh the small bugs.
  13. 80
    Almost scuppered by bugs but ultimately a compulsive gaming experience.
  14. Although describing it as the best submarine sim available could quite easily be a backhanded complement considering the genre’s paucity, SH4 is a genuinely absorbing and fun game that manages, largely successfully, to straddle the never-land between hardcore and arcade gaming.
  15. A very good game of American submarine combat in the Pacific theatre. Especially for those willing to wait for the game issues to be ironed out.
  16. In the weeks ahead--maybe even by the time you read this--Silent Hunter 4 will likely grow into the sub-sim classic its ambitious designers intended. It's just too bad that the out-of-the-box version narrowly missed the boat. [June 2007, p.64]
  17. Even on the least realistic setting, the game can be fearsomely complicated and the manual and tutorials are little help. [May 2007, p.91]
  18. 70
    Really good simulations have the ability to make you sweat, and while Wolves of the Pacific is still a patch or two away from realizing its full potential, the thrill of the hunt and the constant risk of instantly switching from hunter to hunted provides an abundance of nail-biting tension and drama.
  19. Silent Hunter features countless bugs you'll find on every machine, and this is unforgivable. It's a betrayal to a loyal fanbase and a detriment to gaining new fans. Unfortunately, it's also an exact replay of what happened two years ago when Silent Hunter III shipped. Deja'vu all over again, as Yogi Berra once said.
  20. 60
    While Silent Hunter’s harder-nosed target demographic shouldn’t have to wait for more patching to fix this flawed diamond, chances are they will.
  21. 60
    There's a definite lack of polish and far too many bugs, even a couple of patches and a month after its release.
  22. The shipped version of Silent Hunter IV feels like little more than a half-working teaser of things to come.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 32 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 11
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 11
  3. Negative: 5 out of 11
  1. Nov 16, 2012
    Would score it at 9.5 once modded but only rates 5 out of the box. Enjoyable but realistic end of the sim market, an understanding of submarine warfare in the second world war highly recommended. Bit like marmite you love it or hate it. Full Review »
  2. Nov 19, 2011
    One of these funny games which entertain only specific group of people. It really is funny and enjoyable... but only if you have enjoyed previous games in the series. For me, a veteran who played and enjoyed Silent Hunter I it was fun and nice, but... Still, if you don't want to wait 10 hours before the action begins, it's not a game for you. It's a mix of realistic gameplay, pretty graphics and lame bugs, making it somewhat nice compilation, but only as far as you have time and like this kind of simulatons. Full Review »
  3. Jul 10, 2014
    First of all, I must warn you that the original box version of the game is very unstable and buggy. Patching to 1.4 is a must simply to make it not crash to tabletop. Patching/modding further - highly recommended to get the full flavor. But once you do that - it's one of the greatest sims out there. Definately worth the effort!

    I tried builds like this:
    BAD: 0) SH-IV 1.0 - this is simply unstable build.
    SO-SO: 1) SH-IV patched to 1.4 - the very least to not crash the game. Some annoying bugs remain though.
    BAD: 2) SH-IV ver. 1.5 (with the U-Boat missions add-on) - the game gets buggy again!
    GOOD: 3) SH-IV 1.5 patched with one or more of the following:
    GOOD: 3.1) Webster's GFO 1.1 - fixes the bugs, hence the name "Game Fixes Only".
    GREAT: 3.2) TMO 2.5 - fixes the software bugs AND changes the game balance to make it MUCH more realistic. It's feels like a very different game with TMO.
    USE WITH CAUTION: 3.3) OTC 1.5 (optical targeting correction) - enhances the optics in the game, making them much better. But the zoomed bridge view is annoying. (Though it can be easily reversed to FOV=75 by using the S3D editor). Although this mod is called "Optical Targeting Correction" - it needlessly changes some sounds in the game, making them (IMAO) much worse than in TMO.

    BTW manually tweaking things in the game is highly desired - there's a tool called "Silent Editor" for that. Learn to use it. It's not rocket science. Well OK, submarine science isn't that far off, but it's worth it ;-)

    With the mods: this game is a true SIMULATOR, realistic as a computer game can be.
    However, a fundamental con is:
    It gets repetitive over time. Much like a real war campaign, I guess. Subsequent missions/patrols aren't that much different from each other, and after maybe 30 hours of playing it or so you start getting the feeling that you're just getting more of the same. But it's something that's fundamental to simulating warefare - it's not an RPG with a fancy storyline and tons of different characters (although there are nice upgrades to your sub, they don't change the gameplay experience much, they just make you a bit better). It's a warship simulator, that provides you with the experience a submarine captain would get, year after year of service during a war.
    Full Review »