Welcome to the world of submarines:
When I first came across Steel Diver I felt very intrigued by this title, it seemed very different from other games on the market and offered some very unique gameplay on the 3DS console. Let’s find out if Steel Diver is as unique as it looks… Periscope down, review up.
Steel Diver takes place in 19xx (yes, this is not very specific) when a rogue nation has invaded its neighbouring countries and is placing the world in danger. A secret submarine fleet has been banded together to stop the chaos and destruction. Ok, so the storyline is a little shallow but it works for Steel Diver.
The campaign mode in Steel Diver is not particularly long , although it can be very addictive and engaging. In the beginning of each mission, you are given a rundown of the conflict that you will be facing and then it’s off to select one of the three submarines to use in the mission. You can either choose either a compact, midsized or a large submarine to go about destroying other ships.Compact submarine: The compact submarine offers easy movement, although no pitch wheel is used for positioning the sub. Torpedoes fire vertically and horizontally, which comes in handy when facing multiple enemies. The downside is it only fires one torpedo at a time.Midsized submarine: The midsized submarine offers easy movement and can fire off two torpedoes one after the other. The downside is that the torpedoes are fired horizontally, so you will have to position the sub using the pitch wheel in order to fire at ships that are on the surface.Large submarine: The large submarine is slightly harder to manoeuvre and can be a slight pain, but it does fire four horizontal torpedoes that results in maximum damage on enemy ships and submarines. Similar to the midsized submarine in order to fire at ships on the surface you will need to use the pitch wheel to position your torpedoes trajectory.In most missions, I used with the compact sub as it was far easier to manoeuvre through each mission and easier to destroy ships or other submarines. The downside was it took a little longer to do all this.
In this gameplay mode players need to control their periscope by using side-to-side movements while tapping on the touch screen to fire torpedo’s at enemies. This is by far one of the best features of Steel Diver.Steel Commander:
Steel Commander is more of a turn-based gameplay mode. Each player takes a turn moving their fleet and the game is over once all the ships or supply ships are destroyed. This mode offers a think before you act approach and brings a very nice multiplayer aspect to this title (I would call it a modern day version of battleships).
The submarines are controlled via the touch screen, which is made to look like a control panel in a submarine (Thumbs up). Players can use the touch screen’s interface to control several different functions of the submarine, from the speed, depth, pitch and offensive measures. In theory, this sounds simple enough but becomes tricky when you are faced with multiple enemies. You may find yourself stumbling with the control system at first but after a little practice, you will be blowing enemy ships and submarines out of the water very soon.Sound:
Steel Diver offers great sound; you can hear the sonar of your submarine in the background, as well as the bubbling of the water around your sub. The background music definitely sets the mood in Steel Diver. A note I would like to make is the Nintendo 3DS itself sounds fantastic and is far more superior in the sound department than other handheld console on the market at the moment.Graphics:Although this title is a 2D side-scroller it does not seem to make much use of 3DS’s 3D potential, except while playing Periscope Strike, which looks amazing in 3D. Overall, Steel Diver looks great in the Periscope Strike mode but not that great during the side-scrolling missions.
Steel Diver is definitely a title you should have in your 3DS collection; it offers unique intuitive gameplay, great sound and a decent control scheme. The only downside is the fact that Steel Diver does not look as great as it should. Periscope Strike is where this title shines and honestly, it should have had loads more missions that incorporated it.The Breakdown:
Predominantly reviewed on Nintendo 3DS.