Red Storm Rising Review by Al Giovetti
By Al Giovetti
Red Storm Rising
Its been quite a while and the movie has been on the silver sceen and a book by Tom Clancy. In 1988 Baltimore Native Tom Clancy brought his project to Bill Stealey at Microprose to produce a video game. Microprose brings to the table their ability to produce realistic, complex, and loaded with action simulations both above and now below the water.
The game is about the command of the most sophisticated weapon in naval warfare, the SSN, the nuclear attack submarine. The SSN is fast, nimble and deadly when compared to many of the underpowered overburdened submarines that have in the past and still ply the seas.
You take command of one of the deadly SSN submarines in a shooting war with the Red fleet in the Norwegian Sea Theatre. The boat is commanded by one key commands from the keyboard the control depth, speed, heading, torpedoes and other weapons including mast mounted stingers, Harpoon missiles and MK 48 wire guided torpedoes.
The wire guided torpedoes were the most fun where you use the keyboard or joystick to guide the torpedo directly into your adversary or another sub on the bottom. Most of the fighting with surface vessels is very one sided since the Harpoon and Tomahawk missiles make short work of most surface ships and the helicopters drop easily from the Stingers.
Subs are not so easy a target even for the Sea Lance missiles and often you need to mix it up in a bloody and close torpedo duel where the wire controled torpedoes often make the difference. Another trick thart you can employ is the towed array that can be used to foil torpedo attacks effectively, if used correctly. You really feel the suspense as you play on the edge of your seat.
You are put in charge of a SSN submarine in the Norwegian Sea Theater with the overall role of a hunter killer. You get to shoot anything that floats or moves under the sea that is Russian. The NATO - Soviet cold war heats up to a shooting war soon after you take command of the sub. You must stop the Red fleet from preventing the flow of supplies to Europe over the ocean. Your adversary is the Soviet Red Banner Northern Fleet who will attempt to cut the north sea supply line. Like many of these games mission orders will be received and off you will go to eliminate specified targets and then get ready for the next scripted mission.
Simple black background screens with white lettered descriptions keep track of the progression of the war. Underwater battles are simulated through active and passive sonar and radar displays.
AnimationMost animation is very primitive, such as slide show animation for cut scenes that track the progress of the war.
Voice ActorsNo voice actors were used.
Music ScoreMusic was unremarkable.
Sound EffectsThe normal pings and pongs one would expect on a ship. The sounds are primitive when compared to metal stress sounds used in such games as Aces of the Deep early in 1990.
UtilitiesDifferent levels of play should allow both the novice and expert alike to enjoy the Red Storm Rising experience. A good balance between difficulty and the ability to win the game can be found amoung the selections for most players. Microprose's tradition of a fat manual with extensive background and explanations of enemies, ordinance, friendlies and tactics is upheld by the contents of the game manual. A convenient keyboard overlay allows you to quickly find the correct keys in the heat of the battle.
Multi-player FeaturesThere were unfortunately no multi-player features in Red Storm Rising, very few games had them nine years ago.
Cheats, Hints, Walkthrough
FutureWe know the future. Exactly nine years after the release of Red Storm Rising, Tom Clancy and Bill Stealey now at Interactive Magic will produce Tom Clancy's SSN, a very familiar type of sub simulation that is also reviewed in this issue.
ReferencesRichard Sheffield, Red Storm Rising, Compute, volume 11, number 2, issue 105, February, 1989
Ans:As for your question, our customer support team does still handle older products, and might be able to mail out a 3.5 inch disk to this consumer. I don't know the phone number off the top of my head, but if you check the manual for any MPS product that shipped in the last 3 years, it's in there. Area code 510.