Tom Clancy's SSN
Windows - 1996
Description of Tom Clancy's SSN
Red Storm Rising
Tom Clancy's SSN is the latest in what seems to be an ever-increasing shoal of aquatically orientated games, ranging from shoot-em-ups to sims. And SSN falls into the latter category; while previous sub-piloting experience is not required, binning the manual will leave you dead in the water. SSN features a storyline penned by Tom Clancy, author of The Hunt for Red October, and Red Storm Rising, casting you as the Captain of the USS Cheyenne, a heavily armed nuclear powered submarine. And you're not doing underwater research.
You see, while peace might be a good thing for everyone except the arms industry, it doesn't often make for a decent game. Therefore, in SSN, you are pitted against a new enemy; China. Conflict has arisen over ownership of the resource rich Spratly Islands, and China is trying to make a claim on them. The US government, deeply concerned by the oil, sorry, 'principle' at stake, mobilises their forces, including the Cheyenne, to put a stop to it. This is where you come in. You have to successfully guide the Cheyenne through fifteen missions including sub-hunts, rendezvous missions, and all sorts of other underwater tomfoolery. Remember, it's not the winning that counts, it's launching as many missiles and torpedoes as possible.
Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea
As a general sub simulation SSN manages to be fairly convincing. Piloting a sub is nothing like piloting a plane or a spacecraft (fairly obviously). For a start, subs are slow to manoeuvre; you won't be able to pull off any knife-edge stunts without about 10 minutes notice. Fortunately, the enemy's torpedoes aren't all that fast, so you've got a chance of avoiding them, especially if you launch counter-measures.
The real difference however, lies in the way you deal with the enemy. Sonar is your only means of detecting the enemy, and can be operated in two modes, passive and active. Passive means just listening out for sound a sub's engines, someone being violently seasick below decks; general sub type noises. Active differs in that you're sending soundwaves, or 'pings', which are bounced back off any sub, whale, or derelict alien craft. But while you're 'pinging', the enemy who may well be in passive mode can hear your pings, and can work out where you are. There are all sorts of complicated tricks that you can use to avoid being detected, but frequently it's a waiting game; not your usual combat-sim stuff at all. I won't go into the nuances of sub combat any further because a) I don't know what they all are, and b) I could well bore myself stupid. Suffice to say, it's an interesting change from the usual hit and run tactics.
SSN is a little different from other sub games in a number of ways. First of all, you view the submarine itself from an external viewpoint. You can see where, in respect to the sub, the enemy are. It's supposed to be a graphic representation of the data you get from the sub's bridge, and proves quite handy in trying to avoid torpedoes. You can rotate the view so you can see all around the sub; on occasion this leads to the odd situation where you can see a submarine via the external view, but you can't pick it up on sonar. Die hard sub enthusiasts might think of the external view as cheating, but I've always found it a tad boring just staring at a map grid and trying to fire a torpedo in the same general direction as the enemy. You'll even encounter whales, and yes, you can fire torpedoes at them, you sick person. I know what you were thinking. I bet you deliberately buy non-dolphin friendly tuna, don't you?
SSN also comes with a 40 minute video interview with Tom Clancy, and his pal Captain Doug Littlejohns, discussing all sorts of sub-related stuff, which is bonus if you're a Clancy fan, or a sub propeller-head. And video clips also crop up between each mission, in the form of news-bulletins, giving you the latest on the situation in China. These clips are far more immersive than the usual pre-mission briefing, although in some places the acting is a little dodgy.
Aside from the 15 mission campaign, there's also a practice mode where you can pit your sub against any number of other subs. Although oddly enough, in the full game you don't have any other subs to aid you. It tends to damage the illusion of being part of a military force. In reality, it's just you against them. Until your sub bites the bullet, and this can happen in a number of ways. There are various areas on your sub which can be damaged. If your hull integrity reaches zero, then you die. But if another system gets damaged, you can find yourself with no sonar, or no torpedo launching facilities till they are repaired, which can prove just as lethal. You can tell your crew which part of the sub to concentrate on repairing, another decision that could mean life or death for your crew.
SSN is quite entertaining; it's graphically and sonically superior to many other sims, and also quite addictive. There's bags of atmosphere in this game, especially with the video clips to ease the transition between missions. SSN is sometimes slow paced, so it might not be for everyone, but SSN has enough redeeming features to make it worth a try.
Review By GamesDomain
Captures and Snapshots
Comments and reviews
admin 2022-05-02 0 point
@JackRyan70 uploaded another ISO with all the movies, please check it out. Thank you for reporting this issue.
JackRyan70 2022-05-02 0 point
On my aged Windows XP Pro, SP3 machine the SSN CD I burned with your ISO image using Windows 8.1 File Explorer/Disk Image Tools installed and runs pretty well once supplementing it with a sound fix. The SSN program crashes back to XP right after the Tom Clancy interview until you install VDMSound 2.0.4
Then it plays great until you complete mission 11: DEFENSE. It appears the news report video .avi clip files for missions 12-15 are corrupt or do not have the codec or something. If in the game's player options you then turn off having the game automatically play the movie files you can play those last 5 missions with no other problems. Interesting that the AVI clips up to and including INTER11.AVI play fine from the CD with both Win Media player and NERO Showtime but the 12-15 files do not. Has anyone else experienced this? Is there an alternate ISO image for Windows where these video clips may be playable?
ahem 2020-02-25 -1 point
the readme mentions you have to edit the reg file yes, but then run the installer from windows 95.
not from windows 10.
if you know how to mount it all into a nice little DOSBox command prompt, awesome.
otherwise virtualization is your only option.
The Dude 2020-02-23 -1 point
I’ve changed PATHs in the file tom.reg but the batch file refused to install. Maybe it’s an error. Also, do i need dosbox to play this game?
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