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Free-To-Play Title Steel Diver: Sub Wars Breaks The Waves Today On The 3DS eShop

Posted by Conor McMahon

Run silent, run deep

Anyone remember Steel Diver on 3DS? It was an idea Nintendo originally pitched as a demo for the dual-screen capabilities of the original DS, but only really saw the light of day as a full release on its 3D successor. Ironically enough, it went under a lot of people's radars at the time, but Nintendo announced at E3 last year that the lesser-known franchise would continue on as their first free-to-play title.

Steel Diver: Sub Wars was finally revealed during today's Nintendo Direct broadcast, and is available for download from the 3DS eShop right now.

Described as a more ''contemplative'' take on the traditional first person shooter, players will take control of a submarine and its crew in a series of single-player missions, as well as in a competitive 4v4 online multiplayer mode. You'll have to time your movements carefully to make the most of the vessel's slow-moving torpedoes, encouraging tactical gameplay and some quick maneuvers. As such, the game hopes to appeal to a wider audience, especially those who wouldn't normally be interested in other first person titles.

The free-to-play model previously announced will offer everyone the chance to play a more basic version of the full game at not cost, allowing curious captains to test the waters. The free version comes packaged with the first two single-player missions, two basic subs and full multiplayer capabilities. If you want a much wider selection of subs with varying stats to customise and collect — along with the rest of the single-player missions — then the premium edition can be purchased for a one-off cost.

Check out the trailer below for a first look at this unique shooter, and be sure to let us know your thoughts on the game when you eventually download it.

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User Comments (76)

Emblem

#5

Emblem said:

Been playing since it was up, very fun so far the multiplayer battles are intense. I don't like the morse code chat though, its nice that its realistic but its hard to communicate without getting killed lol.

Yep i think i'm going to get the premium pack after i try out the solo missions.

sinalefa

#6

sinalefa said:

I will get it too, it is free and I got the original. It looks like it is a bit more charming, with you being able to actually see the crew.

Wasn't even a Peppy Hare lookalike in there? That new touch indeed reminds me of Star Fox.

Undead_terror

#7

Undead_terror said:

Downloading it now and will try it out right away, if it's good I will try to get the full version sometime.

Weedy

#8

Weedy said:

Seems interesting. I imagine the slowed down, 'contemplative' play style has something to do with running online multiplayer. But definitely going to give it a try.

shingi_70

#9

shingi_70 said:

Going to give it a quick try and if I like I'll bite on the full version. Glad I picked up two up an eshop vatd.

JaxonH

#10

JaxonH said:

I think back on games like Waverace and 1080, games that were non-traditional genres, but that I loved. This seems to be one of those types of Nintendo games. Probably won't sell well, but will be looked back upon fondly by us in the future, as we reminisce about the "good ol' Ninty games" like Steel Diver and such.

SirQuincealot

#11

SirQuincealot said:

the multi-player was pretty fun, i got disconnected after one game though, havent tried the single player, i dont think i will be going further than what is free to play, and hey, who can complain about free?

ultraraichu

#12

ultraraichu said:

Wait, it's free to play and it's out now? I guess I really need to watch the Nintendo Direct again to see what else I miss due to lag. Got to try this out first though.

Emblem

#15

Emblem said:

It seems like a lot of the premium content can be unlocked by just playing the game :) .

SomeBitTripFan

#16

SomeBitTripFan said:

Steel Diver: The only game I ever returned to Gamestop (which gave me the funds to buy Bit. Trip COMPLETE).

Einherjar

#18

Einherjar said:

Suprisingly entertaining :D And the integration of morse code is hilarious :P If you learn it though, you get quite an edge in online mode, since you can quickly give coordinates / directions to certain targets ;)

Azikira

#20

Azikira said:

Well for $9.99 that's pretty awesome. I was tickled that Morse Code was added, though the only thing I can remember (already knew actually) is SOS.

goonow

#22

goonow said:

It looks just as bad as i feared. Might download it but judging by comments i have read its probably not worth it.

SparkOfSpirit

#23

SparkOfSpirit said:

It's pretty good. There's a lot of strategy here and it's got a lot more to it than the original Steel Diver. This should have been the original game.

WiiLovePeace

#24

WiiLovePeace said:

Darn I can't download it because I don't have my 3DS tied to a NNID. Well played Nintendo, well played. Though I'd love to verse randoms online I ain't going to miss out on other games just for this one.

6ch6ris6

#25

6ch6ris6 said:

game is awesome. online is super cool. if only you didnt have to do freaking morse-signs to communicate. TAKES FOREVER !!!

TruenoGT

#26

TruenoGT said:

Wow online is super fun. I play standing up to use the parascope spinning around!

Aqueous

#27

Aqueous said:

It is fun. Full game purchase is likely Nintendo. Only thing I can see missing is play with friends

dmc79

#28

dmc79 said:

Forget the demo I want to buy it. Closest thing to starfox and looks very fun.

TheGZeus

#29

TheGZeus said:

Wow.
This game is... really good.
Haven't tried the multiplayer, but then again, that's never my number one reason for buying again... not even my number 7....

dmc79

#31

dmc79 said:

Whatever I'm sold since I first laid eyes on it during the Nintendo direct 2.13.14 this is just one of a long list of games from Nintendo on my purchase list this year. Time to sell a kidney

Gioku

#32

Gioku said:

Available now? Too bad I'm attempting to beat the Bit.Trip Minigame in Retro City Rampage DX at the moment... I can't stop now! D:<

Giygas_95

#35

Giygas_95 said:

@Gioku That last stage in that mini game is...harder than almost anything in the real game.

Anyway, I loved the first one and always wanted more subs, and this looks like it delivers just that! Only thing is I wish you could see more of your sub while actually playing the game (aside from the pause screen). I'll probably get the full thing at some point.

King_Boo

#37

King_Boo said:

It's gonna take a bit of getting use to, but it's a fun little game. And I'm getting that itch from it to get better and finish with the better medals.

rumple88

#38

rumple88 said:

kinda slowmo starfox ish...it's awesome. But that was already said above. Anyway worth the download.

AVahne

#39

AVahne said:

4 vs 4 Online? Pretty damn great for the 3DS! I feared that it only had enough power for 3 vs 3 (Kid Icarus: Uprising). Only thing is that I can't decide if I want to invert Y-axis or not.

HandheldGuru97

#42

HandheldGuru97 said:

I quite like this little title!!!!!!!!! I am out of cash at the moment and I have a ton to buy in the near future, but the full version is now on my radar!!!!!!!!!

Gioku

#43

Gioku said:

@Giygas_95 Well, I just beat the last level; level 1-5 was by far the hardest, way harder than the last level (1-7)...

...well anyway, now I can take a break and check this out!

3dcaleb

#45

3dcaleb said:

so is the physical copy of this game different from the $9.99 download version after u get the free game? like, say u already have the original steel diver game, u download the free sub wars game, then is the sub wars upgrade the same or a different game?

mozie

#46

mozie said:

€9.99 in europe, really impressed enjoying it far more than i thought, multiplayer is great too..defo worth the price imho.

Captain_Gonru

#47

Captain_Gonru said:

@AVahne While I normally do invert, I'm leaving it as is this time. I find it works better, but that's just my opinion. The training area is a great place to test drive it.

Captain_Gonru

#48

Captain_Gonru said:

@3dcaleb Sub Wars is more of a sequel. The first two levels, and the multiplayer, are free. You can then pay 9.99 for the full version, which has more single player content.

Captain_Gonru

#49

Captain_Gonru said:

I'm enjoying it. This is more like what I wanted the original game to be. Anyone who skips it can't ever again complain about Nintendo's lack of new IPs.

dwuuuu

#50

dwuuuu said:

I' loving the online mp although the subs are too slow for me, going to upgrade to the premium version !

The speed going forward is really different to the original

SanderEvers

#52

SanderEvers said:

Just tried out this gem. Good visuals for the 3DS, nice controls. A bit slow (but hey, submarines don't have to be fast ;)) gonna play it some more to decide if I'll upgrade. (loving it so far, though so this is likely)

ouroborous

#53

ouroborous said:

loved the full game and anything more would be great.
its a shame that it was a title that got totally passed over by most people. i got it cause it was cheap and old and i ended up loving it (much like Nano Assault for 3DS). it looks great and i found it to be very addictive. i even beat all the extreme missions.

anyway, its great that its back in some form but honestly it would have been neat to have seen this with HD graphics on the Wii U.

maybe we'll get lucky and this will spark some new interest in the game and it will eventually get a sequel? one can only desperately hope ;)

Sockymon

#54

Sockymon said:

@TruenoGT Wow! So glad that I'm not the only one who stands up to play... when nobody else is in the room, of course... ahem

Emblem

#56

Emblem said:

@ouroborous I agree this would be awesome on Wii U aswell, I hope they release a Wii U version that can play multi with the 3DS.

I hope enough people buy this to show Nintendo we want more.

TDS_Computer

#61

TDS_Computer said:

My son is a big fan of Sub Wars on the 3DS, so this is a must have for us. We will play through the demo...er I mean free to play version this weekend, but the full version purchase is pretty much guaranteed.

ShadJV

#62

ShadJV said:

I'll download and try it when I get the chance but I doubt I'll get the full version, looks too slow paced for me.

Starwolf_UK

#63

Starwolf_UK said:

So any chance of Nintendo lowering the price of Steel Diver on the eShop as its not worth £40 anymore...

Alas, a Nintendo network ID is required for this...maybe they'll make a retail download code for a premium version or something (such as Nintendo allowing multiple IDs and thus access to multiple countries, on the same system).

@3dcaleb The retail version has levels as side-scrollers with first person minigames (and a terrible turn based strategy game) while this entirely first person. Looks a lot better.

electrolite77

#64

electrolite77 said:

Going to give this a crack though in the light of atrocities like Dungeon Keeper the appearance of 'freemium' software on Nintendo makes me very wary.

CharleSketch

#65

CharleSketch said:

Well, this is much better than I expected. The morse code chat is really clever and adds a layer of challenge to the game which requires a fair bit of strategy already. Everyone fails to mention the presentation during the fights as well. With the lower screen showing the "driving panel" of the sub and nothing but the shouts of "fire!" every now and then, it's really easy to get immersed during the battle.

Definitely worth the free download, and if the multiplayer is still populated in a month or so, I'll go premium.

mcusc5435

#66

mcusc5435 said:

I downloaded the game and tried it and I think it is a pretty fun game with some good multiplayer... I'll probably just stick with the free version for right now though

3dcaleb

#68

3dcaleb said:

@Starwolf_UK
ok thanks i was wondering if i should get the original or pay for the upgrade cause i can get a physical copy of steel diver for like $5, but it sounds like its nowhere near as good.

Gashole

#69

Gashole said:

I played the online multiplayer a lot, and love the Morse code chat. It's very unique, and you can actually TALK to other players, for once.
The original was the best example of "I loved it" (originality), then "I hated it" (too short, and slow) no other game gave me that bi-polar a response before.
But the online multiplayer is on the free version IN ITS ENTIRETY. Yes, you can't use more, and better, subs, but all levels are there. For that reason alone, I'm content with it for free.

appel

#70

appel said:

How is this exactly different from a regular demo? It is possible to buy just parts (levels, ships) of the game or something?

Also, played it for 5 minutes. I agree with the "Submarine Borefest" mentioned above...

Boksunni

#73

Boksunni said:

@appel
I thought it was boring at first but then I tried out multiplayer. Things get so intense especially if there are skilled players playing

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