Fast Attack is a very complicated submarine simulation. It's so complicated in fact, that it requires two people to explain it; so cue Duncan MacDonald and his wife, Pamela Anderson.
Duncan's revelation... The intro above is true. If you read the tabloids, you'll have been suckered into believing that Pamela Anderson married Tommy Lee last year - and that they're now expecting silicon babies and stuff, in California. Ha ha! But the reality is actually very different. What happened was that Pammy married me. We met at a Hollywood party in mid-December and tied the knot in Nogales, Arizona, 24 hours later. (For what it's worth, she wore an orange bikini and the bridesmaids were dressed up as robots.) Since then she's been living with me in sweet marital bliss in my flat in south London. She loves it! It's all so 'new' to her - the Old Kent Road, the New Kent Road, Tescos at the Elephant and Castle shopping centre, and so on. We're both as Happy As Larry. But I promised her - as a sort of'honeymoon present' -that I'd let her help me out, one day, on a game review. And that time has now come. So, take it away, Pammy...
Introducing the game...
Pammy: Fast Attack is a submarine game which, er... Oh! Remind me - what's a submarine again. Squeaky?
Me: It's like a ship, but it can go underwater. Remember, darling? In the bath? My 'periscope'?
Pammy: (Giggles) Yes! I've got it now -the bubbles out of your bottom!!!
Me: No silly, that was 'Mr Torpedo'. Pammy: (Giggles) Oh. I've got it wrong again. Maybe you'd better explain submarines to these people.
Me: No, go on, you do it - after all, you said you wanted to. Pammy: I don't think I can. Would you take me to the shops now? I want to buy some really tiny clothes.
Me: But we've only just started, and there's so much more to explain to the readers, darling. I'll tell you what... how about you outline the scenario?
Pammy: What's an 'outline scenario'?
Me: Er, it's like you have to read a 'story'. Look, it's here, in the manual. I'll point at the letters as you go...
Pammy reads aloud
Pammy: You are in charge of a 6881 nuclear-powered attack submarine, which operates in all ocean enviran... envriro... envorvan...
Me: Environments. It means, er, 'different places'. Pammy: (Giggles, then continues) The 6881 is fast and quiet and has an advanced reactor which gives it months of submerged operational range. It has the most sophisticated naval (giggle) sensor, communication and weapon technology available. (Giggles again, loses the plot completely, and falls over)
Me: And the missions, darling? Tell them what it says about the missions...
Pammy: (From the floor) Your ongoing mission is to defend US interests in strategic naval hotspots around the globe, including the Persian Gulf, the Adriatic Sea, the Medirat... Meediyt... the Meditareeneayne (giggle), the Sea of Japan and the, um, Greenland-Iceland-United Kingdom gap (giggle). You may be called upon to attack hostile convoys or naval groups, attack land targets with cruise missiles, break blockades, hunt for mines, or even duel with similarly armed enemy fast attack submarines. (She wheezes as if she's just read War And Peace aloud in one breath) Phew. That's the hardest bit of acting I've ever done! Was I good? Tell me truthfully.
Me: You were brilliant, darling. Superb. Pammy: Do you really think so? I thought so. But I really need to go and look in the mirror now. Can I go look in the mirror? Please? (Practices her most persuasive pout)
Me: Of course you can, my angel. Just hurry right back to me now!
Pammy takes some time out to reflect
Sorry about that. I know she's a bit thick, but I didn't marry her for her brains, obviously. Anyway, while she's absorbed with studying her reflection in the mirror (again), it'll give me a chance to get on with the review.
Right, there are essentially two types of sub sim: the first takes place in WWII and is like a typical Dickie Attenborough movie, while the second is based on The Hunt For Red October or what have you, and tends to be crammed full of graphs, switches and buttons.
Fast Attack, as you might have guessed, is of the latter variety. As has become the norm with submarine games, all the 'action' is accessed via a static screen containing hotspots which whisk you off to various locations around the ship, like to the particularly scary Sonar Room, for example. In fact the prefix 'particularly scary' could equally well be added to all nine stations of Fast Attack operation. Just look at the screenshots again. See? Even the periscope is slightly worrying. This is not seat-of-the-pants stuff. No way! This is modern warfare. You need to be Stephen Hawking just to be able to open one of the four outer torpedo tube doors. And if I can briefly mention the Sonar Room again... "Yaaaarrggghh!!!!" And I don't even want to think about the WLR-9 Room. Etcetera.
Mind you, having said that, there is, of course, the other side of the coin: namely the great satisfaction gleaned from mastering all these nightmarish complexities. The inevitable smug glow follows. Yes, there's no denying that once you begin to sort of know what you're doing some of the time.
Fast Attack is a supremely engrossing and atmospheric game, and I can recommend it wholeheartedly to fans of 688 Attack and Seawolf. (You'll know roughly what to expect, after all.) However, if you're a bit of a newbie to this whole submarine caper, I reckon Fast Attack's solid brick wall learning curve is going to put you off the genre big-time, which would be a shame. Still, maybe you could test the water with the fab WWII Aces Of The Deep from Dynamix and then, when you've finished with that, you could come back and try this one. Yes? And then you could even join the... oh, hang on, Pammy's on her way back, she's finished her mirror-gazing.
Pammy: I wanna go shopping, I wanna go shopping, I wanna go shopping, I wanna go shopping...
Me: Of course you do, darling. Which shop shall we go to? Woolworth's? Hey, I know, they sell nice clothes in Millets! Pammy: No, I wanna go to the divorce shop!
Me: Eh? (Stunned) What... the solicitors? Pammy: (Petulantly) Yes yes yes yes yes! I wanna go back home!
Me: (Sigh) Oh well, I always knew it wouldn't last forever.
Processor: PC compatible, P-100
OS: Windows 9x, Windows 2000 Windows XP, Vista, Win 7, Win 8, Win 10.
Game Features:Single game mode