DVD version cover art
Silent Steel is an 1995 submarine simulator computer game by Tsunami Games. It was created during the influx of 'interactive movies' during the 1990s. The game is composed almost entirely of live-action full motion video with real actors and surroundings, while sparse computer-generated graphics depicting external shots of the boat during torpedo attacks and atmospheric fly-bys. A version playable on DVD players was released in 1999.
The gameplay consists of choosing from three options when the video pauses at certain points. The player then chooses one of these options and the video resumes. The entire game is played in this way, and thus creates several possible plotlines and outcomes. Most of these result in the destruction of the player's submarine; only two distinct threads lead to victory.
The player commands the USS Idaho, a fictional Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine. On a routine nuclear deterrence patrol, an encoded message is received from the U.S. COMSUBLANT. The message reports that a stolen Libyan diesel sub has exited the Mediterranean Sea, possibly heading into the USS Idaho's area of operations. The USS Idaho must evade the potentially hostile submarine, a problem that is quickly complicated by the fact that the enemy submarine is equipped with sound-generating equipment that allows it to mimic other classes of submarine, including those of American design. The rogue Kilo uses this tactic to launch a torpedo attack on the Idaho by pretending to be an allied Los Angeles-class sub, the USS Biloxi.
After escaping the initial battle, a radio consultation with an American carrier battle group commander confirms that there are no other allied submarines operating in the area, and that a second hostile sub, a Russian Akula-class attack boat that has also gone rogue, is approaching the area. In addition to this, the Idaho's sonar officer notices that the Idaho seems to be emitting a low-frequency sonar signal that he cannot account for.
After a conference with the USS Idaho's executive officer and master chief, further engagements commence, where the Idaho eventually triumphs through subterfuge and risk-taking. Taking advantage of the lull in combat before the Akula comes into torpedo range, a search of the Idaho's outer hull reveals an act of sabotage instigated by one of the crew working for the enemy.
Engaging the Akula in a torpedo battle, the Idaho gains the upper hand by the timely interference of an American ASW helicopter tracking the battle and manages to win the fight.
All sound stage studio filming was conducted in a modified warehouse on the former Charleston Naval Shipyard in North Charleston, South Carolina. All submarine and ship footage was shot aboard the USS Clamagore (SS-343) submarine and the USS Laffey (DD-724) destroyer which are both museum ships at the Patriots Point Naval Museum in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina.
The cast included Brian McNamara, Jim Metzler, Fredric Lehne, John Short, Charlest Mclawhorn, Joy Parry, Wayne Caparas, Kevin Sizemore, Frank Leslie, James Middleton, Keith Woulard, MIke Kirton, Don Soper, John Jarrett, Mark Lattanzio, Greg Elliott, and Todd Langerfeld.