jack t ripper wrote:"crew management"? Does that mean you have pick the billets to keep the gay guys apart? Or fire the cook if their are too many band aids in the soup?
The game right now is still "Early Access," so it is not in final form. Probably not in 65% final form. That said, it is generally well-polished, performs well, and has good animations and physics. The user interface is good, but has a few serious problems that I expect they will address as time goes on. The gameplay is as good as any submarine simulator I've played, or better, and the emergent dynamics you expect in an "rpg" design are sufficient, though pretty limited in scope.
The player's status is a kind of God-like overseer of a uboat. Not God-like in having stupid supernatural powers, but God-like in that: you control the behavior of the officers and have a fairly wide range of camera views and ability to determine the fate of the sub (pausing and time-compression, etc.).
It is May 1941 and you are in charge of U-96, a Type VIIC. It is generally pretty realistically rendered, except crew levels are small. Only about 15 crew and 6 officers to start off with. Crew you cannot control except to tell them to help an officer. Officers you have pretty much complete control over, though they do have a sizeable number of auto-pilot algorithms they engage in on their own. There is some inconsistency in this which can be a bit frustrating but to put it simply: you do not have to micro-manage every little thing the officers do. When they get tired they will go to sleep on their own, and when they wake up they will go back to their default job.
The designers were apparently compelled by the widespread argument that, what made for a winning WWII submarine was not so much the submarine itself, but the crew which manned it, and the point of the game is for the player to "mold" an elite submarine crew from the fairly average material you are given to start with.
The naval combat, torpedo-runs, underwater survival aspects are all modeled quite nicely, though there are some areas that need some tweaking (e.g., air turns DEADLY as quickly as 1 or 2 hours after diving, which just doesn't make sense from an historical standpoint).
If you played Silent Hunter you'll probably like it. The combat is just as good as that game, better in some ways in fact, because the characters do the trigonometry for you!