Game: SOCOM 4
Publisher: Zipper Interactive
Release date: November 2010
The SOCOM franchise is one I hold very close to my heart. After going through an obsessive phase with SOCOM II on PS2, I have been looking for that same fantastic experience to make its way to the PS3. After getting some hands-on time with SOCOM 4 (which is developed by SOCOM II publisher Zipper Interactive), I am excited to share with you that this next iteration in the SOCOM franchise is going to be a winner.
With TV Superstars and The Fight: Lights Out Sony is branching out to the casual set of gamers who just want to grab their Move controllers and jump into a quick and easy to maneuver game. SOCOM 4 exists to prove that even hardcore gamers can get in on the Move action without sacrificing traditional strategic gameplay that SOCOM is known for. With the Move controller in one hand and the Navigation (sub) controller in the other, you control a character called Ops Com who leads a squad into a war-torn Southeast Asian environment. Wait, this doesn’t sound like SOCOM, you’re thinking. Well, it is! In addition to a robust online multiplayer mode that supports up to 32 players, SOCOM 4 packs a true single player story-driven campaign that places you in command of a squad. The demo dropped me into a battle with lots of gunfire. With a tap on the D-pad I can rally the squad around me and direct them where to go. Overall the Move controls add a level of precision that goes way beyond what the DualShock 2 controller allowed for in SOCOM II. The subcontroller’s analog stick moves your character around, and the Move controller is used to line up the reticle, set up a shot, and take it. Although SOCOM 4 will be playable with a standard DualShock 3 controller you’d be crazy not to want to at least try the Move controls. It’s really not a gimmick in this game; after sitting down with it for a nice chunk of time I’m confident in saying that Move support is going to help SOCOM develop into a better and truly immersive game. Calling in an airstrike has never been this much fun.
I’ve been talking so much about the single player and motion control goodness that I haven’t even touched upon the stunning graphics yet! SOCOM 4 looks amazing. The environments are highly detailed and quite destructible. If you shoot at a car window glass will shatter into tiny pieces and the shards will gracefully fall to the ground. All new intense single player; 32-player online gameplay we know and love; precise Move support; and gorgeous graphics–SOCOM 4 will become my next gaming obsession.
Note: Sorry about the degraded sound quality in the video above. Our mic was having some trouble during this interview.