Socom 3: US Navy Seals
|a game by||Zipper Interactive|
|Editor Rating:||7.5/10, based on 3 reviews|
|User Rating:||7.3/10 - 9 votes|
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Sony's immensely popular team-based online shooter returns with some hefty enhancements: 32-player matches, controllable vehicles, and a revamped matchmaking interface.
In the interest of full disclosure, you should know that I've spent some serious time with SOCOM 3 (I wrote the Official PlayStation Magazine's recent cover story on it), so when I recently got a second chance to play it, I wasn't surprised to see the awesomely huge levels, the 32-player games, and the extensive use of vehicles. It was also no surprise to see control, the new game mode, with its cap-ture-and-defend gameplay. What was surprising--no, perhaps "shocking" would be a better word--was how incredibly smoothly the game was running. For a series that's been slammed for online lag, seeing a speedy 24-player game was a very big deal. And knowing that each one of those players was using a completely customized weapon (courtesy of the game's new weapon-mod system) made it all the more impressive. But this was just one level, and getting one level into shape for a demo is one thing--getting 12 into shape for public consumption is another thing entirely. If nothing else, it proves that bigger levels, more players, and vehicles can be done without lag.
Download Socom 3: US Navy Seals
Thursday, June 27,1400 hours: Secured 1 (one) version ultra-realistic squad-based shooter SOCOM: US. Navy SEALs, 1 (one) PS2 online adapter, and 1 (one) USB headset communicator from contact at Sony. FedEx guy knows too much.... He must be neutralized.
1415 hours: Already engaged in 16-player online game with group of Sony testers. Getting online was fast and easy. Headset feels flimsy and cheap but works well--I can clearly hear everyone laughing at me. (First game I killed myself with grenade. Second game I accidentally stood up from behind cover and immediately got shot in head.) These controls will take some getting used to....
1600 hours: Adjusted to controls; now I can switch weapons, crouch, lie down, jump, shoot and toss grenades with ease. Swapped default rifle for Rambo-sized M60 machine gun. I hide in tall grass and wait for passersby. Finally I'm getting some kills. 1800 hours: Now it's just me against j. Rybicki and j. Davison from Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine. New strategy for 2-against-i odds: Traded M6o for rifle with less ammo but better accuracy and range, and dropped grenades for claymore mines. Planted mines at doorways and found sniping perch to create "Room of Death." Unfortunately, you can't talk to the opposing team over the headset mic, so my taunts about the yankee pig-dog oppressors and their fat capitalist masters fall on deaf ears.
2200 hours: Sampled single-player game. Stealth, slow movement and scouting ahead are key--this is not your usual run-and-gun first-person shooter. Computer-controlled teammates often save my bacon but also make stupid mistakes: In the midst of "stealthy" operations, they stand out in the open or, without orders, fire unsilenced machine guns. I adjust by quietly shooting them all in the head at the start of each mission. Hope they get smarter in the final version of the game. More in full report next month. Over and out.
In this, the third installment in the very popular SOCOM series, Zipper Interactive has pulled out all the stops in order to make the most fast paced and exciting online play available for the Playstation. With huge new levels, a full-on arsenal of weapons and now controllable vehicles, Socom 3 is an excellent title.
While it is almost decidedly fun, SOCOM 3 does fall a bit short on the graphics. While all of the levels are designed with some real imagination, the visuals fall short on several of them, most notably the overcast jungle/forest levels. Too murky looking for its own good, the sluggish visuals is most disappointing. Not that all of them are bad, because they are not in those deep dark locales. I just felt that since were on our third inception here that any of the problems that may have occurred in the first two titles would have been corrected. The other problem is that there is a real strain on the eyes during the menu screens. Almost too small of fonts are used and for some reason they chose to make some of the menus almost too cluttered. It was really frustrating to deal with. And, thanks to the heavy amount of cheater and code breaker from the first two games, you now can only register to play online with a credit card, they will not charge you, but it should cut down on those who seek to disrupt others' play.
The single player game is fairly straight up, with you commanding your four man SEAL team at various hot zones around the world. The missions are good and diverse with secondary objectives and unique challenges. A.I. in the game still isn't where I believe it should be. Enemy terrorists don't plan out attacks very well and have somewhat of a harder time actually killing you. And you own team's A.I. can be your undoing as you command them using either the headset or pop up menu. Too often members of your own team will wander into gunfire and get themselves killed where you know darn well that a heavily trained anti-terrorist unit would take cover.
The multiplayer maps are now very large and with the introduction of vehicles can be the only good way to get from one end to the other, and in some cases it is a requirement to drive these vehicles. There of course is a ton of rooms out there and players can form up and make clans for online war. It should also be said that instead of 8 on 8, the multiplayer rooms can now host 32 total players, 16 on each side. Impressive, but be sure you are in a good room for your connection because I was experiencing some heavy lag when there was around 20 of us playing the other night.
But you play these games because the online experience is that good. It's the best online game Sony has going in its library and the best competition against Xbox live. I like the SOCOM series and I like this title. I think SOCOM 3 is a bigger jump forward then the second one was, but with the graphics engine of the PS2 at its limit, I can only hope to see a much better looking SOCOM 4 on the PS3. Still, this is one heck of a way to game online, pick it up.