SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs

Overview

Wow, does time fly by. It was only a few years ago we were all excited about the release of the PS2, and then we all were looking forward to GTA3, MGS2, and FFX. This year it was all about the release of the network adapter, and now it’s out, and it’s time for some online titles. The first and already a huge hit would be SOCOM US Navy Seals, the first online shooter for the PlayStation 2 console, and it comes out firing.

Gameplay

You should first know that SOCOM is not just an online shooter, but it also has a very nice looking single player mode. When I first previewed the single player mode of SOCOM, I was really not very impressed, I saw a game with a lot of potential, but it didn’t have it all together. Now I have got the full version, and had a few better feelings about it. Except there are still a few problems that really haunt the single player mode.

One of these huge problems is the computer AI. If you have ever played Rainbow Six, you will notice that SOCOM is really a mirror of it. SOCOM is a really a team game, and a lot of the time your team can be pretty darn stupid. A lot of times they don’t respond the way you want them to and can end up getting themselves killed as well as you. This is something that comes up quite often and can become a pain over time. This also seems to happen a lot during the stealth missions where your crew is not as stealth as you would like them to be.

Once you get pass those Computer AI flaws you have a nice looking single player mode going, although the missions do seem rather repetitive, there is still a lot of fun to be played throughout the single player mode of the game.

Well guess what, if you didn’t already know this there is an online multiplayer mode. Once you get your network adapter and a broadband connection your all set to start playing SOCOM online. Setting up an account is a breeze, and finding a game is also very easy.

When you purchase SOCOM you get a voice communicator for the game. A word of advice - if you have a router with a built-in firewall your headset may not work. I have tried two different routers and 1 worked and 1 did not. So give it a try. If you’re lucky enough to have your network configured to suit the voice communicator, then you will be all set to strategize among your teammates, and just plain chat with some fellow gamers. The headset sounds pretty good, and works pretty well, especially on some of the bigger multiplayer games.

SOCOM has a few different modes that will keep you coming back for more and more and even more. These modes include Suppression, Demolition, and Hostage Rescue. These boil down to a deathmatch, a modified capture the flag mode, and a hostage rescue mode. All of them have their ups and downs but you will mostly see the Capture the Flag and Deathmatch modes being played.

So far throughout my hours of online play, I have not seen much lag if any throughout the game, this is all because of the broadband only rule, which allows you to have games with up to sixteen players playing.

SOCOM is one of those games that are going to take some time to get used to. There are two different selections of controls you can choose from; pretty much it goes down to a beginners mode as well as an advance mode. So you can choose which way you want to go.

The sound effects of SOCOM were not the overwhelmingly great. When you take shots off it doesn’t sound as real as you would have hoped. There are some good points to the sound effects, and others are just not impressive.

The voice acting in SOCOM plays a key part of the game. Especially during the single player mode it helps the over all game.

Graphics

SOCOM is not one of those games that are going to blow you away. SOCOM is not one of those games going after perfect looking characters, instead going after nice looking environments, and good animations. SOCOM is at its best when enemies are getting killed. They actually react like you would expect them to.

There are some pretty good weather effects that are also pretty well done. Although some of the different conditions are not as good looking as the others. In the long run they do kind of give the games a few different looks.

Some of the environments of the game really look excellent but others are just not getting the job done. It seems like there were a few environments in which were worked on more then the others.

Fun Factor

The single player mode really wasn’t as fun as I had hopped it to be. There really wasn’t much to drive you to play the game for much longer. As for the multiplayer mode it can be a lot of fun if you play with the right people. Some of the people in the game play SOCOM as a First Person Shooter, which it is most definitely not. With that said this is just one of those games you could spend a lot of time playing in clans, and just some great games.

Overall

SOCOM was one of those games, where it depends on the person. If you are just a first person shooter kind of guy, then SOCOM may not be for you, but if you’re looking for a good console online shooter then SOCOM is the way to go.

The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.