The SOCOM series was a juggernaut on the PS2, the game that started online gaming as it is now, the game that helped user in a new generation of realistic and tactical shooters. When it crossed the gap from PS2 to PS3 it was met with mixed results, and the PSP versions have had some success, so does Fireteam Bravo 3 keep up the tradition? Read our full review to find out…
The first game I ever became really engrossed in was SOCOM 3 for the PS2. It came about at just the right time for me, and I really loved the online and played for hundreds of hours. When I found out that I was going to be reviewing a SOCOM game for the PSP, I was a bit worried that there was no way to effectively transfer the series to a handheld, and unfortunately I was right.
What really holds this game back is the fact that it forces you to rely on auto aim, and limited tactics compared to the full-fledged console versions. The controls do not translate well at all and I found myself losing a lot of firefights due to the shoddy and restricting controls. This to me really looses a lot of the "SOCOM brand" and what I had become so enamoured with over the years.
The campaign mode is also very repetitive and I just found myself going from one waypoint to the next and killing enemies in almost exactly the same way as the last. This got old quick, and is something that really holds it back from being as enjoyable as it should have been.
The online mode for the game is one of the deepest and engaging ones on the PSP so far, but once again is held up by the extremely frustrating controls. It helped me go back to the SOCOM world for a little while longer, and that is much more than I can say for the PS3 version that came out last year. The game runs surprisingly fast over the PSP network and I found plenty of people to play with and had a good time.
The graphics for Fireteam Bravo 3 are easily the best part of the game, and pretty much the only thing that stands out over the rest. The environments are detailed and characters well designed especially for a PSP game. The locations vary nicely and are all well developed with both indoor and outside portions.
The sound design is also quite nice with guns sounding how they should, but the voice work isn’t really up to par at all. The cinematics are flat and at times outright boring so they can be skipped through because the story is quite bland as well.
The fun factor really relies on how much you like the previous games in the series because there really isn’t anything you haven’t seen before on those here. Personally, I enjoyed the multiplayer, but I can see how some people might not, and I can’t imagine anyone enjoying the single player so it will come down to multiplayer to determine if you enjoy this game or not.
In summary, this was a game I did not really enjoy other than the time I spent with the multiplayer. The graphics are the only thing that really are above average, and that is a real shame because the SOCOM series deserves to be continued in a worthwhile way, and this just isn’t. If you are a fan of the series on the PSP then you should definitely pick it up because it is more of the same, but if not then stay away.
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.