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SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Combined Assault Review

Developer: Zipper Interactive Publisher: SCEA
Release Date: November 7, 2006 Also On: None

In terms of shooters, it is generally acknowledged that the Xbox has the greatest diversity and quantity of them, among which were many excellent ones. But that is not to say that the Xbox ever had the monopoly on shooters. Indeed, the PS2 has its share of excellent exclusive shooter games, among which are the four titles in the SOCOM franchise. Although I have not personally had the privilege of playing any of the first three installments in the franchise, I have finally been able to experience the excellence of the SOCOM franchise through playing its fourth installment, Combined Assault.

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If I were to describe the graphics in one word, it would be this word: realistic. These graphics have a pervasive realism to them, which is a very good thing in a game of this type. So far as PS2 graphics are concerned, I question whether the PS2 is capable of anything that is significantly better than this. Overall, I was quite impressed with the graphics in this game.

In terms of sound, what music there is in this game, which is primarily in the title and menu screens, is really quite good. There is some music within the actual game, but not too much. Instead, you can expect to hear a lot of ambient sound during the actual gameplay. This ambient sound contributes to the atmosphere that the game is trying to communicate more than music would anyway, so it isn’t anything to complain about. The sound effects also sound pretty much as realistic as is possible on a system such as the PS2. Overall, the sound is very impressive in this game and adds much to the atmosphere communicated by the realistic graphics.

In terms of gameplay, if you’ve played previous entries in the SOCOM franchise, there probably isn’t anything overly different to speak of here. For those of you unfamiliar to the franchise, the concept is that you control the head of a band of four Navy Seals and you attempt to carry out missions by issuing orders to the other members of the group. This is a lot more involved than a game like, say, Medal of Honor: Rising Sun where you have to do everything yourself.

The game has a lot of missions to be played, and each of them is decent in length, especially when you factor in the fact that if you just run around you will be killed very quickly. This amounts to a decent-lengthed single-player mode. Add to that the fact that there are three skill levels that you can play at and you’ve got a game that is going to last a fairly high amount of time even if you don’t have any way to play the game multiplayer.

In terms of multiplayer, there are many modes that can be played either over LAN networks or online. The PS2 that I use does not have online capabilities, so I am unable to offer much commentary on the multiplayer. From what I could tell though, there seem to be quite a few different multiplayer modes available, making for a game that could last a good while as a multiplayer title. My one complaint in terms of multiplayer would be the lack of split-screen multiplayer, but, since screen-watching would destroy the point in a game like this, that is somewhat forgivable.

Overall, if you don’t have any way to utilize the multiplayer options, this game might still be worth buying if you are a fan of shooters, or you may want to wait for the first price drop. If you have the capabilities to utilize the multiplayer options in this game, it is worth getting right away in all likelihood.

Graphics: 9.5
Sound: 9
Gameplay: 8
Creativity: 7
Replay Value/Game Length: 8
Final: 8.5
Written by Martin Review Guide