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SOCOM: U.S. Navy Seals Review





Developer: Zipper Interactive Publisher: SCEA
Release Date: August 27, 2002 Also On: None

Over a year after the release of SOCOM, I decided to purchase it for the budget price of $19.99. I figured that owning a network adaptor without SOCOM was about pointless. To my surprise, the single player offline missions were quite entertaining alone.

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SOCOM has some familiar spy elements, such as that found in Splinter Cell and Metal Gear Solid. The game does a good job at keeping stealth the primary focus of the game. Unlike in other games, such as Conflict: Desert Storm II, raising an alarm is almost always fatal, plus, there are no health packs, which were bountiful in CDS II. Taking cover behind shrubs, in water, and in the shadows is the key to successfully completing your mission and keeping enemy awareness to a minimum. Even your pace is deadly, running will alert nearby enemies of your presence.

To reassure you of the game’s realism, one shot can be fatal in SOCOM. While not always precise, a shot in the head will almost always kill, but the game sometimes acts as if you didn’t hit them in their head. Nonetheless, you almost never shoot more than two shots on a single person.

Taking an element from 3rd person shooters, SOCOM does a superb job at providing dual analog stick controls. The left analog stick moves your character backwards, forwards, left and right, while the right analog stick controls your gun’s crosshairs. 1st, 3rd, and zoom views are all accessible by pressing up or down on the directional pad.

SOCOM, as you well know, has online play that is second to only SOCOM II. Up to 16 players can play simultaneously, making it one of the biggest PS2 online games thus far. There are three online modes: Extraction (rescuing hostages from terrorists), suppression (death-match), and demolition (something like capture the flag).

While playing SOCOM online, the headset can be used to communicate with your teammates. Only members of your team can hear what you are saying, so taunting of your enemies isn’t an option. While dead, you can speak in a dead-man’s chat with others in the same situation as you.

Whether you own a network adaptor or not, SOCOM is worth the budget price that it is now available for. SOCOM’s massive environments, stretching from Alaska, to an oil rig, to Thailand, are all expansive, well detailed, and full of deadly enemies. SOCOM is by far the best military shooter currently available on the market, excluding its sequel.

Graphics: 9
Sound: 9
Gameplay: 10
Creativity: 7.5
Replay Value/Game Length: 9
Final: 9
Written by Kyle Review Guide