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Viewed: 3D First-person / Third-person Genre:
Strategy: Combat
Shoot 'Em Up
Media: DVD Arcade origin:No
Developer: Zipper Interactive Soft. Co.: Sony
Publishers: SCEE (GB/GB)
Released: 11 Jun 2003 (GB)
Ratings: PEGI 16+
Accessories: Memory Card, Analogue Control Compatible: all buttons, USB Headset
Connectivity: Network Adaptor (Ethernet) compatible
Features: Vibration Function Compatible


Now this is definitely a significant release from Sony, being the first PS2 game designed to take advantage of the electronics giant's new online service. And to celebrate the occasion, a certain leaf seems to have been taken from a certain competitor's book and they've gone and chucked in a USB headset with it. So PlayStation 2 owners can now enjoy the delights of swapping recipe ideas as they carefully line up the headshot.

SOCOM: US Navy SEALs casts players as an elite commander in SOCOM (Special Operations Command) and places them in control of a team of SEAL troops. The concept unsurprisingly takes the 'fight against terrorism' direction and sees players experiencing some of the most hazardous operations around.

Gameplay takes the form of a Splinter Cell-style third-person combat game and sees you battle your way through twelve unique missions in a variety of richly detailed locations, including such haunts as Alaska, the Congo, Thailand and Turkmenistan. These locations are specially devised to provide different challenges and solutions and encourage strategic thinking and tactical battles, and include hiding places, sniper perches and key open areas. With missions set both indoors and outdoors, you need to take full advantage of the faithfully reproduced weather and lighting conditions, which could either help or hinder you in your attempts to get in and out of closely guarded areas.

At your disposal are more than 30 different weapons - including sniper rifles, machine guns, shotguns, grenades and explosive - as well as various items of equipment, all thoroughly researched and accurately rated for destructive power, range and accuracy. Reproduced in painstaking detail, even down to the relative recoil each one generates, they'll even affect you and your troops according to their weight - the heavier they are, the more fatiguing they will be to lug about and the more slowly you will move.

As far as the online support goes (which is likely to be the reason you bought the game in the first place) SOCOM supports up to 16 players, divided into two teams. Selecting between SEALs or terrorists, you then go on to take part in one of three multiplayer game types: Demolition, Hostage Rescue, or Suppression. There are 12 online multiplayer maps created specifically for online play, as well as a lobby, chat rooms, ladder rankings and support for clans. The headset comes into its own in multi-player games, doing away with messages for your team mates - and you can even utilise sub-channels to ensure that the only people who hear your instructions are the ones on your side.

The roll out of Sony's online service is both an historic and a joyous occasion, meaning that the opportunity for online multiplayer gaming has truly been opened up to the masses. SOCOM is a great game to mark this occasion, bringing all the best bits of Internet gaming into your living room.


SOCOM: US Navy SEALs - PS2 Artwork

SOCOM: US Navy SEALs - PS2 Artwork

SOCOM: US Navy SEALs - PS2 Artwork

SOCOM: US Navy SEALs - PS2 Artwork