SOCOM 4 Review
OK, so I’ve finally been able to play SOCOM 4 online. Here’s a review.
And I’m gonna start by talking about the offline campaign.
Zipper spent a lot of time leading up to the game‘s 4-19/5-15 release talking up the campaign. They said it would be great, and totally intense and would go places other shooters didn’t. As far as I can tell, they were lying.
SOCOM 4 (PS3 [Reviewed])
Developer: Zipper Interactive
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Release Date: April 19, 2011
The campaign is just OK. You and your dudes and a pair of Koreans must work to survive and beat the bad guys, who are… some group and who are doing … something in some unnamed southeast Asian country. It’s all very unclear from the very beginning. There is some precious melodrama, though, and a nice will they/won’t they romance between the main dude and the angry Korean squad leader. This is a joke — they actually just yell at each other the whole game.
Most of the campaign is standard cover-based third-person shooting with some point-and-click squad mechanics mixed in and the occasional cool set piece. Most folks who play the game won’t find anything particularly new here aside from the occasional stealth mission. These missions create a whole new reason to be annoyed by stealth missions, in that the game holds your hand through them, robbing them of any challenge aside from making sure you shoot the f–king snipers in the head or else everyone in the world will know exactly where you are immediately.
During these missions you take control of the previously mentioned Korean squad leader, who is, oh yeah, a woman. Cool. She’s the only character in the game that made a real impression on me, but that’s just because she makes this one angry face the whole time and has the voice of Shiala the consort.
There is one other new thing in the game: getting shot through cover. This happens a lot, and at no point is it not the worst thing that has ever happened in a game.
After that you’ve got custom missions, which are, uh, small custom missions can be played alone or in co-op. I’m not sure why anyone would play these alone, though, since that would be like playing more of the campaign, except less fun because you don’t have any squad help. They’re OK in co-op, though.
The competitive multiplayer is the reason folks play SOCOM, and it is of course the reason to play SOCOM 4. Zipper limited the games to 32 players, and that’s a good thing for these maps, although the way people play some of the maps can get a little cramped with a full load. Still, the upside is that 32 isn’t too big a number to hit regularly, and games aren’t going to slow down much.
And there’s plenty to do online with the game, too, as there are about 7 million modes, including some throwbacks. The maps are pretty well balanced and accessible; the scoreboards don’t tend to be totally uneven like they are in a lot of other online shooters. Part of that is the result of the pace of the games, of course.
In all, SOCOM 4′s online modes are fun, and they make a good alternative for folks who find themselves sucking ass at Call of Duty.
SOCOM 4 supports the Playstation Move, but I don’t think it’s ideal for this game. It’s OK for the campaign, but it’s a bit too herky jerky for online play. The sharp shooter, though, should not be anywhere near this game. It’ll give you a nice forearm workout, but it also won’t let you enjoy even a minute of gameplay.
You’ll notice that I’ve used the word “OK” to describe a number of aspects of the game, and that’s because most of the game is just OK. Even the best part — online multiplayer — is good but doesn’t stand out in the shooter crowd. In the end, SOCOM 4 merely is.
- Balanced, fun multiplayer
- It’s lame that you can get shot through cover constantly in a cover-based shooter
- Move sharpshooter
- Everything else