A lot of hardcore SOCOM fans are anxiously waiting for the franchise's debut on the PlayStation 3, SOCOM: Confrontation. The multiplayer only version of the game is looking good and boasts a player count of 32 for 16 on 16 battles.
We spent about an hour with the game and kitted up with a bunch of Slant Six’s playtesters. They were definitely much better than we were and admittedly, we weren’t huge SOCOM players back in the day. Getting the PlayStation 2 online was a hassle and we were already playing on Xbox Live and our PC’s.
So how did SOCOM: Confrontation play?
We played in games of about 24 players and they still felt empty. The maps are huge and long range shooting skill is a must. Unfortunately, the controls were setup to mimic the classic SOCOM games and we found ourselves fighting with them throughout our play time. We were forced to press the D-Pad up and down to zoom and un-zoom, which was very awkward. Clicking the right thumbstick would have been much more preferable.
A Sony representative told us that the controls are fully remappable, however; so don’t take this as a game-ruining problem. Just know that unless you’re a hardcore SOCOM fan that has avoided recent shooters like Halo 3 and Call of Duty 4, you’ll want to remap your controls.
Gameplay wise, we noticed a lot of slow down and long load times. Hopefully the team at Slant Six will be able to optimize the game before release. However, the actual gameplay is pretty slick. It’s definitely a SOCOM game. That means it’s more tactical, slow-paced, and easy to die. Teamwork is a must.
The game type we played was a capture-and-hold scenario, which unfortunately played out extremely quickly. Respawns were enabled, but the rounds were over in about 2 minutes. We chalk this up to the experienced testers that were playing. We would have preferred longer rounds at E3 because it would have given us more of a chance to play. We spent a lot of times in menus and waiting.
Character customization was pretty detailed and there are a lot of guns already in the game. The menu for this customization, however, was laggy and often didn’t respond to button presses. Again, the game is not finished, so we’d expect these issues to be fixed by launch.
Leaning around corners was activated by tilting the SIXAXIS, but we didn’t really find it all that useful. It wasn’t quite sensitive enough to activate in time to catch enemies off guard and it definitely wasn’t quick enough to duck back behind cover. You’d be better off just popping out and shooting with the analog sticks.
We couldn’t actually try out the community features, but we noticed menu items for friend lists. Voice chat was up and running and sounded good, even with all the surrounding noise from the show.
As always, ask your questions and hopefully we can answer them.