SOCOM 4: U.S. Navy SEALs - PS3

Game Description:Building on the success of the multimillion-selling franchise, SOCOM 4: U.S. Navy SEALs delivers the ultimate next-generation combat experience blending rich cinematics, PlayStation Move integration, a robust single-player campaign and industry leading competitive multiplayer exclusively for the PlayStation 3. Experience what it’s like to be an Ops Commander as you lead a 5-person squad in a special mission to discover what’s behind the annihilation of NATO Special Forces in Southeast Asia. Continuing to raise the bar for tactical gaming, SOCOM 4: U.S. Navy SEALs introduces new ways for players to engage in combat. For the first time in franchise history, players will be able to utilize both the PlayStation Move and DUALSHOCK controllers to enable precise, tactical control over their A.I. teammates.
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SOCOM 4 Multiplayer Beta Hands-On Impressions

SOCOM 4 Multiplayer Beta Hands-On Impressions

By Jake Gaskill - Posted Mar 28, 2011


The multiplayer beta for Zipper Interactive’s SOCOM 4: U.S. Navy SEALs is currently underway for PlayStation Plus members and select PlayStation 3 players who snagged themselves a private invite. Players who purchased Killzone 3 will gain access starting March 29, and the beta will become publicly available on April 5. While we wait for the beta to go wide, we decided to put in some hands-on time to get a preliminary feel for how the 32-player competitive multiplayer is shaping up.

The two modes we’ve been able to check out are Suppression (Team Deathmatch) and Bomb Squad. Both modes can be played with unlimited respawns or in classic mode (i.e. one life per round). There isn’t really anything to say about Suppression, since it’s the same team deathmatch mode you’ve played in countless shooters before. The only thing worth noting is that there’s very little teamwork going on in team deathmatch at them moment, and every match ends up just being a free for all with a team total at the end. Seeing as SOCOM built its reputation on pushing players to think tactically as a unit, it’s a bit frustrating to see such little cooperation on the battlefield.

Bomb Squad is actually a fantastic mode, as it casts one Specs Ops player as an engineer in a Hurt Locker-esque bomb squad suit armed with a shotgun and grenade launcher; so basically a (slow) walking tank. It’s up to your team to protect you as you traverse the map and try to disarm three bombs planted at the start of the match. Again, a disproportionate amount of players are more concerned with treating every game like a straight up deathmatch mode instead of adhering to the mode parameters, but that’s not the game’s fault; it's just unfortunate.


On the other hand, there are a few notable issues that we came across in our playthroughs. For a good portion of the first batch of games we played, enemies didn’t always show up on the mini-map after firing a weapon. Also, there’s an ever-so-slight delay between when you see a teammate and when their name shows up above their heads, which leads to a lot of unwanted team kills. Ally names also don’t show up if the camera is tipped down too sharply above your character’s head, which also makes identifying nearby characters as friend or foe unnecessarily difficult.

Another quirky thing is that a rather large box appears on the screen whenever a vote is being held to kick a player from a match, which takes up a frustrating amount of screen real estate, and can be doubly troublesome when you get plugged by an enemy who you couldn’t see because he was hidden behind the dialog box.

Minor beta-y issues aside, the game ran solidly—the depth of field effects are particularly nice—and there have only been two or three connection issues spread across dozens of matches. Compared to previous SOCOM entries, SOCOM 4 seems to be the most accessible to date. That doesn’t mean you won’t find yourself being popped in the back of the head a second after spawning five or six times a round, but at least you feel capable of taking back those deaths for your side with some kills of your own.


There are two maps currently available in the beta: Assault and Battery, which is set in a jungle littered with concrete entrenchments and defensive installations, and Port Authority, which takes place in a sprawling ship yard. Assault and Battery favors high-ground tactics, since running through the dense jungle is an almost guaranteed death sentence, unless you are a fan of running blindly into danger and firing wildly at nothing in the hopes of hitting something. Port Authority centers around a massive ship docked in the middle of the map and features tons of interior and wide opens spaces. This map is also visually quite striking and includes every shipyard-y element you could want (assuming you are as into dock working as we are).

Seeing SOCOM 4's multiplayer up and running with 32 players and no real performance hiccups should certainly be encouraging to longtime SOCOM fans. It remains to be seen if SOCOM 4 will be the installment that attracts large numbers of newcomers, but it definitely has the potential too. We’ll find out for sure if it can capitalize on this potential when the game ships for PS3 April 19.

Comments are Closed

  • DevilishBoredom

    I do believe I saw y'all in a match I was playing yesterday haha.

    I've been subject to many purposefully done team kills. It seems to be more frequent in classic mode than anywhere. It the "hey lets be a douche and kill this dude so he has to sit there for 5 minutes doing nothing". It's even worse during Uplink and Last Defense. They sit there and watch you try and retake the point and just before you take it for your team they pull the dick move and blast you in the face and take it for themselves, (or in the case of Uplink they shoot you to hell if you get to the data before they do). It really is just a free-for-all currently, which is sad.

    Another issue I have is with the getting blasted in the face from halfway to all the way across the map from someone with a SMG, yet in a straight bullet for bullet match I'm losing out with an assault rifle with the crosshairs right on their skull? Also the knife kills are a little out of hand. Half these guys are wearing body armor and still get taken down by a quick swing of a knife? Yea that happens all the time... Should take away 1/2 - 3/4 of your life, not the whole damn bar. Stab someone holding a gun, I'm sure they'll be able to pop off a few shots in your direction before become worm food.

    A funny: the other night I was playing Bomb Squad and every round took like 3 seconds, enough time to take a couple steps "Alright we won!" every single time. No bombs went off and no techs were killed. I lol'd

    Posted: March 30, 2011 8:16 AM
  • durbanbrown

    only played a few matches, but looks like alot of fun. and the 3D is awesome!

    Posted: March 30, 2011 6:17 AM
  • Tactless_Ninja

    They better not pull the same crap they did with MAG. If I want to join a friends game, I don't want to have to grind for a month just to switch teams.

    Posted: March 29, 2011 11:30 PM
  • BrikMason

    It is all about communication. Unlike CoD games where people can run off and do whatever they want and still win. I encourages people to stick to classic mode, as this is what really sets Socom apart from other shooters. When you only have that one life to work with you really learn to rely on your teamates, and play a lot smarter than in any other shooter with a respawn. And if you got em, pleasedust off those BT headsets. If not at least make sure to send that last player standing a warning vote when someones behind them. Socom 2 stalewarts, please support this game, at the very least it will show Zipper and Sony that there is enough of a fanbase to warrant a Socom 2 HD. You could remove the name entirely and this would be fun shooter, an I think if Zipper listens to the community, it will only get better.

    Posted: March 29, 2011 3:42 PM
  • KilledFirst

    The teamwork issues stem from the respawn issue. In the respawn games it is easier to complete objectives with blazing speeds. The game looses the army of one mentality (brought to you impart by COD) once you start communicating with team mates who also like the idea of team play. Being a fan of SOCOM, I play classic mode only. SOCOM4 might not be SOCOM2 (Which most beta players gripe about), but is does grow on you to a point where you realize it is a SOCOM game.

    Posted: March 29, 2011 1:20 PM
  • chrisxtexas

    Socom/ Zipper Inc. will always have a place in my heart... right next to blondes and hot pockets :)

    Posted: March 29, 2011 12:52 PM
  • kalpow

    finally a 3rd person good multi-player game whew kinda tired of all these 1st person perspective

    Posted: March 29, 2011 6:14 AM
  • gouki23

    vote socom 2 in HD to vote checkout blackwidow88 youtube page to vote

    Posted: March 29, 2011 4:06 AM
  • contactone

    Not to be a stickler for detail, however the main page image for this preview is from SOCOM: confrontation, made by slant six, not from SOCOM4.

    As for the beta:
    The beta is running fine overall with not a lot of issues you can call show stopping, however the game does not feel anything like any of the PS2 SOCOMs. It's very drab, forgettable wtih somewhat boring game modes. The game honestly feels like zipper just re-badged a third person version of their other PS3 game MAG, and added elements from pretty much all other shooters. You can definitely tell the developers are aiming for the casual and Call of Duty crowd.

    I currently have the SOCOM4 full deployment bundle(move/sharpshooter/game) on preorder however will probably end up canceling due to the lack of excitement this game is creating.

    Posted: March 28, 2011 9:14 PM
  • 52Fatal_Strikes

    I am so game for this man, so freaking tired of online first person view. i remember a couple years ago being all over the online for graw back when 360 was new and have not played an online shooter of that kind of style/view for a long time except this will be better by five fold. :D

    Posted: March 28, 2011 5:57 PM