Review by Jkid4

Reviewed: 03/19/03 | Updated: 03/19/03

SOCOM=The best of both worlds,offline and online

SOCOM What does the letters mean? Well, SOCOM stands for Special Operations COMand,and US Navy Seals stands for United States Navy SEAirLand.So they full term is, “Special Operations COMand:United States Navy SEAirLand” or “SOCOM:US Navy Seals”
Now, don’t expect a Unreal Turmoment 2003 fragfest.The game is similar to Half-Life: Counter Strike; That means realistic kills, weapons and etc.In other words:A few hits and you’re dead.There are two sides of the game: Single player and network play. So here are my thoughts on both.

Single Mission Campain:You play as 4-member team of SEALs going on missions from Thailand to Alaska.Before the mission, you study the map on important details, look at objectives and outfit your team with weapons. The controls are early to master for the most part, as it uses the dual-analog set up. Also, you have to use stealth tactics In your gameplay,remember…this isn’t UT 2003.The objectives run from securing a hostage to blowing up ammo boxes, and killing enemy flanks. Remember the microphone, its used for the game to issue commands for your team, to leading the way, covering fire, opening doors and attacking at will and acting stealthy. Your teammates can do a lot of things. One problem….Boomer, in a few gameplay stints, he sometimes fire when I ordered him to hold their fire, and other stuff. And you can’t replace him with the other two. And the enemy AI doesn’t try to kill you, they’re more like whacking you with their guns. Another concern is switching weapons, it uses a menu style set-up by pressing the R2 button to change your weaponry. It feels clunky even though the game makes use of two weapon “hot key” buttons. One more thing, the game has both first and third person view points, but when changing from first to third person view aiming can be a bit clunky. Other than those this portion of the game is solid.

Another thing to add is the graphics and sounds. The graphics fit the game perfectly, whenever it’s a big storeroom, to a jungle or a bombed out city. It also makes use of a unique physics engine so that bullets can shoot through wooden doors, windows, tents, metal boxes. And get stuck on concrete. The frame rate is smooth and solid but can sometimes slow down in high action parts. The sound is absolutely spot on, to the sounds of the weapons, grenades, dialog of the characters, and the swirling of the bullets. Oh yes the game supports progressive scan and Dolby Surround Pro Logic II systems.

But enough of that, there’s the other side of the game, net battles!

Net battles: You can see why the game is geared for online use, the game supports 16-player (8 v.8 ) battles on ten maps. The game also supports clans and rankings, too. The game mic is used for this portion in a big way. You can talk with your teammates! The microphone is used to create plans for your attacks an winning the game. And these battles are loads of fun, bar none. The game makes use of the game by adding strategic elements to both sides (advantages and disadvantages),like for examples SEALs have silenced weapons but have little less stopping power. while the terrorists have more powerful weapons but the weapons load sounds attract attention to themselves. There are three game modes: Suppression is like team last man
standing, the most players left standing after the other team eliminated wins. Demolition is when you have to destroy the other teams base with a bomb. And finally Extraction where the SEALs rescue the hostages while the terrorists defend them, making for some tough standoffs. Each round lasts for six minutes and there are 11 rounds in all, the most rounds that either team won wins the match. And all of the team tactics come to together to make a wonderful experience.
This is the closest thing to Counter-Strike if its on a console. And for campers, there are plenty of spots to camp in in each of the ten maps (anti-camper whiners don’t play this game, this is one of those “thinking-man games)

But nothing is perfect however, most of time people playing the game are acting like they’re in Quake III Arena and in some games they don‘t use team tactics, but if you‘re in one of those games that use the tactics, you’ll have a great time. . And even though this game is supposed to be like Counter-Strike, some players vote of campers anyway (due to a voting system) expect lots of campers (I don’t mind them). And yes, some people are cheating by going through walls to get cheap hits. But again thanks to a voting system, you can get rid of them, too bad the game doesn’t allow both teams to vote for a person to boot off. But the game makes up in it’s short falls in shear quality.

Closing Comments: As long you have the right mindset for this type of game,SOCOM: US Navy Seals is a great for anyone who has an Network Adapter (and has a Broadband ISP).Since Ubi Soft’s disappointing PS2 version of Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon is on shelves, “SOCOM:US Navy Seals” is the best tactical shooter on the Playstation 2 period.

9 out of 10.

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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