1. Home
  2. >>
  3. special
  4. >>
  5. SOCOM 4: Special Forces

SOCOM 4: Special Forces



SOCOM 4: Special Forces


SOCOM has been a respected series on the PlayStation platforms for years and although the series has not performed too well in recent years, gamers are still looking forward to the new installment, SOCOM: Special Forces. As you can see from the figure, unfortunately, this game doesn’t turn out to be very good either.

Linear and predictable

Let’s start with the single player. Players will get to work in an Asian setting with Cullen Gray, a soldier with a past. This past comes up during gameplay, but is not the most important part of the game. Together with four other teammates you end up in the middle of a fierce plot. With little support from the rest of the army, you have to do a tough job and stop a lot of bad guys. The story is exciting, but not convincing. It is a bit too predictable and is comparable to a story from a bad action movie.

The gameplay also falls short. It’s very linear and predictable. This is not necessarily wrong, but the levels are set up in such a way that it is not too subtly indicated from which places you can start a fight. There are some side paths here and there to attack the enemy from another side, but unfortunately too few for a game that calls itself a tactical shooter. Most missions therefore come down to walking and shooting. It is always clear when a part comes with enemies and when they are dead you can walk a little further and then get into a fight again.

There is diversity in the missions. There are missions in which you have to fight hard and missions in which you go on a stealthy path with the female soldier from the team, called Forty-Five. Due to the diversity in the missions, the game is just interesting enough to finish, but the single player is no longer than six to seven hours. The difficulty level doesn’t really help the rating of this game either, because there’s too much difference here. You can complete one mission in one go, while other missions will kill you time and time again. A little more balance would have been welcome, as now the difference in difficulty is frustrating to say the least.

Compete for the most kills

After some negative tweets from my side, I was quickly alerted that SOCOM has to get it for the majority of the multiplayer. Although I do not agree with this, I have of course tested the mode well. However, I wasn’t very happy about this either. The multiplayer can’t compete at all against the competition that is currently on the market. The multiplayer offers little more than a few different modes where you can fight against each other with a total of 32 men. There is a kind of unlock system and level system, but this adds little to nothing. The multiplayer isn’t very tactical either, because most matches you play are simply a race to get the most kills and many players choose their own path in this. The team tactics are therefore hard to find.

The co-op, however, is a completely different story. This is where the tactical aspect of the game comes to the fore. It’s fun to complete a high-level mission with five fellow players and with extra enemies. Of course you have to find a good team, but that applies to any game with a co-op function. The co-op in this game has given me the most fun and is worth repeating.

And further…

Zipper Interactive has done its best to support all the features of the PlayStation 3. That is why the game can also be played with the Move and in 3D. The 3D graphics are just ehh… well… 3D. It looks nice, but doesn’t add too much. By controlling the game with the PlayStation Move, you can create a whole new experience. This is one of the few shooters that can be controlled reasonably well in this way. With the Move you shoot at the enemies and with the Navigation Controller or the regular PlayStation Controller you move through the level. It’s all a bit awkward and the controls don’t work 100% yet, but it’s a nice and meaningful addition.

Conclusion

Although I sound very negative here now, I haven’t given the game a depressingly bad grade. The figure is certainly not something to write home about and is really not good for the SOCOM series, but it is not embarrassingly low either. I expected a better game from developer Zipper Interactive, that’s for sure. Still, I did have some fun with SOCOM: Special Forces here and there, especially the co-op function still provides some fun. The problem with the rest of this game is that it would have been good five years ago, but in the present day feels old-fashioned and dated. The multiplayer offers too little to compete against and the single player is not very special either. Gamers who really have nothing better to do can fish this game out of the budget bin in a few months, but I advise the rest to grab another game from the shelf.