SOCOM 3 U.S. Navy Seals

April 23, 2006

[i]Socom 3[/i] is the follow-up to the most popular online PS2 game ever. The game continues on the well treaded path of its predecessors, with some new and welcomed additions. How did it work out?

On the graphics department, [i]Socom 3[/i] is rather poor. Not much improvement has been made from [i]Socom 2[/i], and to be quite honest, [i]Socom: Fireteam Bravo[/i] looks almost as good as this game, which is rather embarrassing. Framerate isn’t the best, and visibility is also pretty low. The environments are basically “interaction proof” and the levels are somewhat linear. This is extremely odd, since Fireteam Bravo excelled in these categories. The game often lags (in single player!), only when about seven (!) characters are on the screen. This is rather disappointing, as games that came out over a year before (such as [i]Metal Gear Solid 3[/i], or [i]God of War[/i]) never suffered from these problems. Effects such as fire and explosions are mediocre at best.

The sound department is quite good. The music played in the menus, is great and makes you want to kill some terrorists, just as in [i]FTB[/i]. Weapon sounds are alright, but nothing extraordinary.

The story pretty much follows the same route as [i]FTB[/i] on the PSP. You play in different locations, Morocco, Poland and Bangladesh. In each location there are different threats that the world and the USA have to deal with. Of course, the Navy Seals go in, and take care of all the baddies.

There are a few game play improvements, which I think are very welcome. For example, there are now ingame save/check points. I found it extremely annoying, and was the reason I never beat a console [i]Socom[/i] game, was that if I screwed up, I would have to start all over again, which I think is very lame. After completing an objective, you reach a checkpoint and can save there. Another new addition is vehicles. They are a pretty cool addition, as they are useful in combat and transportation alike.

AI is still clunky. You can tell your team mates this and that, but that doesn’t mean they will do it. Sometimes they will just sit around like a bunch of morons, other times they will attempt to do it.

Another thing I found odd is that [i]Socom 3[/i] was lacking of secondary and bonus objectives. While in this game there were about two or three, Fireteam Bravo had about four or five per level. The lack of these hurt the replay value of this game even more.

Of course, [i]Socom[/i] games are famous for the multiplayer aspect. Thanks to the current system Sony is using, I do not have online on my PS2, and I was not able to test it. However, according to people who have played it, it’s a really good multiplayer game.

While [i]Socom 3[/i] might not be a GOTY winner, but it is the best military/tactical shooter on the PS2 (if that is saying much). [i]Socom 3[/i] obliterates competition, such as the Ghost Recons and Rainbow Six games by Ubisoft.

While [i]Socom 3[/i] isn’t the Xbox 360 version of [i]Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter[/i], it’s still a decent game. However, unless you are planning to spend time mainly playing multiplayer, there is simply no reason to buy this game, as single player lacks replay value, and isn’t too lengthy (about 10 hours or so). I hope Zipper will do a much better job on the PS3 follow up.

Score: 2/5

Questions? Check out our review guide.