SOCOM 4: U.S. Navy SEALs review
Socom 4 Isn't Socom
Updated PS3 graphics, Composer, the addition of a Co-op mode.The bad:
All the changes made into multiplayer, lack of custom controls, no original maps or modes.Summary:
The single player is dry, confusing, quick, and easy. There is no replay value other than to earn the Elite difficulty trophy. The music within Socom 4 is great but lacks a defining moment like in Medal of Honor's (2010) high intensity moment where at one point it felt like the team was all going to die. The weapon system transfers over to co-op but not multiplayer making no real reason to level up the weapons in single player.
The AI is split when it comes to intelligence. the enemy AI can spot you from far away even if you are prone in a bush but team AI will sometimes stand even when they are supposed to be prone with the player. Stealth is a thing of the socom franchise past with only dedicated stealth missions. Kind of stupid since Socom was originally based on stealth.
The multiplayer is completely redone from past Socoms. There are all new modes and maps. Classic maps that everyone has loved are now gone and the classic modes unique to Socom multiplayer are out the window, too. The small tweaks are also different. The aim is created and catered for the move. The aiming used to be based on having the reticle bounce with the guns recoil versus the new system to have the crosshairs just expand so that the move pointer is still on the screen properly. With this new recoil recognition the initial shots are also off. Now the weapons shoot within anywhere in the circle.
The game modes are watered down with objectives labeled A,B, and C across ALL modes giving the feeling that it's all the same with just a different name. The maps are all small and have ALOT of cover objects. I understand with the new system hardware more objects can be placed and rendered but it becomes cluttered with a bunch of objects and no space to run. This also creates camera collision issues (where the camera zooms in front of the object to compensate for blockage). This camera collision issue is broken too. The standard camera angle for classic multiplayer is straight above the character but when the collision occurs it zooms to the characters right in an over-the-shoulder view. The L1 aiming is also an unwanted addition. Past Socoms never had an L1 and used the hip fire as the only way to play. With L1 head shots become too often and creates an easier game. The grenade arc is now removed with a more Call of Duty like game play.
The mic system is broken in Classic mode where it becomes too difficult to communicate, which is a VERY important tool in socom where you only have one valuable life. The guns are now XP based where modifications need to be unlocked rather than available. The classic D-pad lean has been removed for a cover system. I have a big beef with this where a D-pad lean allowed tactical movement ANYWHERE on a map versus a cover system where only certain places can be snapped to. One example is looking below your character below a ledge. D-pad leaning would allow the character to stretch just over the ledge to shoot down versus now where the gun pointed down would only shoot the ground the person is standing on.
To review the total game, the controls are now set to only a few sets. Past Socoms had a variety of preset controller layouts and the previous Socom for PS3 (Socom: Confrontation) even had a semi-customizable controller option. The graphics are good and the main characters are detailed with ALOT of care but friendly AI, enemy AI, and multiplayer skins are too abundant. The sounds are cheap and all the guns are using the same sounds. The voice acting is cheesy along with a few of the motion capture sequences.
In the end, I do NOT recommend this game if you are looking for Socom. This game should have been titled as a spin-off like Fire Team Bravo. To leave a sting to you (reader, hopefully Socom fan) Socom: Confrontation is more like past Socoms than the numbered Socom 4.
About the author
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