The SOCOM series has finally made its debut on the PS3, although not exactly how SOCOM vets might have expected. With Slant Six taking the reins from Zipper Interactive, SOCOM Confrontation is an online-only affair, with seven maps and several styles of gameplay that will be instantly familiar to SOCOM fans. Although some might argue that the online-only game was a covert way to sell the impressive Bluetooth headset, which comes bundled with the game and thus makes the software cost only $10, there’s plenty of fun to be had in SOCOM: Confrontation if you give it some time.
The maps themselves are quite dazzling and interactive, with one of them requiring you to locate and turn a valve at the top of the enemies’ base in order to reveal the area in which you must plant the bomb. Other maps have you breaching walls and things of that nature, and depending on the map, you even have the option to swim into the base.
Although some basic issues have been reported with SOCOM: Confrontation’s online play, we here at DailyGame have never run into an issue. We have noticed that the clan support is a bit sketchy, as it doesn’t function as advertised, but it has a good foundation that can be patched — hence our comment earlier about giving the title some time. Once you create a clan, you can send invitations to other gamers through the in-game messaging system, but it’s a little on the clunky side. Trying to join friends is also quite the task, as you not only have to know which server they are on, but which room as well. This works when there’s coordination involved, but it’s hardly the seamless party system of, say, Halo. Still, the fact that we didn’t remove the disc for one full week from our PS3 shows that we obviously enjoyed the title.
The gameplay in SOCOM: Confrontation is more on the strategy side that the usual run-and-gun to lock the map down, so a good squad using communication can dominate. Most maps have multiple strong points, but you can’t guard them all so there’s definite planning required to succeed. Fortunately, voice chat is excellent, and perimeter talk comes in just fine. There are also various weapons at your disposal, more than enough to suit various players’ game styles, and they’re customizable to a point (i.e. sights, grips and grenade launchers).
Customization of your avatar and armor is a little limited, but you won’t really miss it, as these games can run fast and furious, and the last thing you’re doing is checking out the person you killed or who killed your avatar. And while certain PS3 owners will gripe about the customization being “just one more example” of SOCOM: Confrontation not being perfect, the game is still a heck of a lot fun. If patches can address the odd hiccups here and there, as we presume they will, and some new maps become available, SOCOM: Confrontation could very well have some staying power. If you’re not a SOCOM vet, it might take some getting used to the pacing and control scheme, but no longer than a day or so. And heck, if you’re into online gaming at all, we strongly recommend picking up the bundle for the Bluetooth headset alone.
Buy the SOCOM: Confrontation bundle at Amazon.com.
- Score: 7.9
— Phil Vollmer