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Editorial: SOCOM 4 and My Thoughts


The gentlemen at Zipper Interactive are the founding fathers of the SOCOM series. It was recently announced that Zipper is working on SOCOM 4. SOCOM 2 is held on a pedastool by SOCOM vets as the definitive tactical shooter game ever made. Those same veterans will also tell you the series started going downhill afterward. Larger maps and vehicles are cited as some of the main reasons for the downhill slide of SOCOM’s on the PS2. Then SOCOM: Confrontation was announced, with a new developer.

And by new, I mean new. SOCOM: Confrontation was handed off from Zipper to Slant Six, an upstart developer that hadn’t really done anything of note. I’m sorry, but that was Sony’s mistake for putting such a big franchise on some small shoulders. I don’t blame Slant Six one bit for the outcome of SOCOM. Especially since heavy rumors exist that they were given a PS2 game budget. What do you expect?

Without going into all the flaws of Confrontation, I will say that game has come a long way in a year. Granted, it probably should of been released that way, but /6 got it fixed, for the most part. So why take the franchise away from them, when all they have to do is copy that system over, make some tweaks, and add more stuff? I firmly believe they deserved a second chance to make another SOCOM game. In this day and age, a SOCOM 2 clone is not going to cut it. Yes, the hardcore SOCOM vets would buy it, but you also need to bring in new customers. That was the reason for some of the drastic changes. To be honest, Confrontation sounds much better than SOCOM 3 or Combined Assault.

So here’s what I am afraid of with the franchise coming back home to Zipper. In all the interviews leading up to MAG, the staff at Zipper kept saying it was their dream to make massive scale wars in a video game. It sounded like they started to try to go that direction with the later SOCOM’s, and then started on MAG. I imagine things from MAG crossing over into SOCOM. None of them sound appealing to me. So let’s analyze some of those.

1. Lack of lobbies, shifting to Confrontation’s Quick Match style of matchmaking only. Or, to make it even simpler, the matchmaking style of MAG. Which means no rematch, no control in what you play, just random matchmaking. I will not buy this game if this is the case.

2. Vehicles and larger maps. Some of the maps in Confrontation are pushing the limit on size, especially for 4v4 matches. Vehicles is another deal breaker for me. Not sold if that’s the case.

3. Removing rank. This isn’t a MAG-cross over, but a worry since on the SOCOM boards most people seem to want it gone for the simple fact of removing “rank ups” and such. How about remove leaderboards, and keep rank. Removing rank, I will not be buying the next SOCOM.

Before I continue, I want to state, I have sunk hundreds of hours into Confrontation. SOCOM: Confrontation is THE tactical shooter on the market. Do you want to know why? The main reason is there is no respawn in ranked games. Which means, if you screw up, you die, and have to wait for the end of the round to play again. Therefore, the game is insanely tense, because you don’t want to have to wait to play. It makes the game ultra competitive.

4. Removing “no respawn”. I don’t think I need to state anything else.

5. Adding the single player campaign will detract time away from making the online play what it needs to be. A game that is known for it’s online play shouldn’t spend resources on a 10 hour campaign. I’m sorry, I know I just pissed a lot of people off, but that’s my honest feeling. SOCOM is about playing online, intense competition.

Again, intermission. I want to want this game. I want to be drooling over SOCOM 4. I am not saying these things are going to happen, and I am not saying I think they will happen. I’m just saying some of the possibilities. I hope I am wrong on every single one of these. I want to want this game.

That being said, let’s end on a high note! What I would really like Zipper to add in the game, eh?

1. Obviously; more maps, more guns, more customization. The obvious things first. Hell, don’t build the game from the ground up, just use the S:C engine and tweak it to make it better.

2. User created ranked rooms. I think everyone crying for this makes it an obvious desire in the game.

3. A more fleshed out specialization system. I want to unlock upgraded guns, a la BF:BC2 in a way, or like the current specialization system in S:C. I use machine guns, I unlock an upgraded machine gun. But put more thought into it than the current system.

4. Give the clan leader, or officer, a tactical map like MAG, where we can issue orders easily to our team. Even better if we could plan these routes while the game was loading, and the team could see what they were doing during that time. I would really enjoy that. My favorite part about SOCOM is strategy. I am a tactician, who enjoys commanding a team. Give me more tools to do that with. That’s one of the things that could be brought over from MAG and work.

In the interest of the reader, I will let this end here. I will restate I want to want SOCOM 4. I just hope this turns out good. I will stay as open minded as possible until I see it in action, and actually get to play it.

– Sobær

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  1. March 5, 2010 at 8:28 am

    Nice post! I really like your posting.
    i will come back to read more of your posts.

    Cheers

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