SOCOM has always been for the hardcore tactical shooter fanatic ever since its debut on the PlayStation 2, but with the implementation of Sony’s motion controller, the Move, SOCOM 4 may have the potential to open the series to a more casual audience while keeping the tactical sensibilities intact.
The demo shown at the Sony booth demonstrated how the Move controller and sub controller will work with the game. The sub controller controlled the soldier movement with the analog stick and issuing squad commands with the directional pad while the Move controller handled aiming, shooting, taking cover and other gesture based commands. The controls were separated into three categories, each differing in the sensitivity of how the Move controller aims and turns the soldier. These do take some getting used to, but after some practice, these controls feel as responsive as a mouse and keyboard.
The demo takes place in a disaster stricken southeast Asian country, where destroyed cars litter the streets and train tracks lay in ruins. The player’s objective was to neutralize a coup, but it turned out to be a full fledged invasion. With an objective like that, one soldier cannot do it alone. The squad mechanic is reminiscent of the previous SOCOM titles, but simplifies the commands, leaving the squad’s artificial intelligence to choose what to do in a given situation. The player can command where each squad can go with just a point of the Move controller and press of left or right on the directional pad and the squad will cover the player, take out any threats and know when to move to the next objective, giving a cohesive feel to the squad and not a run and gun solo experience. The ability to calling in air strikes has also been added to the game with the Move controller making it easy to paint targets.
By streamlining squad controls and using the simplicity and responsiveness of the Move controller, SOCOM 4’s action is the fastest and most efficient it’s ever been in the long running series. SOCOM 4 is to be released in 2011.
Originally published on June 19, 2010 @ StudentVoiceOnline.com