SOCOM II: U.S. Navy Seals
Damn! Here we go again…Terrorist groups such as Al Quaeda, the Hezbollah and other scum are threatening world peace. What can you do? Easy, you insert your SOCOM2 DVD into your PlayStation 2 console and you start shooting! Hoojah!
SOCOM2 is a realistic tactical action game. Big deal you say? It seems as if it’s a game just like many others but looks can be deceiving. SOCOM2 has some very unique features, such as support for the USB-headset and a well thought-out online mode. However, last year’s SOCOM already had these innovations and its sequel offers more of the same, only better.
The most important side of SOCOM2 is without any doubt its great use of the Network Adapter. SOCOM used to be the most played online game for PS2 but its follow-up already surpassed it. The online mode is simply excellent and it is without any doubt the best thing about the game. If you are in possession of a Network Adapter, buy this game and you will enjoy hours of fun-filled online gameplay. It’s also here that most changes were made. Next to the original three game modes (Demolition, Suppression, Extraction), two new ones have been added: Escort and Breach. In Escort mode one team has to defend and accompany a VIP while the other team tries to prevent it. Breach is all about a central base that is defended by one team while the others try to get in, guns blazing. That last mode is my personal favourite. Furthermore 22 new maps have been added and you are able to change clantag without having to create a new account. The biggest change is still the introduction of a new and improved ranking system. Every player starts as an Ensign but, depending on your skills, you can reach higher ranks (Lieutenant, Captain, Commander, Admiral).
The single player mode hasn’t changed that much. Three difficulty levels have been introduced but that’s it. You still have control over a team of four highly trained killing machines that fulfil top secret missions in exotic locations such as Brazil, Albania, Russia and Libya. Your missions vary from protecting and extracting pinned-down friendly soldiers to blowing up a supply of cocaine that can bring a junkie into Wonderland for the next fifteen years.
You can compete all of your missions the Rambo-way, by shooting everything that moves, including cute and fluffy bunnies, but the chances of eating a bullet after just one minute are real. The AI doesn’t miss too often and you are severely outnumbered so it’s recommended to play each level as stealthy as possible.
Luckily your teammates help you out a lot. You can yell your orders at them using the headset and most of the time they do what’s asked. Unfortunately, both your team members and the AI still look like Laurel and Hardy from time to time. Also, not all of your orders are understood or interpreted correctly which leads to repeating the same sentence five times or inserting it through a separate menu.
All of the environments look great and are very detailed. They look very lively and more colourful than SOCOM and that’s certainly a positive thing. Everything looks polished and well finished. The boys and girls of Zipper Interactive deserve credit here.
The sound and music are also OK. The soundtrack isn’t very special but it isn’t aggravating either. Your weapons sound good and the voice-overs sound convincing. A neat feature is that the terrorists speak in their mother tongue, in stead of English with a foreign accent.
SOCOM2 is a great game. It improves its predecessor on every front. The use of the headset and its unforgettable online mode make the game stand out in a very positive way. The sound and graphics are also very good. Unfortunately the games uses a whopping 3MB of Memory Card space, so chances are there that you will have to purchase another one or remove some of your older savegames