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As publisher SCEA is fond of pointing out, the SOCOM games are huge. Not Madden huge, but the series has a sizable, dedicated fanbase that's playing every single game in the series online, right now, as you're reading this. With that kind of loyalty, it was only a matter of time before the series emerged silently from the proverbial water and crept onto the shores of the PS3. Or - if the chaotic video we've seen of SOCOM: Confrontation is any indication of things to come -stormed onto them, screaming like a banshee, with giant blazing machineguns firing in all directions from each hand.
Helmed by a new developer, Slant Six (every other SOCOM was made by Zipper Interactive), Confrontation looks to uphold the same standards of realism set by previous SOCOM games. To be fair, though, we haven't seen much yet - just a brief video showing a slick-looking, explosive multiplayer firefight between US troops and terrorist-looking balaclava-wearers in the streets of a generic Middle East town. Which is great, even if we didn't see much of the sneaking normally emphasized by the series.
What we do know so far is that SCEA is pushing Confrontation as the "ultimate SOCOM online experience," and that it'll feature "intimate 32-player team-based online combat." It'll also take full advantage of the PS3's built-in hard drive and Sixaxis motion controls, although it's not yet clear exactly how.
We also know that Confrontation will feature new game modes, and that it'll focus heavily on customization. When picking your multiplayer avatar, you'll be able to choose from a variety of international special forces groups, meaning you're not limited to SEALs anymore. You'll also be able to customize your characters, uniforms and gear, even going so far as to create special uniforms for your online clans.
Additionally, SCEA says that after the game's release, content-filled "theme packs" will eventually be downloadable from the PlayStation Network, featuring new special-forces groups, weapons, maps and more. Looks like GRAW 2 might finally be getting a serious next-gen rival.