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SOCOM: Confrontation review

Decent
AT A GLANCE
  • Usual SOCOM gunplay is here... somewhere
  • Headset is brilliant
  • Tilt controls work
  • Utterly unfinished
  • Steep learning curve
  • Graphics will never be impressive

Publisher Sony snuck this latest entry in its long-standing Navy SEALs-based shooter onto store shelves with very little fanfare. Odd, considering this was one of PlayStation 2’s biggest franchises and the game introducing the PS3’s swish new wireless headset (which is fantastic, by the way) – but we saw almost immediately why. This game simply wasn’t finished when it was shipped. In fact, we considered holding our review until all of the game’s problems were addressed in the patches we know are already on the way. But that may be awhile.

The first thing SOCOM: Confrontation did was spend 25 minutes installing more than 3 gigabytes of data onto our hard drive – this isn’t optional, which is a worrying trend for PS3 games. But more worrying was the game’s second act: immediately downloading a sizable patch that corrupted the save game data that the game had automatically generated when it installed. Once we exited the game, manually deleted the save data from the hard drive, then restarted the game, we were golden (well, except for all the other issues). But don’t plan on playing anything but the blues for the first 30-60 minutes after inserting the game.

Moving on, let’s assume for the sake of continuing this review that you’ve got the game all patched up and you’re ready to rock. The first thing you should know is that this is online multiplayer ONLY. There’s no single player mode – not even a tutorial that lets you get your feet wet. This is not a complaint necessarily; it’s just a statement of fact. Don’t come here looking for any sort of story or campaign mode or training wheels. That stuff’s not here.

Also not here: Trophies, decent matchmaking and stat tracking, reliable servers, more robust clan features, graphics that are high quality or free of glitches, working sniper scopes and a smooth, lag-free framerate. This is, at present, a badly broken game. However, there are patches already cooking that should fix pretty much everything but the average-at-best visuals, so if you’re patient, you should be rewarded.

So, what IS here? Seven maps, many of them vast and expansive and all filled with some of the most tense, gritty, realistic military combat you’re going to get from a game. This is hard stuff, gang – if you run-and-gun, you will die, quickly and repeatedly, and in some matches you only get one life.

You’ll also find the series’ trademark cornucopia of equipment for the modern soldier fully intact, enabling you to customize your gear loadout exactly how you want it. The new motion controls for leaning around corners and jumping out from cover actually work pretty well.

Finally, the excellent quality of the headset (which we can attest also functions perfectly in Resistance 2) enhances perhaps the game’s biggest strength: The teamwork with other human players that carries you through the nail-bitingly intense combat. This is why people love SOCOM, and why they will love this SOCOM as well. Once it’s finished, at least. For now, buy this to get the headset for Resistance 2 and come back to SOCOM in a couple months. Maybe it’ll be completed by then.

Oct 31, 2008

More Info

Release date: Oct 14 2008 - PS3 (US)
Available Platforms: PS3
Genre: Shooter
Published by: SCEA
Developed by: Slant Six
ESRB Rating:
Mature: Blood, Strong Language, Violence
PEGI Rating:
Rating Pending

11 comments

  • rekof - September 25, 2009 8:18 a.m.

    afrer latest patch,.. It is much better,.. but atleast they are listening to community,..and fixing it,.. It should be relased at least as it is now if not better,..
  • anduin1 - November 23, 2008 8:23 a.m.

    still a great game, Im having a blast playing it, game SHOULD be re-reviewed now so as to not turn people off from a great game. I think its an easy 8 now
  • anduin1 - October 31, 2008 10:21 p.m.

    The patch they added already seems to have smoothed things out, I connect to games with ease and I dont understand what the graphical glitches are. I won't lie, right out the gate the game was in a sorry state but that last patch seems to have fixed nearly everything.
  • GoldenMe - October 31, 2008 10:05 p.m.

    Hah, another broken PS3 game. How many times have this happen now? Wait for it.........FIRST!!! Now where's my flame?
  • EvilWaterman - November 3, 2008 2:47 p.m.

    *to go
  • EvilWaterman - November 3, 2008 2:45 p.m.

    i like the tactical games so if the issues are fixed then ill get it. Oh, and usb headsets are the way to my friends! They never run out of battery!! lol
  • Ninja-KiLLR - November 2, 2008 1:19 a.m.

    I not having any problems anymore but that first week was HELL! but its all good just in time for me to get resistance 2!
  • therat - November 1, 2008 10:47 a.m.

    Can you buy the headset separately? I know you can buy headsets from other companies but i want to get the official one just to be safe.
  • Tasty_Pasta - October 31, 2008 10:21 p.m.

    SOCOM is a good game for people who enjoy tactical, mature gaming, and not run-n-gun lone wolfing like CoD. But people who don't like to think will never like SOCOM. But it's Slant 6's first PS3 game, and they're staying in GREAT, and constant communication with the community, so I have high hopes for the future of SOCOM.
  • harryf308 - April 18, 2009 12:39 p.m.

    I got this game only for the headset. I looked at the box and thought "hmm this looks an ok game".. but i get home, spend an hour getting game data intstalled etc. Then i think, this better be good! How wrong i was; the gameplay is boring and pointless; the controls are garbage; the weapons are terrible; the graphics are terrible compared to ps1 games! The sound effects dont go with the gameplay. This is just a terrinble game and a big letdown for me and i would think many others! Now i can see why they sold it in a package with the headset (which i must say, the headset is brilliant!) because Socom wouldn't sell one copy of the game! Now one question, where can i get a sledgehammer?
  • Rick - March 21, 2009 5:22 p.m.

    Controls are completely garbage. Customization of all controls is higher on my priority list then the best graphics. Playability is more important then sound or graphics. Team work dependent games are awesome. This is great when I'm playing with my clan. The controls are very, very poor. Standard CoD 4, Halo, R1& R2 controls should be in every game control options, or it should not be set on the shelf.

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