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Hands-on with SOCOM 4's DualShock and Move flavors

With Move, the action isn’t too different, and if you’ve ever played a shooter on the Wii, you already know exactly what to expect: you’ll move with the navigation sub-controller (or the left half of the DualShock, which it turns out can be used with Move), and aim with the Move wand. To be fair, Move feels much more responsive and capable of minute adjustments than the Wii remote, but accurately zeroing in on targets by pointing a wand at the screen still takes some getting used to.

Controls aside, the demo promises much bigger, more explosive action than previous games in the series. After clearing a chunk of ruined freeway of assault rifle-toting rebels, Gray caught a glimpse of the fleet he’s supposed to rescue, and for the first time heard from his handler, an analyst codenamed Oracle stationed on the fleet who tracks him via satellite and gives him objectives accordingly.

While he was trying to talk to her, he and his squadmates were shot at by what looked like an APC, which was patrolling the shipping yard below the freeway. After waiting for it to move into position, the game prompted us to aim at it and hold down L2, which – once charged – launched an airstrike that completely obliterated the APC and its support infantry.

The resulting explosion was huge, but not as huge as the one that we got to trigger at the end of the demo. After fighting our way through what probably used to be a pretty nice downtown street, ducking behind ad boxes and benches for cover, we cleared out some alarmingly well-equipped enemy soldiers and encountered a huge artillery battery that we then tore apart with an airstrike, ending the demo with a massive blast.

Due out sometime this fall, SOCOM 4 already looks more interesting (to us, at least) than previous entries in what until now has been a fairly personality-free franchise. And, yes, it’ll still feature multiplayer, although we haven’t seen any of that yet. Will it be deep enough to build its own ridiculously diehard fanbase? We should have a better idea in the next couple months.

Jun 28, 2010

After graduating from college in 2000 with a BA in journalism, I worked for five years as a copy editor, page designer and videogame-review columnist at a couple of mid-sized newspapers you've never heard of. My column eventually got me a freelancing gig with GMR magazine, which folded a few months later. I was hired on full-time by GamesRadar in late 2005, and have since been paid actual money to write silly articles about lovable blobs.