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SOCOM: Tactical Strike - in the trenches

Your SEALs also come equipped with a battery of special skills (you can assemble your team from a pool of troops with hacking, lockpicking, sniping and other talents), and you'll be able to customize and upgrade their stats, gear and weapons however you like. You can invest a lot of time and money turning one guy into the ultimate sniper, for example, or you can turn two of your guys into a heavily armed fire-support element, while the other two are lighter and faster.

All these skills and loadouts will come in useful during the game's four-player multiplayer matches, which will feature all the standard SOCOM game modes and will enable each player to control a full four-man squad, for a total of up to 16 guys (split into two teams) on the battlefield at once. Tactical Strike will also feature headset support, so you'll be able to coordinate with your partner during matches, and argue with your enemies between them.

Your SEALs also come equipped with a battery of special skills (you can assemble your team from a pool of troops with hacking, lockpicking, sniping and other talents), and you'll be able to customize and upgrade their stats, gear and weapons however you like. You can invest a lot of time and money turning one guy into the ultimate sniper, for example, or you can turn two of your guys into a heavily armed fire-support element, while the other two are lighter and faster.

All these skills and loadouts will come in useful during the game's four-player multiplayer matches, which will feature all the standard SOCOM game modes and will enable each player to control a full four-man squad, for a total of up to 16 guys (split into two teams) on the battlefield at once. Tactical Strike will also feature headset support, so you'll be able to coordinate with your partner during matches, and argue with your enemies between them.

As we mentioned earlier, SOCOM: Tactical Strike will feature nine multinational security forces for players to choose from, from countries as diverse as Spain, South Korea, France and Australia. It's possible this was done just to deflect the usual American-jingoism complaints, but what's interesting is that they won't be limited to multiplayer. Picking one in single-player actually changes the game a little: the name of the new force you've chosen will be added to the title screen, and each force's story mode has its own recorded dialogue and slightly different scripts.

It's a cool addition, and just one more cool thing SOCOM: Tactical Strike has going for it. Even in its unfinished state, the game is addictive and involving, and SOCOM fans looking for something a little more cerebral should have a lot to look forward to when the game hits in November.

As we mentioned earlier, SOCOM: Tactical Strike will feature nine multinational security forces for players to choose from, from countries as diverse as Spain, South Korea, France and Australia. It's possible this was done just to deflect the usual American-jingoism complaints, but what's interesting is that they won't be limited to multiplayer. Picking one in single-player actually changes the game a little: the name of the new force you've chosen will be added to the title screen, and each force's story mode has its own recorded dialogue and slightly different scripts.

It's a cool addition, and just one more cool thing SOCOM: Tactical Strike has going for it. Even in its unfinished state, the game is addictive and involving, and SOCOM fans looking for something a little more cerebral should have a lot to look forward to when the game hits in November.

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.