Skip to main content

A SOCOM PS5 return would be a perfect time to bring the hardcore shooter back

socom ps5
(Image credit: Sony)

SOCOM PS5 – could it ever happen? No matter how many top games get announced for PS5 – new, old, reboots, whatever – there will always be a part of us pining for SOCOM. Between rumours and chat among super-eager fans of Sony's flagship shooter, one that first breached the trenches 20 whole years ago, there are definitely murmurings of a SOCOM PS5 game happening, but is it likely we'll see anything in the flesh? Read on for everything we know about the possibility of a SOCOM PS5 venture that'd break the series 11-year ceasefire.  

See more

So far, so rumoury. However, some hires at Guerrilla are fueling speculation that it could well be working on SOCOM. Most notably, two years ago Rainbow Six Siege director Simon Larouche joined the studio, as well as Siege designer Chris Lee who also [CRASH ZOOM] worked on SOCOM. Rainbow Six Siege and SOCOM share a lot of DNA as stern online team shooters with no respawns. So, while it’s not a confirmation, it’s hard to imagine PlayStation using that expertise to make a game that didn’t have a whiff of its old franchise around it. 

Basically it’s perfect timing for a SOCOM PS5 return, so let's look into why exactly: 

SOCOM PS5 - It’s the best time to bring beloved franchises back

SOCOM

(Image credit: Sony)

If things like God of War and the Resident Evil 2 remake have taught us anything it’s that gamers love a familiar face. Publishers love them too because the existing brand awareness makes it a lot less riskier than trying to win people over with a new name. It’s a game that’s been away a while but never fails to see rumours or its return answered with interest and excitement - there’s a clear demand and PlayStation would be stupid not to think about cashing in on it.  

SOCOM was a multiplayer game ahead of its time

SOCOM

(Image credit: Sony)

While the original SOCOM games had basic single-player missions, it was really all about the multiplayer. Even though when it originally arrived on PS2 in 2002 it landed on a console that didn’t even have an internet connection - you had to buy a separate Network Adaptor to be able to plug into a dial-up modem. Even so, it collected a legion of fans that still want a return and has stockpiled buzz over the years that would make a comeback a welcome return.

Games as a service shooters are a perfect home for a new SOCOM

SOCOM

(Image credit: Sony)

SOCOM was one of those games that was held back by its campaign. It was okay, but the real draw has always been the testing multiplayer. Trouble is for most of SOCOM’s life, online-only games weren’t really a thing on console. Now, however, the market has shifted - games like Rainbow Six Siege or Overwatch, along with Fortnite and all the other battle royales have created a big online-only business that would be perfect to focus SOCOM on what it does best. 

Rainbow Six Siege proves there’s a market for tough team-based shooters

SOCOM

(Image credit: Sony)

For a long time console multiplayer tended to always be team deathmatches fueled by occasional objectives and endless respawns. The success of Siege, however, has shown you can make a ruthless, ‘dead means dead’ shooter that is both a critical and commercial success. Rainbow Six’s take is basically a spiritual successor to SOCOM as well with its more ‘realistic’ take on military action and gunplay, the odd outlandish gadget and character notwithstanding. 

The esports industry would lap it up 

SOCOM

(Image credit: Sony)

SOCOM is all about tension and last-second clutches. It’s a series with a traditionally rock bottom time to kill where, in many games, the first and only gunshot you’d hear would be the one that sent you back to the lobby to spectate the rest of the match. Games could last a few explosive seconds, or draw out into agonising minutes as teams whittled away each others’ numbers until only a few survivors remained - the last few players creeping cautiously around corners and jumping at the slightest noise. It’s perfect entertainment. 

Leon Hurley
Leon Hurley

I'm currently GamesRadar's Senior Guides Co-ordinator, which means I've had a hand in producing or writing all of the guide and tips content on the site. I also write reviews, previews and features, and do video. Previously I worked for Kotaku, and the Official PlayStation Magazine and website. I'm a big fan of open world games, horror, and narrative adventures. 

With contributions from