Hands On With SOCOM 4 Multiplayer

Earlier this week I was lucky enough to be invited by Sony to come up to Zipper Interactive HQ’s. I knew I was going to see SOCOM 4, I didn’t know that I was going to be able to get several hours of hands on time with the multiplayer along with a quick hands on the single player in 3D.

Now before I hit up the multiplayer, let me give you some quick details about what I saw in the single player as my hands on time with it was limited. First off, as I mentioned on the last episode of our Lock and Load podcast, this game was probably the most authentic looking shooter that I’ve ever had my hands on, it was just beautiful. The jungles had lush environments and everything just looked so real, it was the same while in the other game environments. The weapons, the vehicles, the buildings, it all looked completely true to form. As for SOCOM 4’s 3D, to myself it wasn’t as impressive. While playing it in 3D it felt like I was playing it through a cardboard cut-out diorama, everything just looked really flat, almost like a Southpark tv show. I don’t know if the shading was wrong or what but it just didn’t look right. Regardless of the 3D though, the game still looked great and felt great as well.

Let’s hit the multiplayer now as I had several hours with it. First thing about the multiplayer, I kick ass at it, at least against fellow people in the media. While playing SOCOM 4, Sony ended up having three tournaments where the top player won a Sony Bloggie (go ahead and check the link, I had no idea what it was till I googled it). I ended up winning the second and third round (I was skipped on winning it though), posting scores that you would see in the top of Call of Duty matches. This was one of my indicators of some of the changes that were made with SOCOM 4, it had a more arcade type of feel to it when compared to previous SOCOM games. Don’t worry too much though, it wasn’t like a Call of Duty, it more felt like a more authentic Battlefield Bad Company 2 (which was one of my games of the year by the way, so that’s a good thing). In addition to the ability to take a few more bullets then in previous SOCOM games (in my opinion at least), I was also able to throw grenades thirty to forty yards at ease, something that anyone that has ever thrown a grenade knows how heavy live grenades are, and now hard that they are to throw. That actually was one of my only pet peeves with the game, for a game that prides itself on authenticity, how they allowed this. In reality though, they are not the only ones, just about every game does this.

The gameplay I thought was superb, the game just felt exactly how it should, or how a game should feel to me. SOCOM 4 features up to thirty-two people online and five while playing co-op. It will feature nine brand new maps along with one of you pre-order the game from GameStop (something that I just hate more then anything else), it will be a classic map. There will also be four game modes, Suppression, Uplink, Last Defense and one that has yet to be announced.

SOCOM 4 has several other things for great for it, it has a XP system that rewards teamwork and mini in-match achievements, i.e., killstreaks, headshots, K/D ratios, etc. Your XP will be used to customize your character and loadouts. In addition to the XP the weapons have a leveling system as well, the more you use them the more advanced mods you will be able to use on that weapon. It seemed like a pretty cool system that they had going there. As for systems there will also be a party and clan system built into the game. I was able to get a little bit of info about the clan system. You will be able to do basic clan things from the game and on top of that there will be a more robust clan and stat tracking system on the web, one thing I think just about all games should provide.

I forgot to mention the ability to do airstrikes as well, talk about fun but not so easy to do. Depending on what game type you are doing, reaching certain in-game achievements will unlock the airstrike ability. While playing Suppression, once you get to a certain kill streak you gain an airstrike and while playing Last Defense, if you capture a position, you will gain an airstrike. Now here is the hard part, airstrikes take time to activate once you earn them because you have to lock onto a position, while locking on you are not able to be covered down on a wall or anything and if you die before you use it, you lose it. I lost a couple myself and wasn’t thrilled about losing them, nor was I when I released that it’s really easy to team kill with one. At one point I killed four of their guys and four of my own with a single strike, that wasn’t too cool.

With all this said, what are my overall thoughts on SOCOM 4. The game is fun, it looks great and I really enjoyed the multiplayer. This being said, what sets this game apart from all the other shooters out there? Honestly I don’t know. It’s a really solid game and one that I’d love to have in my catalog but not one that I feel is a must own. If I had to score it right now I’d say it’s a solid eight out of ten, a really great game but not one that you have to own.

For more screenshots of the game, check out our previous post here. And for some gameplay video, here is a trailer and here is another video with some authentic gameplay. Hope you enjoy and leave any thoughts or questions that you might have below in the comment section.

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  • Don’t buy this game. It has no Demolition mode, no gun hot, and no lobby system. This game is not Socom.

  • Game’s looking great. The graphics are definitely on par with Uncharted 2. Yummy

  • Also it has no pistols, no grenade arc, no breach, no extraction, no any classic game play. If you like Companies ignoring their loyal fanbase, go ahead and buy this game, but it’s not Socom

  • it’s sad that you actually like it and i can see from what you wrote your not a hardcore socom fan. They pretty much got rid of everything that made it unique and made another COD clone, espicially when it comes to respawn. Even classic doesnt sound too great, becasue key features like d-pad lean is gone you cant actually play the classic way.

  • Another waste of time and money, I understand Zipper wants to make a different games but instead of listen to the hardcore socom vets they go ahead make a game that they want to play and enjoy,what about the community who’s been asking for years what they want?. All they wanted is new socom new game mode but keep the game play style and movement no OTS!!!!

  • I remember this game back in 2003 to 2005 when it ruled most of my gaming days. But the Socom: Confrontation for the PS3 left a bad taste in my mouth the game was so horrible and unreliable that I will never buy this game again. Also, looking at what the others said Zipper once again took away gameplay mechanics that made the game fun in the first place.

    No, I’m not buying this game. My memories of Socom 2 and 3 will forever be remembered fondly. The newer editions for the PS3 can be left as a “what if I bought that game” train of thought. I have Killzone and Bad Company to keep me company Socom to me means clan, kneeling + laying prone, and claymore mines all these made horrible in Confrontation and probably in the new one as well.

  • Thanks for posting this, Steve. I’m looking forward to this game quite a bit.

    What’s sad is people who haven’t even played the game yet are bashing it.

    I’ve been listening to Zipper’s official podcast for a while, and for a couple things they did say that there are grenade arcs if you want to use that mode, and personally, I think gun hot is cheating. And I’m a SOCOM loyalist since SOCOM II.

    I’m sure opinion diverges. But people should probably wait until ALL the information comes out.

  • Partnur

    I’ve been a SOCOMer since S1 & I’m so glad Zipper is finally giving respawn fans the attention they deserve! They also still have round based gameplay in the Classic mode, but have made some changes to it. I’m interested to see how those changes play out.

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  • If the grenade distance is 30-40 feet, I’d say that’s pretty accurate for the average soldier, and that’s talking about the heavier Incendiary grenades. Fragmentation grenades typically have 3/4 the weight of Incendiary grenades. Maybe instead what you meant was given the animation chosen for throwing grenades, the distance doesn’t seem to fit.

    Not only that but when we’re playing this game, we’re not playing it as us. We’re playing it as elite operators who have basic and weapons training.

    And to all the vets who are upset, I hear ya but let’s wait until we have all the details before going off the deep end.

  • Yes I agree on waiting untill the game is out and has had hands on.Then comment.I am sure Zipper will make needed adjustments.I’m keeping open minded
    for the time being.

  • Zipper is making a game that will appeal to the majority, they are a company that is trying to make a profit!? Socom classic is not a style of play the majority of people enjoy(myself included). From what I read they give you the option to play each mode in classic as well. Seems like the Socom Vet’s are a bunch of cry babies IMO! I for one will by this game and after trying to play Socom for the first time back in the day and having the Vet’s be complete d*$ks, I for one am glad you won’t be buying it!!