SOCOM 3 deployed to retail

Sony's latest US Navy SEALs game brings 32-man melees, vehicles to PlayStation 2 tactical shooter franchise.

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SOCOM 3's cover was blown today when Sony leaked its current location. The third game in the modern tactical shooter series, SOCOM 3: US Navy SEALs, now can be found at North American retailers.

New features for the third game include interactive vehicles, customizable weapons, and cross-talk capabilities with SOCOM: US Navy SEALs Fireteam Bravo on the PSP (scheduled for a November 8 release). Developer Zipper Interactive has also bumped up the maximum number of players in online games from 16 to 32 and has expanded the mission maps to be five-to-six times larger than in SOCOM II.

When SOCOM 3 was first announced, one of Zipper Interactive's three goals for the game (along with beefing up the single-player experience to match the multiplayer, as well as to innovate the series' formula) was to avoid real-life hot spots with the settings for the game. Ironically, that move led the game to become a focal point of controversy, as the Bangladeshi government alleged in April that by setting parts of the game in its country, Sony was portraying Bangladesh as a terrorist state. Sony quickly pulled all mention of the country from the game in response.

Zipper Interactive previously developed Crimson Skies and MechWarrior 3, but it is best know for its work on the SOCOM series. SOCOM: US Navy SEALs 3 is rated M for Mature and retails for $49.99. Check back later this week for GameSpot's full review.

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