SOCOM 4 Updated Impressions

We engage in squad tactics, shoot enemies, and make big things going boom in our latest look at Zipper Interactive's upcoming Move-based shooter.

The latest edition of the squad-based shooter series from developer Zipper Interactive is coming for the PlayStation 3, designed specifically for use with the upcoming PlayStation Move control system. We had a chance to get a peek at the SOCOM 4 E3 2010 demo last night before the opening of the show.

Previous Coverage: SOCOM 4 was unveiled back in March when Sony debuted the PlayStation Move system to the press for the first time.

What's New: This demo opens with an insurgent attack on a South American city. You are part of a small peacekeeping force and have a squad of four additional soldiers (organized into two fireteams) that you can control. You can give orders to your squadmates to move to certain areas onscreen or attack certain enemies, simply by pointing to the location onscreen and pushing either left or right on the D pad.

From a shooting standpoint, the controls in SOCOM 4 are motion based and look to be just as accurate as they were back in the Game Developers Conference demo. Undoubtedly, the new control scheme will take some getting used to, but small touches, such as the ability to zoom in for more accurate shots, look to improve your chances of getting the kill.

Thanks to dynamic enemy AI, encounters will be slightly different each time you play through a level. As a result, squadmates are essential to success. In addition to being able to send your squaddies out one objective at a time, you'll be able to chain together objectives simply by pointing to the screen and then holding the appropriate direction on the D pad at the same time. These chained objectives will be on "hold" until you hit the "go" button (up on the D pad). This ends up being a sort of battlefield improvisation, where you'll be able to plan and execute coordinated attacks. It also places a premium on field of view--having an elevated position on your enemy will give you more options for coordinating attacks, for example.

Also new were the air strikes, one of several assets you'll find in the final version of SOCOM 4. To launch an air strike, you just point at the target and press the R2 button; a few seconds later, the air strike hit its intended target and things blow up nicely. We had infinite air strikes available to us in the E3 demo, but producers told us that there will be different types of these military assets available to you, some of which will be limited in number.

Updated Thoughts: Cool squad tactics, big explosions, and emergent enemy AI aside, SOCOM 4 is going to live or die by its shooting controls. From what we've seen, using the Move controller to aim a gun looks to be simple and effective. In the past, the PC mouse versus console controller has sharply divided the shooter community in terms of effectiveness. Perhaps, in a few years, that debate might change to mouse vs. Move?

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Discussion

36 comments
blueguykisame
blueguykisame

may get a move for this and killzone. hope they incorporate the move into the games very well and fluently.

SANDMAN201
SANDMAN201

You know, i agree with you. Not everyone has a move so not everyone will be able to use it. And if you want to play old SOCOM games nobody is stopping you.

R2H2O
R2H2O

I say if you want your Old Socom nobody is stopping you for getting it on eBay. Man its 2010 and you want to play and spend money on a game you already played dudes just let it go. You have to upgrade you mindset people that think this socom 4 game isn't socom that remark dont even make since. What makes a game socom, hell cause if you ask me the people that created the first few are still making it an if they go into a different direction with it then so be it just upgrade your game play and stop acting like Noobs!!!! either buy it or dont cause DPG going all in when it drops!!!!

jlgatorman
jlgatorman

oh my goodness some people are so retarded. May the records be straight!!! THE MOVE IS OPTIONAL YOU IDIOTS! also, it's still 3rd person (btw whoever thought it wasn't obviously doesn't know socom). COVER SYSTEM- Why is everybody pissed about this?!? If you were in battle you wouldn't leave your head peeking out from the top of the wall would you? why does this anger people that you can get behind cover? your enemies behind cover? Guess what grenades are for!!! And really "hardcore socom fans" go f$#k yourselves i can't believe you would threaten to skip this game because zippers making some changes. Theyre just adapting to the market! I've played socom for a long time, so i know what i'm talking about when i say that a regenerating health system is a good and bad thing. But really, "hardcore socom fans", get over it you drama queens. And Confrontation wasnt so horrible that you should never buy another socom, especially since the 4th is being made by Zipper. I still play Confrontation, even though when Socom 4 comes out i'll throw it away. Anyway, probably didn't change anyones mind here but i'm really tired of reading this bulls@#t.

mm46290
mm46290

Mouse will always reign supreme in the battle of mouse vs. analog stick and even mouse vs. move. Come to the PC side people, the water is fine :)

taino1128
taino1128

@EVERYBODY WHO IS COMPLAINING: THE MOVE IS OPTIONAL, PEOPLE. IT IS NOT GOING TO RUIN THE GAME. And why wouldn't you want wall mechanics? Do u enjoy not being able to fully take cover and getting taken down easily? Making it like exactly like classic SOCOM=dated gameplay and graphics. This is 2010, not 2000.

dcoy8
dcoy8

As if they didn't murder the series with confrontation. This is going to be a massive upset to all the socom vets. Wall mechanics, optional move controls.. socom is further leaving its hardcore roots and joining the mainstream bandwagon. Maybe another developer can take the hardcore tactical shooter genre.

I_am_george
I_am_george

You can still use the controller with all the classic controls. The Move is not required to play. Just FYI.

colejd
colejd

They ruined SOCOM!!

Joker1232003
Joker1232003

Bring back Voice recognition squad commands, 3rd person camera and give us a damn Controller! What have you done Zipper... Because this ISN'T Socom

ohjtbehaaave
ohjtbehaaave

What a WASTE putting such a promising game on this GIMMICK "MOVE"! UGH! I want my old Socom back! This game better be playable and not hampered if not using 'move'!

HaRdNiPs
HaRdNiPs

WOW!!! it looks way way better than the presentation from GDC. from experience the controls were just there it was almost random but now the controls are much better and the game itself runs smoothly. for such a hardcore game the PS Move works really well now.

HaRdNiPs
HaRdNiPs

WOW!!! it looks way way better than the presentation from GDC. from experience the controls were just there it was almost random but now the controls are much better and the game itself runs smoothly. for such a hardcore game the PS Move works really well now.

xenoss
xenoss

@salvucci91 Does RE5 work with Move? Last time I check, only Biohazard 5 (Japanese version) is planned for Move support, while RE5 had been confirmed to have no Move support. Did this change?

xenoss
xenoss

I have high hopes for Move for use with shooters. I'm a PC gamer who only recently got a PS3. While I'm getting used to aiming with the stick, it is a compromise I'm forced to make. On the other hand, the left stick for movement is to me superior to wasd. A "nunchuck" left and mouse on the right would be perfect. Some 3rd parties tried it apparently, but the lack of real mouse precision it never really took off. Now with Move, perhaps we'll finally get the half-way house in between stick and mouse. The device looks to be pretty precise, so the problem is probably how developers implement the control schemes using the device. SOCOM4 is going to be Move's Red Steel. It'll make or break the device depending on its implementation.

Pete5506
Pete5506

Sounds like something to look forward to

Venge-VS
Venge-VS

I'm ready for the Move as well. I do feel sad for people who decide not to even try the Move even though they have no experience with it. It's like people are afraid of progress they want to stay outside the game with the tried and true but still inaccurate analog stick. I'm a big SOCOM fan but I'm not going to be one of those people who refuse to try anything new and openly criticize something before they've even tried it.People trashed the Wii Controller when it was announced but casual gamers bought it up like crazy. Now Sony has a peripheral that has the potential to snatch up many hardcore gamers as well as casual gamers who feel more comfortable with just pointing. I have a feeling that if the controller works as it should many of you that are trashing it now will be owners and ardent users of them both in single-player and multi-player.

salvucci91
salvucci91

I'm pumped about this Move control; RE5 is going to be epic with that thing, it's the main reason why I haven't bought it yet. Shooting with motion-control is much more immersive than aiming with an analog stick.

desert_eagle_8
desert_eagle_8

mouse vs move? wtf? i would NEVER choose move over the console controller anyway. plus you couldnt even compare the two, the move and mouse. they are two completely different play styles and ive never seen a pointing controller 4 a pc

K-Grogg
K-Grogg

They really need to make a gun type attachment for the Move controller, because pointing to shoot feels so awful, I did it on my Wii when I still used that thing, and it felt so wrong, you need to feel like you're holding a gun, or it feels just as unimmersive as aiming with a controller.

samfisherelitec
samfisherelitec

I dont think socom is very good as a game.. I kinda have a gut feeling that the gfx are going to be much like alpha protocol... a ps2 wireframe.. on a ps3 system...

oflow
oflow

if socom 3 had the exact same interface as socom 2 it would have been a major success after the patch. Socom 2 before the hacks was still one of the 5 best shooters ever made.

The_Frozen_Soul
The_Frozen_Soul

this's one of the reasons why I'm glad for having ps3....

EPaul
EPaul

I'll stick to my DS3

KrazzyDJ
KrazzyDJ

I still support the keyboard and mouse combination as far as shooting games go !!!

Zero_Beat
Zero_Beat

Gameplay footage released today shows it fast and precise (in the right hands!). Can't wait to drop dated, inaccurate, aim-assisted analog stick aiming.

cjasko94
cjasko94

Seems like Socom is turning into a full action shooter.

cjasko94
cjasko94

Their's regeneration health now booo

rebelliousdude
rebelliousdude

@ PUREPL7YA it will support the normal controller and move. theyre trying to make sure one doesnt give an advantage over the other (for multiplayer). if i do buy move it will be for other good games as well as SOCOM but I will only be using it in single player/co-op

Cipher_8
Cipher_8

tried Socom before, couldn't get use to Playstations controller. Not saying it was bad just saying I'm use to my xbox controller, so i sucked. I might try this out, wondering if it will come packaged with move. If I'm not mistaken one of the Socom games came packaged with their official sony headset back in the day so maybe? Who knows... Anything to get me playing my PS3 right now I'm interesting in. Just collecting dust since Heavy Rain.

PUREPL7YA
PUREPL7YA

I prefer console controllers over anything else. Is there an option to play SOCOM 4 without the gimmicky motion sensing or will it become the new LAIR ?

bhattiisaac
bhattiisaac

looking forward to this, will be my first socom