Sony deploys SOCOM on PSP

Zipper Interactive's US Navy SEALs Fireteam Bravo achieves insertion into retail channels.

While patience is a virtue in tactical shooters, PSP-owning fans of the genre are no doubt ready for it to make a belated debut on the system. So it is with damp brows and twitchy trigger fingers that such gamers welcome today's release of SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Fireteam Bravo on the PSP.

Fireteam Bravo is a companion piece of sorts to SOCOM 3 on the PlayStation 2. Three of Fireteam Bravo's four Areas of Operation are shared with SOCOM 3, and it's the first PSP game to feature cross-talk functionality with a PS2 counterpart. By completing certain objectives in one of the games and then hooking the PS2 and the PSP together through a USB cable, players can unlock new content in the other version of the game.

While the two games obviously share a lot in common, Fireteam Bravo is a departure from the series, as the gameplay has been tweaked to better suit its new portable format. Gamers can take their time playing through the game's 14 original missions, or they can take on instant action missions, which are designed to take 10 minutes or so to play. The game's control scheme has also been redone to accommodate the PSP's fewer buttons and single analog stick.

One thing that is going to be faithfully carried over from the PS2 SOCOM games is the online support, complete with voice chat. Fireteam Bravo supports the new PSP headset (sold separately for $19.99) while playing in Infrastructure mode. Other familiar features include in-game e-mail, message boards, clan support, leaderboards, friends lists, and instant messaging.

SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Fireteam Bravo is rated M for Mature and retails for $39.99. Check back later for GameSpot's full review.

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