Okay, so technically the title of this blog entry should read "Sony Pre-E3 2008: SOCOM: US Navy SEALs Confrontation Impressions" but I'm afraid that, if I typed the full thing out, the Internet would run out of space. So I keep it short for you. Anyway, I'm a self professed former SOCOM fan. I say "former", not because of a lack of quality in recent games, but rather a lack of time for playing them. Indeed, ever since the first SOCOM, I've been a big fan. I have fond memories of spending seemingly endless hours playing the first two SOCOMs--the former of which has the uneasy distinction of being the game that introduced me to the "corpse hump."
With SOCOM Confrontation, the game has made strides, yet still manages to feel iike the SOCOM i destroyed my early 30s with. On the progress front, the game is making fun use of the Sixaxis features on the Dual Shock 3. When you bring your player to rest and set up for a shot, the angle your holding your controller at will determine whether your charater is crouching, standing up straight or peeking left or right. It takes a while to get used to moving the Sixaxis up, down, left, and right, and, more importantly, being mindful of your controller's position at all times but it's surpsingly responsive and useful once you do acclimate to it.
Despite touches like that, this is still SOCOM through and through; with multiplayer maps that give you tons of options for avoiding (or confronting) enemies, and enough cubbyholes and rooftops to please the latent camper in all of us. The Middle Eastern map on-hand at today's event was one of seven that will be included in the final product, with the possibilty of additional DLC maps after the game is released.
As much fun as I had with SOCOM Confrontation, it's hard not to think of the more modern-feeling Call of Duty 4 when playing it. Certainly the bar has been raised in the multiplayer military genre of late and the competition--of which SOCOM Confrontation is included--is going to have to decide what that means for the future of their series.