Best Online Game on PlayStation 2
The release of the PlayStation 2 Network Adapter marked the dawning of a new era for Sony's system, allowing its users to play against each other regardless of their physical location. This extremely compelling way to play has been popular among PC gamers for quite some time, and it now promises to be the next big thing among console gamers. Online games will be much more common in 2003, but the PlayStation 2 had a number of impressive offerings this year, including the winner of our Best Online Game on PlayStation 2 award:
Developer: Zipper Interactive
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With its collection of sports games and shooters, the PlayStation 2 online launch has delivered a new style of gaming to console owners. While almost every online game available for the PlayStation 2 this year is merely a sequel or an updated version of an existing game, SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs brings a new experience to the console that is tailor-made for online play and as addictive as it gets.
While the game has a fairly long and decently executed single-player mode, its online portion is where the real fun is. SOCOM is a team-based third-person shooter that pits a team of Navy SEALs against a team of terrorists and supports 16 players at a time. It also ships with a headset similar to the one included in the Xbox Live Starter Kit, and this voice chat makes all the difference in the world. In a game where standing still for any reasonable length of time usually translates into death, pausing to type a message simply isn't an option. The voice chat lets players plan their team strategy on the fly, and it generally adds a level of camaraderie that really enhances the experience.
Of course, there's more to SOCOM than its voice chat, and the gameplay in the game's online mode also does a great job of creating a military setting without going overboard, keeping it accessible and easy to understand for newcomers. Both on its own merits and when compared with the competition, SOCOM U.S. Navy SEALs was an easy choice for our 2002 Best Online Game on PlayStation 2 award.