SOCOM 4 Hands-On

We grab the PlayStation Move and its sub-controller to shoot down soldiers in the slums level of Zipper Interactive's upcoming action game.


Sony's PlayStation Move launch at GDC 2010 wasn't all about family fun and minigame compilations. There was a surprise announcement that core gamers wouldn't be ignored thanks to the inclusion of Move support in the recently announced SOCOM 4. We grabbed our Move and hunkered down behind enemy lines to see just how motion controls would be incorporated into this upcoming shooter.

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First up, you'll need not only a Move to play SOCOM 4, but also the sub-controller accessory Sony unveiled at its press event today. The sub-controller--which looks like the Move but without the glowing ball on top--features an analog stick, a D pad, four face buttons, and two other buttons on its underside. To play SOCOM 4, you"ll hold the Move in your right hand and the sub-controller in your left. Pointing the Move at your screen will shift the camera and targeting reticle, while pointing at the edges of your screen will turn your character around. Movement is done via the sub-controller's analog stick (forward, backward, and strafing). If this control scheme sounds familiar, that’s because it is: many Wii first-person shooters feature a similar control setup with the Remote and Nunchuk.

There are, of course, many more controls in SOCOM 4 than just movement. You shoot by pressing the trigger button on the Move, while going into cover is done by pressing the equivalent trigger on the sub-controller. Targeting is done by pressing the action button located on the top side of the Move, while throwing grenades is mapped to the circle button. As SOCOM vets will know, you'll have a squad to control, and these commands have also been handily mapped to the sub-controller. Pressing the sub-controller's bumper button will put the game in a pseudo-slow-motion mode, where you'll then be able to assign squad commands such as waypoints and targets via the sub-controller’s D pad.

The level being showcased at Sony’s press event was set in a slums area, which a representative from developer Zipper Interactive told us would appear roughly halfway through the game. The level featured many crudely built houses made of wood and corrugated iron and was set on several different levels. This proved to be a good showcase for the fine targeting the Move allowed, as enemies would descend from all directions. Gunning them down was a simple matter of point and shoot, and taking cover behind low walls and buildings was quite easy to do. Movement seemed smooth as well, although we didn't get much of a chance to try out various squad commands to see how seamlessly they would blend into the shooting experience.

The game is looking solid, but since it's still early in its development stage, we're expecting significant improvements in its looks in the months to come. As for the motion controls, our brief hands-on simply made us think how similar it was to first-person shooters on the Wii, although with an obvious visual upgrade. We'll need to get more time with SOCOM 4 on a normal Dual Shock to see which control scheme is preferable, but there looks to be ample opportunity to do that since the game is not expected to be released until the latter half of 2010.

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Avatar image for Trukero08

SANDMAN201 if you were paying attention to the vid, you can. Why would they restrict you to move?

Avatar image for tab1323

game looks okay Playstation "move" looks horrible

Avatar image for SANDMAN201

Screw that. I am not aiming by waving a stupid stick in the air. They better make it so you can use the Dualshock controller like the original SOCOM games as an optional choice.

Avatar image for W1ckedGo0se

They said you can still use the DualShock 3. I just hope they don't ruin the controls on the Dualshock because they want to use the PS Move (or make it unfair for either side with the aiming). I don't want to use the Move

Avatar image for Cillerboy

y do i have a bad feeling that socom 4 is gonna be dumbed down?

Avatar image for KARANJOT15

does this mean that we cant use a normal ps3 controller to play this game?

Avatar image for K-Grogg

see, they've done it wrong. they should have made the two controllers be able to connect together and act as a single gun, using the two glowing bits at each end tell the eye where you are aiming, instead of aiming a stick. aiming a stick feels less like using a gun than using a controller does....*sigh*

Avatar image for MassMayham57_

lol wow the interviewer

Avatar image for Xenogear272

mmm i dont know about this, the control needs to feel more like a gun in this case. And yes i agree with all the comments post about the interviewer lol!

Avatar image for acer_062

I think the interviewer needs to go back into rehab.

Avatar image for iKrysis

What a f^*$ing tard. The interviewer, man, gtfo please. "ahh ahh, i totally forgot your name, but i know you're important" . . . "ahh ahh, the wii move, i mean i mean the playstation move. . . . ." What an idiot. GameSpot, start hiring people who are actually fit themselves and can go through a simple interview without destroying reputations.

Avatar image for StealthKnife

if "its like a first person shooter on the wii" fail! please zipper dont *** up

Avatar image for phenix_eye

'i already forgot your name and wii move'? this guys not focused lol

Avatar image for blasterchief

This guy is looooooud.

Avatar image for bagmup

Wow, interviewer is an idiot, lrn2knowyourstuff

Avatar image for ph1nn

Hopefully this game has graphics on par with Uncharted 2, sounds on par with Bad Company 2 and gameplay on par with Socom 2. Also I hope they do some blurring to eliminate all corner camping that makes me dislike 3rd person shooters.

Avatar image for ratavaquera

@GR8xONExTY Confrontation is really good, not the best game but it requires skill . Even on a 4 vs 4 game you must be very carefull with your moves.

Avatar image for enkhbattsenguun

the best 3d person shooter game

Avatar image for EVILBOWBADCOMPN

that is a good game but i didnt like the controler

Avatar image for Murrummba99

I HOPE THERES RUMBLE WITH IT, that would be awesome

Avatar image for Murrummba99

lol, the interviewer said "wii mote... wii move. wait sorry playstation move" LMFAO

Avatar image for GR8xONExTY

thank god that Zipper is making SOCOM 4 cause confrontation was a failure

Avatar image for Killa_Commando

@hige21 damn your right i completely misread, after reading about the psii-move controller i went into rage read mode :P

Avatar image for njg2005

lol the interviewer said "wii motion...i mean wii move i mean playstation move".

Avatar image for GunGriffin

As long as we can filter servers for motion controllers, or Dual Shock 3s I'll be happy IMHO. Or at least dumb down, or tighten up the DS3 controlls so we can counter them like in Lost Planet.

Avatar image for Ghost_9991

@Dragonsingh3000: True! LOL

Avatar image for cuchikapoor

Homer Rabara just lost his job.

Avatar image for Dragonsingh3000

this guy is gonna get the sack, this is the 2nd vid hes called this Wii Clone, the Wii Move lol

Avatar image for jm3811

The presenter looks a bit dull. Can't remember the name of his guest, and overall poor video. So we're left with a gamer who plays a very unrated game. He does this with a sort of torch terminated by a fluo (energy-saving?) ping pong ball. If I had to play games that way I'd had lost one arm at least. Please do it again with Bad Company 2 and show us how you do with a tank before we buy the idea.

Avatar image for Gelugon_baat

Good to know that such M-rated PS3 titles will be getting some motion control love too.

Avatar image for FusionRain

NVM u can still use dualshock but who is gonna use this for SOCOM... I like SOCOM and with ppl playing with this wand thingy I bet the game is gonna be dumbed down a bit.

Avatar image for FusionRain

It dose everything for $299.. Stops crime and even rips off competition. I once herd Sony say they don't follow trends they make them, (back with the PSP GO). I'm not hating on Wii with better controls and better graphics, cuz I want this, Not for SOCOM 4 though. I hope u can still use a normal dualshock. The lesson is that shooters don't work with motion controls.

Avatar image for freeofkings

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Avatar image for Illidan311

So, when did Nintendo buy out Sony again?

Avatar image for masserati

i just think they should take the glowing ball out, it looks retarded

Avatar image for jyoung312

Game itself looks smooth but I wish we had better footage that wasn't just off screen stuff. I'm looking forward to Socom4 but I'll probably stick with the dualshock 3

Avatar image for littleboomer

sorry, i missed where he said you can use the move or sixaxis in the video

Avatar image for noigel

Don't like the way you turn the character, you loose focus...cannot aim and turn at the same time...awkward ... too bad they didn't come up with a better solution... I mean, come on, aiming at the edge of the screen to turn around!?!?!? is that hard to use another stick for turning in the "PS3Wiimote" (the one with the strange ball on it) Another Wii... too bad...

Avatar image for littleboomer

well now there's a dumb idea "you'll need not only a Move to play SOCOM 4, but also the sub-controller accessory". why would they make it so you NEED a motion controller to play the game?

Avatar image for dcoy8

LOL I thought confrontation was the end of socom, I guess theyre really putting the nail in the coffin with this game. Thanks zipper.

Avatar image for river_rat3117

hmm that looked a little faster paced than socom used. im thinking they might go too casual on this. lets hope im wrong. i really dont want to stop playing socom

Avatar image for deathstream

Is that lightbulb at the end of the Move gonna be headache inducing playing in a darkish room? Will it be distracting when playing a dark game (like Dead Space)?

Avatar image for Monster597

Yeh fire the guy!!! lol not only did he got the developer's name wrong but he constantly got confused with the Wii motion plus, "Wii motion plus" "Wii move" "The Playstation Move sorry". I saw the live stream I lost count of the number of mistakes this guy made. LOL But yeh this controller is going to fail. Why? because its just like the Wii's controller. After 20 mins of play I cn gurantee that whoever play it is going to get a sore arm after holding that tourchlight in front of them. Even when you are sat down and holding this tourchlight in front of you, you will get a sore wrist. Essentially the control is just like the wii mote and numchuck nothing new or innovative here.

Avatar image for OneCrookedAss

@ikhzo That's what she said

Avatar image for marco245

I will be playable with the normal controller I presume. I hope the Move gameplay is only for the Move, because it looked very arcadey and VERY different to previous SOCOM games.

Avatar image for rickie59

They finally see the light and move from the antiquated double thumb style contoller to the superior sytle of controller made famous by the Wii remote/nunchuk combination.

Avatar image for BikerPunk

fire that guy......seriously.

Avatar image for darkchild130

is it going to be playable with the normal controller, i am a massive SOCOM fan and have absolutely no interest in some bs motion controller.

Avatar image for MuffintopX

Gamespot continues to be console racist. Is it because the controllers are black?

Avatar image for Proflex09

I want to use a controller that fits in both hands not 2 seperate things to play a game...geez do these companys not understand that a decent chunk of people play video games to relax? not move around like a 3 year old kid and dance while shooting something? maybe its just me idk

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