An extremely fun third person shooter with a great online interface.
-Online play is highly addictive
-Awesome online user interface
-Great selection of weapons
-Fun realistic feel
-Glitches and bugs in online play
-Server lag is this game's worst enemy
Socom II: U.S. Navy SEALs is a highly addictive third person shooting game. Zipper Interactive greatly improved this game from the previous SOCOM. In SOCOM II you play as the Navy SEAL with the codename Specter and you are in command of three other SEALs: Jester, Wardog and Vandal. You (Specter) and Jester make the Able squad and Wardog and Vandal make up the Bravo squad. The game takes place in the Middle Eastern area during modern times and your objectives vary per mission but the overall theme is to stop terrorist activity and protect American freedom.
The controls for the game are very unique and add more to the realistic feel. Along with the PS2 controller, where you can move, jump, shoot, and change weapons with ease, you have the option to use the headset, via USB port. This was a really good idea because you can not only communicate with your friends online but with the A.I. in the single player mode. Even though there are a few rare hang ups with the headset and A.I., like you telling your ally to plant the bomb and instead he throws a flash bang at you, it is still a great idea. Now if you don't have a headset you don't have to worry because you can still give orders to the rest of the team by pressing "O" and scrolling through a list of commands. Along with good controls, SOCOM II has a great selection of weapons and add-ons per weapon. You can arm yourself with a primary gun (assault rifles, sniper rifles, sub-machine guns, etc...), a secondary gun (pistols), and some support items (C4, flash bang, frag grenade, etc...). Some of the weapons have special add-ons like scopes and silencers to best suit your needs. This game has a single player mode and an online multiplayer mode. So, I will talk about each of those separately.
The single player game is fun in that you and 3 other (A.I.) SEALS work together to accomplish a wide variety of missions. Each mission has an overall objective and other optional bonus objectives. Some of the missions involve you and your team capturing a VIP, rescuing a hostage, or use the cover of night to stealthily eliminate your opposition. As you complete parts of the game you can unlock weapons and characters for both the single and multiplayer modes which can give you an edge so I would recommend going through the single player campaign. There are five different difficulty settings (Ensign, Lieutenant, Commander, Captain and Admiral) that will put your skills to the test. The level design for each mission is fantastic. From the city streets to the dusty desert missions, you'll really be impressed with the amount of detail that went into the level design.
Single player is fun but the Multiplayer mode is the "Meat and Potatoes" of this game. The online interface is exceptionally good. You can make a clan, find friends and games, and view your rank (which is still a mystery to me on how this is calculated) all with ease. There are new maps like Fish Hook, Crossroads, etc... and there are also old maps from the first SOCOM like FrostFire and Desert Glory. Demolition (destroying the opponents base), Suppression (deathmatch), and Escort (extracting hostages) are some of the game types that you can choose. Each game type is unique and all of them require lots of teamwork which you can find sometimes by playing on a random team. So, my recommendation is to join a clan or make a clan with your friends. Unfortunately, playing online is not perfect. The game is riddled with glitches and bugs, like with shots not registering, that can get annoying at times. Plus, the server lag is a real downer at peak times. But for the most part, when everything works the way it is suppose to, you'll have an enjoyable time online.
GRAPHICS & SOUND
Are very good and like I said before the level design greatly enhances the game play for this game.
I think that a lot of the realistic feel comes from the sound effects. From the sound of the bullets and explosions you're sure to have a great time here and I highly recommend playing in surround sound.
For a third person shooter this game is one of the best. The single and multiplayer are both solid and fun to play. And, with the great online interface, it will be easy to rack up hundreds of hours in this game. I know I did and enjoyed every second.