Almost a total joke.
It took TWO years to produce a next generation version of SOCOM. Longtime SOCOM fans were expecting something pretty great for a two year project. Instead of something great we got Charlie Brown's Halloween rock. Fitting that it was released so close to trick or treat time.
Here are some details:
1. It took three full days before you could even log into the game without feeling like it was all a roll of the dice. "Will the game work today? Come on lucky seven!"
2. The original developer made improvements each year. Gone are many of those improvements. For example - SOCOM 3 told you in which server and game your friends were logged into. And you could "follow" them into the game. The new game just tells you that they are online. Hint - the PS3 tells you that already. Did some marketing research tell Slant Six that nobody cared to join their friends in game?
3. Characters move EXTREMELY slow. SOCOM 3 introduced "encumberance." Meaning that if you load down your player with heavy equipment then you'll spend the entire round walking around like you are pulling the Golden Gate bridge. Slant Six gave you the ability to change your loadout as well but even the lightest options makes you move like a turtle.
4. Abilty to "sprint" changed into something horrible. The orignal SOCOM gave you the abilty to move your character from standing to a slow move to a walk etc until you were running. All of this was done with one stick. Easy to use and looked great in game. You now need to hold down another button to sprint. Why? The COD series requires players to push down on the stick but not waste another button. Why are we wasting buttons here? It's not like there are extra buttions just laying around in combat games.
5. Online play only. Now I could care less as 99% of all SOCOM fans played the one player game just to learn the maps. But once again - why did it take TWO YEARS to make an online only game? There was not a story line to develop. No program costs to get the AI players to fight back etc. Two years?
6. You have to go past four screens of agreeing to notices etc before you get online. There isn't a one player game or any other option screen to decide what game to start. It's all online. Four screens later you might be able to log into the game.
7. It takes forever and a day to change your loadout. What was once a quick change out now requires several screens to load and save. So you better have plenty of time before the next round starts.
So with all of that information you might want to hold off for a few patch updates before you spend your time and money.
Cub fans have been toasting "To the Cubs winning the World Series" for almost a century. SOCOM fans might start to making a toast "SOCOM 2009 - a game worth paying for." The Cubs haven't pulled through - but maybe Sony will.