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Gaming Evolution
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Gaming Evolution
Gaming Evolution
Published By: Sony Computer Entertainment
Developed By: Slant Six Games
Genre: Online Shooter
Players: 1-32 (online)
Rated: T (Teen)
Release Date: October 14, 2008
Screenshots: Link
Amazon: Buy Now!
Written By: Matthew Prunty

For those thousands of gamers who rushed out to pick up SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Confrontation for their PlayStation 3 console; whether it be the Blu-Ray disc version in their local retailers or the downloadable version via the PlayStation Network, have stumbled across some technical issues, many of which could put a damper on your opinion of the game. To be clear, this review wasnít rushed and carefully planned out, to ensure that our readers and gamers alike get a fair representation of the title, unlike some websites who may be quick to respond to an issue. Not trying to be like the mainstream websites (GameSpot gave 6.5 review score), we thoroughly played through the game any and every way we possibly can to ensure our review is accurate as possibly can be.

Upon popping in your copy of SOCOM Confrontation (disc-version), you must install a modest 2.7GB of game data in order to start playing the game. Once you have gotten through the 10-15 minute install, the game loads only to require yet another download (actually an update), which was put in place to help fix several of the technical issues that plague the game and online experience. Once both installs are in place, you may be prompted by a corrupted data prompt, despite not having played the game yet. To fix this problem, simply delete your profile data saved to the console, and then start the game again. In my case, my data from the beta version of SOCOM Confrontation actually got corrupted, so once I deleted that, everything was running like normal.

Once the update and install are in place, you can now spend some more time developing your character via the in-depth character creation mode, where you decide your playersí look, weaponry and body gear. While some may customize their character for looks, functionality is an important aspect to keep in mind when decking your player in camo, and body armor. With body armor, you have light, medium and heavy, basically determining how much body protection and body endurance you will have when being shot at from afar or up close. There are three different camo styles (desert, night and urban) allowing you to better blend with your surroundings, consoling your position from enemy targets.

In regards to the weaponry, you have two weapon slots to fill: a primary and secondary weapon. Your primary weapon slot can be outfitted with the best goodies this game has to offer; whether it is an assault rifle, submachine gun, shotguns, etc. Your secondary weapon slot is designed primary for handguns. You are also about to equip explosive weaponry like C4 and claymore mines within the two allotted gear slots. Both camo attire and weaponry structure can be saved, allowing for different setups, allowing gamers to switch during multiplayer matchups.

Once your character is created, you are pretty much tossed into the server realm, looking for a game to join or start your own. While this will please veterans of the franchise, it wonít sit well to newcomers. There are no tutorials and/or single-player campaigns allowing a player to learn the ropes of the controls and the gameplay mechanics before jumping straight into multiplayer madness. Seeing how Warhawk had a similar situation, I see Sony and Slant Six Games working on some tutorial modes and/or video clips, allowing gamers to become better adjusted to the game.

From a visual standpoint, SOCOM Confrontation boast pretty solid visuals. Observing your surroundings, you can easily see high levels of detail within the surrounding environment. Some may try to argue differently, but when you realize that each and every level map you play on is full of destruction and chaos, itís not that hard to see that each level was designed and portrayed to give off a certain reaction and gameplay aspect. Character models are very detailed; from facial textures, to distinct battle attire, which you can equip your character with. While each and every character model is highly detailed, there tends to be a blending of soldiers when you look at a group of players from a far distance. Considering this game isnít taking the same approach as previous SOCOM titles, l would have to say that Slant Six Games has done a pretty solid job on ensuring the overall visual presentation is solid and engaging. While many of us are gaming on High Definition televisions, however for those who arenít, the game still boast solid visuals and layers of detail.

An area of concern, though can be fixed via updates, is the overall audio experience. When it comes to the in-game audio, it really is a mixed bag. On one hand you have the ability to communicate via Sonyís official PS3 Bluetooth headset, which was bundled with the game. Allowing you to communicate back and forth with fellow soldiers, this headset boast some of the best audio quality I have experience from any Bluetooth headset that didnít break my pockets. On the other hand, there are a few technical issues with the servers and the game, which hinder the overall experience from being great. Iím sure I wasnít the only one who was experiencing sound effect issues, especially with the weapons. There have been a couple of instances where gunshots, not matter the weapon, would reverberate for several seconds after dying. The one sound-related issue that annoyed me the most was having to adjust the volume button due to volume levels going up and down out of nowhere. Though not included within the game, I would have like some atmospheric music tracks. Itís very understandable not to have music playing during a battle sequence, but considering we are spoiled with musical tracks and tunes in movies, and other shooting-based genres, a little atmospheric music could help to set the mood for each engaging encounter.

There arenít too many games out that are offering a ďglobal-scale experienceĒ via 32-player online matchups. Tournaments, clan ladders, leader boards, SIXAXIS support, advance voice communication and player matching are only the tip of the iceberg in helping this title claim one of the top spots for online-multiplayer. Once all the technical issues are fixed and we start seeing the downloadable content (and trophies) come our way, more and more gamers will be signing up with the most elite military force in the world, the Navy SEALs.

Technical issues aside, there is no arguing the fact that SOCOM Confrontation is a very enjoyable online experience for the PlayStation 3 console. At the end of the day, itís up to the end user to determine what they should buy, but one thing is for sure, SOCOM U.S. Navy SEALs Confrontation is an online experience that shouldnít be passed up by any SOCOM fan, nor newcomer looking for the best online experience possible.


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