PS3 Review: SOCOM Confrontation

SOCOM has been out for a while, but how is it in 2009?

SOCOM Confrontation for PS3 focuses on online play and the global community and clans that support it. With support for Tournaments, Clan Ladders, Leader Boards, this latest title in the multi-million unit selling franchise is exactly what SOCOM fans have been clamoring for. Additionally, players will be able to modify their appearance through facial and physical customization.
I must confess, this is the first SOCOM game that I’ve played. I was a late adopter to the PS2 and so I missed out on the series until now. When it launched in late 2008, it was well received although it did have some issues concerning network problems. When I put in my disc, I had two patches to download…did it solve the game’s biggest problem? Well, based on the games that I played…I would have to say, yes. Sure, it took me quite a while to get into matches…but once I was in them, there were no connection issues that I came across. Maybe my experience is different to everyone else’s, but SOCOM on PS3 runs smoothly for the most part.

You can play the game with or without a Bluetooth headset, I didn’t have one and as a result…I was booted from a couple of matches. It’s unfortunate, but I was expecting it. Based on other online games I’ve played over the years, I bet voice-chat definitely helps when it comes to playing Confrontation…unfortunately; I was unable to put that to the test.

SOCOM Confrontation is focused entirely on multiplayer. There’s no single player campaign of any kind, which is disappointing. It might have added a bit of replay value if they added something, but then after playing the game for so long, it’s clear that the main focus is multiplayer. Something else might have just made things cluttered, who knows? As a tactical shooter, Confrontation is pretty deep. You can customise your character; play a bunch of different modes and clan support. The controls for the game are a bit iffy at times, but once you get used to them…its fine. It would have been nice for them to include a training mode to get you sorted before you are owned online, but alas there isn’t one.
There are a ton of weapons to be used in Confrontation, it’s actually quite impressive. I wasn’t expecting this level of customisation and options in the game, so it’s a nice surprise and well worth the price of admission. Matches can support upto 32 players, which is no small feat. Joining games is fairly easy, you can choose between countries and ranks so you find the right match for you. It’s all very simple, which is essential in a game like this.

The visuals for SOCOM are a tad disappointing. They don’t seem to push the PS3 as far as is expected from most, which is a shame. Sound effects are good, but the soundtrack is forgettable. The game does maintain a steady framerate and good draw distance, it just doesn’t look like a PS3 game…sadly.

The Verdict

SOCOM Confrontation is a good game and seems to have improved since it launched last year. It still has a few control and graphical problems holding it back, but at least those pesky network issues are sorted (at least they are here, anyway) If you have been holding off from picking up the latest SOCOM until now, then now is the perfect time to pick it up.