I had a chance to sit down and get a nice long demo of upcoming SOCOM: Confrontation for the PS3. As someone who wasn't big into the previous titles in the series before, I wasn't sure how in the hell I'd like this one. As it turns out, it's very easy to pick up and get into. And of all the major PS3 releases this fall - and there's a lot of them - SOCOM is the game you might want to keep an eye on.
It seems like every online shooter coming out nowadays is held to a much higher standard than before when it comes to features and modes. Everyone is trying to outdo each other by having larger multiplayer maps, better cover systems, or smarter AI bots. So it was refreshing to see that SOCOM: Confrontation went the simple route and included none of these.
SOCOM is strictly multiplayer-only (read: no bots) and consists of seven maps. Five are for 32 players and the other two are for only 16. The level I was shown was for 32 players and we played against the QA testers back in Foster City. The game was a little laggy, but nothing that broke the gamplay.
I was surprised when I was told there's no cover system of any kind. Moving the analogue stick slightly forward will allow you to crouch-run, like in Metal Gear Solid 4. Also, for you Sixaxis fans out there, tilting the controller left and right when immobile will allow for peaking around corners. It worked pretty well, but I didn't think it was all that useful since the gunfire can get hectic at times.
Graphically, the game looks phenomenal. While certain areas look better than others, the overall scope of the map I saw was impressive. In terms of destructibility, there isn't a lot to blow up. You can blow up cars and barrels, but don't expect to blow away pieces of buildings or terrain.
While I wasn't given specific details on trophies, and since there's no single player campaign, it appears they'll be tied to your online stats. I assume that means there will be trophies for number of kills, accuracy, victories etc...
There's also a great deal of customisation for your character. You can select from a variety of armour pieces and weapons to bring into a fight, each affecting your overall movement speed and accuracy. There's also an option to make your own badge if you're hardcore enough to start making clans.
For a $US 40 PSN game, this is looking like a title online shooter fans will have a hard to passing up.