SOCOM games may not grab the headlines in the same way Killzone does, but the series has a significant and devout fanbase.
It first appeared in 2002 and has since racked up sales of 2.5 million units within PAL territories across PS2, PS3 and PSP. And this week’s SOCOM Special Forces is set to drive this success even further.
Originally known as SOCOM 4, this is actually the tenth entry in the series so the pressure is on for Special Forces to pack some serious firepower. Fortunately it delivers, thanks to Move controls, a new command system and comprehensive multiplayer options.
The single-player campaign is set across a six-day battle in South East Asia. Players take on the role of an Ops Commander leading a five-person squad as they attempt to capture a militant revolutionary.
Players can issue contextual commands to these squads in order to maintain their advantage in combat, or create their own custom manoeuvres to outwit and overwhelm the enemy. They can even call in air support, from surveillance drones to devastating bombardments.
If players want a more interactive experience, they can replace their four squadmates with other gamers for a five-way co-op session. And, of course, the series’ multiplayer mode is back, supporting up to 32 players.
Sony is particularly confident about this entry in the SOCOM series because it’s the first to be back in the hands of the franchise’s creators since 2006.
“Special Forces sees SOCOM go home to Zipper Interactive, who were responsible for developing the franchise’s most successful titles from previous years,” says UK product manager Rose Pickard.
“It’s also the first shooter to have been built with PlayStation Move functionality from the ground up. You won’t find a more authentic and immersive use of the technology in any other title.
“Players will be totally absorbed from getting physically involved in the heat of action within the grand scale cinematic single-player experience. There is also a clear multiplayer focus, including a five-player co-op mode and massive 32-player action.”
Sony will be promoting SOCOM Special Forces with ads and takeovers across key gaming sites, as well as other male-focused destinations such as Den of Geek and WWE. There will also be promoted videos on YouTube, and print insertions in Official PlayStation Magazine, PSM3, GamesMaster, Edge, T3, Total Film and DVD & Blu-Ray Review.