PS2 Game Reviews

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"SOCOM" is really two distinct games:  single player, and online multiplayer.

Single Player:  The campaign mode in this game is at times quite cool, as you lead your four-person SEAL team through various hot spots around the world.  Using a limited number of weapons, you are tasked to take out bad guys, recover documents, take out installations, rescue hostages, and other assignments by using your voice communicator to tell your CPU teammates what to do.  This can be very fulfilling and quite tense...IF the schmoes on your squad can do those things correctly, which is quite rare.  This leads to an inordinate amount of profanity on your part as you try to get your team to take out enemies in various parts of the map or watch your ass as you enter a room; the number of times you will hear your teammates over your communicator dying outnumbers the days of a calendar year.  Despite all of this, the action element is still cool, and every loves assassinating targets under cover of night.

Multiplayer:  The idea of multiplayer is cool--8-on-8 warfare, with the ability to communicate with your teammates to strategize, protecting or assaulting various targets, and eradicating the other team completely for victory.  However, until you get good at multiplayer, you will spend a crazy amount of time on the sideline, because due to the functionality of the online component, if you die, you don't respawn until the six-minute matches are over.  That means a lot of time where you sit there watching teammates do everything if you did quickly, which I did a LOT of early on while adjusting to multiplayer.  Having good teammates might assure you some success, but more importantly, it's just a lot of fun talking to other guys as you set up snipers, choke points, and yell as you are killed over your communicator.

All together, you get a game that is somewhat satisfying on both levels.  You won't play single player through more than once, but with multiplayer, if you get good at it, it can be some good times.

Rating:  eBay


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Bellview Rating System:

"Opening Weekend":  Buy this game right away, and don't ask me any questions as to why that's a good move.  A game experience that will almost guarantee repeated controller abuse, lots of ManScreaming and high resale value, you will assuredly play this bad boy for months on end. 

"$40":  Usually after games have been out for a while, they drop in price slightly, or can be bought for slightly cheaper in combination with other new games.  Usually, that's about $40.  You'll feel good getting the game for this price, since it isn't quite run-out-and-get-it-right-now good, but it has enough game in the box for a few weeks' worth of enjoyment.

"eBay":  This game is not too bad, but you'd be better off buying it used from either or eBay.  You also might let a friend buy this game, let s/he beat it, and then try to buy it from them to make them feel better.  Yes, this does tend to feel like "Sloppy Seconds."

"Rental":  Like my cousin Ron, you should always rent games that you aren't sure about first, to make sure that your $50 is going towards something worthwhile.  For games in this category, this is the maximum amount of money ($5) and/or time (3-5 days) you'll need to either gain satisfaction from the game, or beat the game in its entirety.  Rental-rated games are also sometimes perfect for a weekend when you are going to be at home on your ass, with some time to kill.

"Dogshit":  Games like this should have never been released.  If you play this game for any reason, you will regret every second of the experience.  Further, if you can get this game for free, don't do it, because even for FREE, it will still be a negative experience for you!

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The "fine print":
All material by Justin Elliot Bell for SMR/Bellview/ except where noted
1999-2009 Justin Elliot Bell This site was last updated 01/08/09