Back in the day, before Call of Duty was a twinkle in Infinity Wards’ eye, before Master Chief dominated his first Covenant soldier, back when online gaming was something only PCs did, SOCOM U.S. Navy SEALs introduced a new generation of gamers to what online multiplayer could be. By today’s standards it was fairly primitive, and it also required the purchase of a special broadband modem that installed into your PS2, but the SOCOM games filled a niche that many did not know even existed.
In the years since, SOCOM has fallen off a bit. The first three PS2 games were hits, but the fourth was released as the next generation of consoles were grabbing all the headlines. The transition of the series to the PS3 was also a rocky affair, and the last title released, SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Confrontation was met with a general consensus of meh. The online featured just seven maps, not to mention several technical issues. The portable SOCOM games have also met with indifference. The last game released for the PSP, SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Fireteam Bravo 3 featured an unimpressive campaign and a mediocre multiplayer. It seemed like SOCOM might be relegated to the fond and nostalgia tinted memories of the millions of people that played it back in the early part of last decade.
Zipper Interactive wants to change that, and they are hoping to do it with the upcoming SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs 4, due out on April 19 as a PS3 exclusive. The game has a long way to go if it wants to steal the multiplayer shooter crown back from Call of Duty, not to mention the several other prominent rivals including Battlefield Bad Company 2, but the series has the pedigree. Check out the multiplayer trailer below, and let’s see what Zipper and Sony can do in April.
[Updated to fix a typo regarding the campaign in the Fireteam Bravo 3 title.]