Socom not only made waves on the PlayStation 2, but the game's also made a considerable impact on the PSP. The online enabled bite-sized shooter was one of the first of its kind on Sony's little pint-sized PlayStation. And thanks to the success of the original, a sequel found its way home just a year later. But now, Fireteam Bravo has been retired, and Socom has a new look and feel for the PSP - one that is much more tactical in approach.
A quick look at the screenshots of the game, and it's obvious that this isn't the same Socom we've been playing for the past 5 years now. In fact, Tactical Strike will shed its predecessor's skin and, instead, you can expect gameplay closer to that of Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter. In other words, a slower, more tactile title that'll require patience and stealth. Once again, you'll be in charge of an entire team of Special Forces, but you'll have the option of choosing Special Forces from countries besides the U.S., such as: UK, Australia, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, South Korea and the Netherlands. And all Special Forces will speak their native language, too.
You'll be thrown into Panama, where you'll have to rescue the ambassador of the country, as he's been abducted insurgent forces. With four Special Forces members at your hand, the game will allow you instant control over any one of them or issue various commands. According to Sony, the combat will be more reality driven than in the past, and that depending on the tactics used, there'll be a different outcome per situation encountered. The single-player will feature a total of nine stages, all of which will feature their own unique objectives to complete. Each stage will boast artificial intelligence that improves over the AI of the franchise's previous entries.
But it's the multiplayer that concerns the lot of us Socom fans, and Tactical Strike should not disappoint. Slant Six will be implementing both online and offline multiplayer modes, where up to 4 can compete in various multiplayer modes. Additionally, get your mics ready, because Tactical Strike will feature voice chat. Be it online or off, remember that whichever team of special forces you choose, you'll be using their respective weaponry and equipment.
Visually, the video and screenshots have already proven to be worthwhile. The game looks pretty darn solid, it's easily the best looking Socom on the PSP. There seems to be quite a bit of environmental detail, as well as some superbly built character models. Additionally, the lighting is really top-notch stuff, with the sun brightly beaming through the jungles of Panama right onto our Special Forces squad. The framerate remains left to be seen, but with Slant Six behind the wheel, we have high hopes.
Look for Socom: Tactical Strike to debut this Fall. EB Games/GameStop currently have it listed for an October 2nd release.
6/26/2007 Arnold Katayev