" Lobby chat let's me taunt people after shooting them in the face. Life is good. "
Title: SOCOM II by Sony
Format: PS2 Shooter
Reviewing Monkey: Our Ape Master
The Hype: Easily the most successful FPS in PS2 history, SOCOM changed the way many gamers thought about both console shooters and how they could be used on-line. But while acclaimed and thoroughly entertaining, the title was plagued with bugs and exploits that for many made it near unplayable. Now, hot on the heels of its predecessor, SOCOM II (S2) promises to fix the bugs and increase playability.
What This Monkey Thought...
Graphics: The typical trend in gaming is that you get a choice: improved graphical splendor or deep playability. Unfortunately, as you might guess, the emphasis with S2 is on the playability and so the graphics tend to suffer a bit. Definitely improved over its predecessor-- there has been a bit of a facelift here, but realistically it's considerably below both what the system is capable of and what we've come to expect from other games in the genre. Likely this is to allow the game to function better in on-line play, but it's still a little shabby. 3 out of 5
Playability: Half run-and-gun frag fest
and half semi-tactical shooter (wait…if it's half of a semi doesn't that make
a quarter? Hmm…Monkeys no good at math), S2 plays a lot like an action movie.
Getting shot is decidedly bad but, at the same time, there's no need to creep-and-peak
like you would in hard core tacticals such as Rainbow 6 or SWAT. That being
said, there is a nice balance to play and the fairly straightforward combination
of real world spec ops elements, such as air strikes and hostage escorting,
with cool spray-and-pray weapons give it depth for the veterans and fairly immediate
appeal for a first timer. And while we're talking about weapons, what about
the new ones they included for the sequel? Well, in short, they're definitely
worth including-with the most notable being a really well balanced grenade launcher.
That's really not a bad thing as the first game was fun and zippy…with S2 sharing that same appeal and entertainment value. Though, also like the original, S2 loses points for having a single player mode that is little more than a conciliation prize to those who don't have broadband (though the AI has seen significant improvements). 3.75 out of 5
Story and Drama: There's these guys, they get captured and need rescue, and you are the only team who can…blah, blah, blah. You get the idea. 2 out of 5
Multiplayer and Replayability: Unquestionably S2's point of great appeal, this sequel remains the only real contender for your on-line dollar in the PS2 action vein and shines like a crazy diamond. With most of the heinous cheat issues from the first game resolved , some extra balancing occurring in weapons and maps, and a few new and exciting game types being added, such as a pretty cool VIP escort mission (that forces both strong teamwork and some cool counterattacking) and assault/defense, the multiplayer for S2 is still amazing and just a ton of fun. Plus, the new ranking, lobby chat, and hard drive accessibility features mean it borrows strongly, and positively, from the successful elements of Xbox Live to create an even better experience. 4.5 out of 5
|All in all, SOCOM II is a strong and positive sequel to a good founding game. With the bug fixes, net enhancements, and new game options this is a good purchase even for those who have the original.|
The Good: Everything that was good about the first game is better here.
The Bad: Limited single player means it's only good for those with broadband.
The Overall Ugly: Lobby chat let's me taunt people after shooting them in the face. Life is good.
What it's Worth: Market