SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Combined Assault

SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Combined Assault Review for PS2

On: PS2

Protect America and freedom from enemy forces in urban and rural warfare in SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Combined Assault.

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6Out of 10
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Combined Assault is a little too complex at times
Combined Assault is a little too complex at times

Combined Assault is a little too complex at times

The SOCOM games have met with mixed success in the UK. While hugely popular in the US, over here the lack of a significant PlayStation2 online community, and SOCOM's insistence on complexity, has left many Blighty gamers apathetic to the merits of Zipper Interactive's Navy SEAL shooter.

While the focus in SOCOM has always been on online play, there is a substantial single-player campaign that is an essential training-ground for anyone new to the series, as the online games are fairly tough, even at noob level.

The reason for this is the complexity of the squad-based shooter. SOCOM has always projected the image of being a military simulator, and this time around the series has become so engulfed in detail it will be fairly off-putting to all but the most dedicated fans of military accuracy.

Playing through a campaign mission with three sidekicks, there are all the usual options to send orders to your team, sweeping through levels and picking off enemies, but something does not sit right. Your opponents themselves are thinly spread, extremely well camouflaged, and often hidden in the game's thick fog of war, meaning you will regularly have to attempt a mission countless times to learn rivals' positions.

All to often after playing through a level for the umpteenth time, just as you reach a new area you are sniped from an unknown angle, meaning you'll have to play to that point again several times to work out the best way of tackling your unknown assassin.

'There is also so much going on, especially in terms of team commands, that the control set-up is one of the most complex of the genre.'

Additionally, the in-depth weapon customisation screens rather exclude the casual gamer with a lack of knowledge of military hardware. Before starting a mission you can select two weapons and two additional items, such as grenades and medikits, for each team member, along with a host of sights, scopes and bolt-on accessories for your guns. The problem is that the weapons you select have a substantial impact on the game. If you know your M4 from your HK5, then selecting your arsenal will be a pleasure, but for those with a less thorough knowledge of tools of destruction, SOCOM: Combined Assault can quickly suck you into a vicious circle of trial and error, seeing experimentation with different combinations of weaponry you don't fully understand.

There is also so much going on, especially in terms of team commands, that the control set-up is one of the most complex of the genre. It is in no way badly designed, but just rather overwhelming for the SOCOM virgin. Which brings us to the crux of what will make you either love of loath Combined Assault; namely, that it is a game almost exclusively for serious fans of military endeavours.

Visually the series is well in need of a next-gen makeover

Visually the series is well in need of a next-gen makeover

If you are familiar with the jargon and technology of conflict, you will likely enjoy the latest SOCOM very much indeed. Its wealth of customisation and technical accuracy, combined with its sombre realism and simulation feel will thrill many gamers, but for those whose knowledge of the world's armed forces stops at Medal of Honor, it can be a painfully slow and frustrating experience.

Online the game is great, especially using the optional communications headset, with plenty of well-considered game options from the competitive to the cooperative, and a huge amount of variety and depth, but all are again cursed by the rather limiting prowess of the PlayStation 2. Unfortunately messy visuals and a lazy fog of war make spotting enemies and reacting to your surroundings a little infuriating at best.

Whilst the whole package is graphically very dated and lacking in originality, there is an undeniable depth to this tactical shooter that knows exactly what its target demographic wants, and it's nice to see Sony continuing to support the PlayStation2 online community. However, both military enthusiasts and connected gamers are likely more than ready for a next-generation experience.

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Col_Kill_Stench's Avatar

Col_Kill_Stench

a disapointing 6 what the, this game is huge. i get tired of spending hard erned cash on games like Call of duty and Medal of Honour to pass it on the hardest level that i can find and pass them in a weekend, what a waist o money i coulda hired them. the pass this war game on %100 will take some time. I love War games War is Raw. i give it 8.5
Posted 09:13 on 02 February 2009
Col_Kill_Stench's Avatar

Col_Kill_Stench

XBOX what a rip, get a PS3 no pay to play online. has anybody passed all cross talk objectives where is the 1 on the Shepard mission.
Posted 09:04 on 02 February 2009
Charliebrownau's Avatar
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Charliebrownau

I recently bought this game for AU$29 new
still learning the limited control method if anything
could be added to this game it would be
split screen solo single player mode
and USB Mouse/Keyboard control support
on the PS2
Posted 07:39 on 13 September 2008
WTF's Avatar
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WTF

Socom servers never get shut down......infact, every socom server ever made, from socom 1 to now is still up and playable
Posted 18:33 on 29 May 2007
ClubbedSeal's Avatar
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ClubbedSeal

Socom servers have a habit of getting shutdown months after the game release AVOID

PSN forget it XBOX LIVE!!!
Posted 19:28 on 21 May 2007

Game Stats

Technical Specs
SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Combined Assault
6
Out of 10
SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Combined Assault
  • A great deal of depth
  • Great for fans of military pursuits
  • Complex controls
  • Very cruel to the newcomer
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 18/05/2007
Platform: PS2
Developer: Zipper Interactive
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Genre: Third-person shooter
No. Players: 1-32
Rating: PEGI 16+
Site Rank: 11,551 183
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