SOCOM 3: U.S Navy SEALs screen shots
This fall, Zipper Interactive Inc. and Sony Computer Entertainment are expanding one of their most successful titles. SOCOM 3: U.S Navy SEALs, in stores now, is bringing the best action and improvements to the third person shooter genre.

In this latest installment, your SEAL team takes the fight to the enemy across three new areas of operation: Morocco, Poland, and South Asia. Missions range from close quarter combat to strategic air strikes to hostage taking. The story line pretty much follows a typical day at the office for any U.S Navy SEAL: busting down doors and saving the world from tyranny and terror.

SOCOM 3 expands on the series with all new missions, features, and even new squad members. Just like the previous titles, you command a fire team consisting of teams Able and Bravo. You still play as "Specter" from SOCOM II, but Bravo team introduces new members "Killjoy" and "Simple". Several new features bring this third person shooter to status of all-time great.

Probably one of the biggest improvements in SOCOM 3 is the use of vehicles. It allows you to take control of several military vehicles including the M1025 HMMWV, Special Operations dune buggies, the SOC-R assault boat, and even terrorist pickup trucks. Most all vehicles allow your team and others to ride along wreaking havoc on the enemy, by using the vehicles' fixed gun turrets. The most common vehicle weapon is the .50 caliber machine gun, which is excellent for providing covering fire while your SEAL team assaults the enemy.

If you run out of vehicle ammo, or have a twisted mind, you can also use your vehicle as a weapon by running over the enemy. The introduction of vehicles expands gameplay like you would not believe. Not only have vehicles been added but also each level is around five to six times larger than the previous SOCOM titles. Walking through mission levels really demonstrates how much the maps were expanded from the previous two titles.

Another improvement over the previous titles is the ability for your SEAL team to hide under water, and pop up in a "Rambo" style to sneak up on enemy terrorists. When under water, you and your SEAL team are invisible to the enemy but you are limited by an oxygen meter. This greatly increases your ability of achieving stealth kills. Besides hiding under water, your SEAL team can also swim.

Zipper Interactive has also added a cool new command feature: The Team Command Actions (TCA). TCA gives you the ability to move your SEAL team to certain points by simply pressing the L2 button. This feature comes in handy for users without the USB headset. Auto Save checkpoints have made their way in SOCOM 3. Saves take place after certain objectives; if you die, you don't have to start from the beginning of the mission. It's a nice feature but I dislike the fact that they give you a replenishment of ammunition. It doesn't make you conserve your ammo and it causes you to go trigger-happy. Real U.S Navy SEALs don't go trigger-happy - only when the "you know what" hits the fan.