SOCOM: U.S Navy SEALs Tactical Strike

SOCOM: Tactical Strike screenshot multimage
SCEA decided to change things up with the latest title in the SOCOM PSP franchise. Vancouver based Slant Six is now taking over development for the November release of "SOCOM: U.S Navy SEALs Tactical Strike", so they re-engineered the game model and this time the emphasis is on strategy. It's based more on Special Operations skill and training than a third person shoot everything that moves style of play.

The basic game format is to evaluate, plan, then execute your mission objectives. Gamers take the role of battlefield commander rather than an actual special operations soldier. Being a personal fan of the SOCOM series, I couldn't wait to check out the new format.

The story line follows a violent insurgent group, hostile to the Panamanian government, attacking the Office of the Interior Minister in a coordinated coup attempt. During the attack the Ambassador to Panama is kidnapped, and that's where the Special Operations Command steps in.

Your mission starts you out trying to rescue the Ambassador. This time you're equipped with a four man team broken up into two elements, Able and Bravo, similar to the Playstation format.

Newly added to this years combat is the ability to select not only from a U.S Navy SEAL team but the ability to select from other Special Operations teams from around the world. You can select SOF teams from Great Britain Australia, France, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Germany, and South Korea.

In addition, the game is actually spoken in the native language of the team selected. For those who don't want to go international and want you can still select the Navy SEAL team from the good ol' USA. In case you're wondering, this years SEAL squad consists of Wraith, Bronco (both from SOCOM: Mobile Recon), Kahuna (from the original PS2 SOCOM), and fresh out of BUDs Aztec.

I will say the featured tutorial for the first mission is a must. The overall feel of the game has changed since Fireteam Bravo 2, so getting used to the command and control concept is a must for the first level. As far as controlling your fireteam issuing commands is as simple as moving the cursor to a specific location and then hitting the circle button. The circle button essentially executes team movements, the triangle button cancels moves, and the X button handles weapons firing.

For controlling your teams firing you have a range of options. Commands include Hold Fire, Stealth Kill (for a silenced knife attack), Field of Fire which covers a wide range of targets in a field range, and Fire at Will. Likewise, you can concentrate your shots to a specific target by moving the cursor over a specific target, then your team will attack that target with a full onslaught.