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SOCOM 3: US Navy SEALs Review

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Online multiplayer lifts this stealth game into gaming heavens.

★★★★★

Having convinced more PS2 players than any other game to take their console online, SOCOM has already staked its claim as one of Sony’s most significant releases. But in evolving the fierce multiplayer battles and offering players a sophisticated single-player alternative, SOCOM 3 is one of the most captivating PS2 releases this year.

The improved single-player mode thrusts players into a sprawling campaign brought to life by explosive cut-scenes and stellar storytelling that effortlessly winds you into the story, while the addition of a new checkpoint system also makes the solo sorties more engaging as you won’t risk being plugged by a sniper’s bullet just as you’re about to finish a level.

But when it comes to SOCOM, the main action is always found online - and the third instalment doesn’t disappoint. The addition of chunky military vehicles hurtling across the shattered landscapes makes for more chaotic skirmishes, and the expansive battlefields – that often feature urban centres where stealth is mandatory, and open fields where wanton bloodshed rules the day – add variety and colour to the slaughter. New multiplayer modes that actively encourage squad tactics also make SOCOM 3 the most rewarding entry in the series so far, and upping the number of online players from 16 to 32 helps make this an essential purchase.

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