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Socom: Us Navy Seals Combined Assault Review

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Online this new version has everything you’ve come to expect from the series and more.

★★★★

As the first game to fully realise the online potential of Sony’s classic console, SOCOM’s place in the pantheon of gaming is assured. But while the series’ final PS2 outing is still a multiplayer masterpiece, the single-player game can’t match the immersive atmosphere of other wartime blasters currently doing the rounds.

Offline the main problem is the intelligence of computer-controlled players, with dumbass teammates who often don’t react to enemy gunfire unless specifically told to do so – and who often have trouble following you through more complicated levels – and seemingly fearless enemies who’ll stand rooted to the spot while you rip them to shreds with gunfire. The game plot also lacks the tension and cohesion of shooters such as the Call Of Duty series, giving players little incentive to stick with the story until the bitter end.

However, single-player missions aren’t what SOCOM is about, and online this new version has everything you’ve come to expect from the series and more; the biggest online change is the option to play co-operatively, where you can team up with three friends to play through the story campaign, or skip to specific sections of the adventure for a spot of instant action. And if the thought of working together leaves you cold, SOCOM’s brutal head-to-head mash ups are still available, made even more enticing by the fact that may of Combined Assault’s modes are fully compatible with SOCOM 3, meaning there are already plenty of people playing the game across the globe.

Combined Assault is also remarkable as completing missions in the PS2 version will alter events in the PSP’s forthcoming SOCOM: US Navy SEALs Fireteam Bravo 2 when the titles are synced, allowing you to complete objectives on the move and reap the benefits when you get home.

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