SOCOM 4 Hands-On Multiplayer Preview
Posted on Tuesday, March 8 @ 15:22:37 PST by Daniel Bischoff
GDC was full of surprises! Games we hadn't heard of, last-minute cancelations, ummm... other stuff. One thing I wasn't surprised by? SOCOM 4's steady multiplayer. The PlayStation Blogger's Lounge played host to a ton of different demos but SOCOM's doesn't particularly stand out in my mind.
Maybe it's because the quality of online multiplayer in the tactical third-person shooter series hasn't dipped very far in its lifespan. Maybe it's because the new mode felt like a small detour for Sony's premier military combat game. Maybe it's because it was just good goddam fun.
There weren't a lot of opportunities to face off against my fellow journalists, but SOCOM 4's hands-on preview put me in my place. I clearly need to brush up on my skills. The new mode pit each team against each other as bomb-site defenders and bomb diffusers. Each side gets a 10 minute match to diffuse all three bomb-sites before the time runs out. The trick is that only one player on the diffusing team can actually dismantle the bomb. They have stronger weapons and more armor, but there'll be a target painted on their back straight from spawn.
After playing several rounds I came to realize that 9 out of 10 matches will probably end in a draw. The diffusing team has a much tougher time of it once two out of three sites have been taken care of. With only one site left in a match teams really tend to bottle-neck around that area.
Despite feeling pretty anti-climatic across each match I played, Bomb Squad will still take up most of my time during SOCOM 4's multiplayer. Being the indestructible diffuser is undeniably appealing and hunting the bastard down when you're on the defending team is a ton of fun.
If you're interested in play some SOCOM 4 multiplayer before the game is released, you'll be happy to know that a private beta begins on March 15th. That beta will expand to PlayStation Plus members on March 22nd. A week later on March 29th the beta will engulf everyone with a code from their copy of Killzone 3. Finally, on April 5th the beta will be available to everyone.
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