Played SOCOM 4 last week to see what their multiplayer has to offer and how it stands out from the rest. Well, the Open Beta should be over by now and after a few hours of game time it felt like it had nothing special. But what I noticed is the fact that it feels and sounds similar to a previous game Zipper Interactive released a year ago.
MAG is what keeps popping in my head when I was playing the multiplayer Open Beta. So much small things kept reminding me about MAG. Like the look of the Heads up display to the sound effect used when you get a head shot. It maybe just me but it seemed like they didn't exert that much effort in giving SOCOM 4 its own multiplayer feel.
Graphics in SOCOM 4 are amazing. It's well detailed so good job Zipper. But I think that's the only thing that caught my eye really. This year is all about shooter games, especially first person shooters, and from what i experienced in SOCOM 4's beta it's not enough. With how the multiplayer feels right now, it might not mix well with the rest and people might forget about it real quick.
Connection in SOCOM 4 is solid. I never had lag problems and compared to other developers, Zipper knows how to make it feel as if your playing through LAN no matter what country you're in. Zipper pulled off 256 players in one match with MAG so 32 players for SOCOM 4 must have been a walk to the park.
During my time with the Open Beta there was only one mode available and that was bomb squad. There's three bombs scattered around the map and one team is tasked to defuse these bombs using their Bomb Technician while the opposing team defends the bombs until time runs out. When one round is over, teams switch roles. It's a fun mode since a random player becomes the Bomb Technician and only he can defuse bombs. You'll have to escort that player to the bombs location So teamwork is key. Just like any other multiplayer that urges you to work together, you don't see it. It looked like it was every man for himself and our Technician usually dies since he goes Rambo all of a sudden. But that really isn't the issue here since it's present in anything multiplayer. The Bomb Technician is equipped with a different loadout. He's equipped with an automatic shotgun,a grenade launcher and fully covered in body armor so he can take a few more hits than the usual player.
The leveling system was the biggest letdown. It was completely dull. You level up and when you reach a certain level you unlock more weapons and equipment for your loadouts. It's pretty straightforward and yes some multiplayer games have similar setups but those games had other things going for them. SOCOM 4 in multiplayer had nothing unique aside from it being a third person shooter.
It's not out yet and I maybe a little harsh getting info from a beta but I also consider a beta as a demo. An Open Beta is pretty much a demo already. I know I'll experience bugs that might affect game play but I saw the concept and the feel of the gameplay. What I saw was not enough for me to get the game on day one. The only saving grace for this game is the campaign mode and lets just hope the campaign shows similarities to the older SOCOM games because i didn't see anything in the multiplayer .