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SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs -- Fireteam Bravo
Platform: PlayStation Portable
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment America, Inc.
Developer: Zipper Interactive
Style(s): Squad-Based Shooter
Synopsis: The PlayStation 2's first and foremost online gaming series deploys on PlayStation Portable in SOCOM U.S. Navy SEALs: Fireteam Bravo. A single-player campaign sends players through 14 missions of military intrigue and action, set in locations around the world. Multiplayer missions are supported wirelessly, between two PSP Fireteam players. The PSP's Fireteam Bravo also interoperates with the PS2's concurrently released SOCOM 3, through special "cross-talk" objectives. These mission goals require players to accomplish objectives in both versions of SOCOM, to move the shared story forward. When a particular goal is reached on either PlayStation platform, players receive a notification that prompts them to connect the PSP to the PS2 through USB ports, so both versions of the game are updated with new goals and rewards. ~ T.J. Deci, All Game Guide
Package Contents: Registration Card
Sony's crown jewel in strategic multiplayer action is an important release for its handheld, if only to prove it can handle the complexities associated with an online first-person shooter. Considering that most handheld attempts at the genre have been a few notches above atrocious, the inclusion of online play to begin with is a laudable feat in and of itself. While SOCOM: Fire Team Bravo is unquestionably a scaled-down version of its console counterparts, the depth and quality of its online action more than passes muster for those with wireless Internet connections. But what about the rest of the game? Fire Team Bravo strips the four-man squad found in the console versions to a two-man buddy team. The reduced number of soldiers changes the game's dynamics from a tactical shooter to more of an action-oriented shooter. Aiming is simplified to a degree with a lock-on targeting system, and soldiers no longer have encumbrance restrictions with the equipment they carry. Yet players shouldn't necessarily expect a twitch game. Though the lock-on targeting may alarm SOCOM vets, technique is required to pull off headshots, and there are still several variables affecting a soldier's accuracy, from stance to weapon type. For a handheld title, Fire Team Bravo offers a surprisingly robust lineup of play modes, though to be fair, most emphasize short bursts of action rather than lengthy operations. The 14 single-player missions are spread across four distinct countries, from Chile to Poland, and offer a wide variety of objectives. Players will destroy bridges, disarm bombs, snap photos, rescue hostages, and eliminate a heaping helping of terrorists. Each mission can be revisited in a fast-paced, "instant action" format, and there are bonus objectives for syncing the game up to SOCOM 3. Last but certainly not least is support for both Ad-hoc and infrastructure modes, where up to 16 players can compete online. SOCOM fans should immediately bump up the difficulty when starting the game, as the default setting isn't enough of a challenge. Part of the problem is the lack of enemies, and another is the relatively small size of the maps. It doesn't help that the terrorists blindly rush toward your gun after being alerted to your presence, either. Your teammate is also a few fries short of a value meal, but as long as you understand his limitations, things will go smoothly. You generally don't want him engaging in combat aside from providing support fire, or he'll be in a body bag before you finish cursing out his tactics. Instead, he is best used for clearing rooms or disarming explosives. Expect to spend some time babysitting as well as shooting. While the shorter missions and uneven AI are disappointments in the single-player game, Fire Team Bravo makes up for it with its online competition. Everything that made SOCOM one of the PS2's few standout online multiplayer games has been wrapped in a streamlined package for PSP. Players can create clans, track statistics, and even speak to teammates via headset (available separately). The action is fast and fluid throughout the five game types, and while there is slowdown if more than ten players are grouped in one area, it is fleeting. Developer Zipper Interactive has done for Fire Team Bravo what it did for the original SOCOM: demonstrate the alluring power of online action. ~ Scott Alan Marriott, All Game Guide
the game requires Joystick/Gamepad.