We had a chance this past week to check out Sony's PlayStation Lounge, during Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. Zipper Interactive, the studio behind the PlayStation-exclusive SOCOM franchise, was on hand to speak a bit about SOCOM 4.
SOCOM 4, Impressions
Perhaps the most notable bit of information that was divulged, was the announcement of a beta coming to PlayStation Network. But more on that later, first a bit about the game itself.
SOCOM has always been a franchise that stresses tactics and teamwork; SOCOM 4 is true to its roots, encouraging players to work together to accomplish the mission at hand. Indeed, Zipper Interactive informed us that if you want to go solo in a match, you probably won't make it very far at all.
During the multiplayer session, we had a chance to play a newly announced multiplayer mode Bomb Squad. This is an objective-based game mode in which Insurgents defend active bomb sites and Spec Ops must defuse the charges. What really sets Bomb Squad apart, though, from other game modes is the inclusion of the Bomb Technician character. The Bomb Technician is heavily armored, carries an automatic shotgun and a handheld grenade launcher, making him a formidable force on the battlefield.
The Bomb Tech is the only character in Bomb Squad who is able to defuse the charges and must be defended at all costs and, of course, is public enemy number one in the eyes of the Insurgents. Bomb Squad guarantees that players must work together to assault the bomb site and defend the Bomb Tech in order to suceed and alternately the Insurgents must band together to defend the planted bombs and take out the Bomb Technician.
One of the highlights of our time with SOCOM 4 was the announcement of a few important beta dates. The beta is being rolled out in waves, rather than one set date for all inclusive access. The dates are as follows:
- March 22nd - PlayStation Plus members receive access to beta
- March 29th - Players who purchased Killzone 3 will be able to redeem the SOCOM 4 beta keys that were bundled inside their copy of that title.
- April 5th - The beta is opened to the general public on PlayStation Network.
The SOCOM 4 beta will end on April 13th and the game ships one week later, on April 19th.
For more info on Zipper Interactive's PlayStation-exclusive 3rd-person shooter, head to the game's official website at Socom.com.