SOCOM 4: U.S. Navy SEALs

Game review by
Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media
SOCOM 4: U.S. Navy SEALs Game Poster Image
Violent, bloody shooter glamorizes elite soldier's job.

Parents say

age 2+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 5 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

This game glorifies the lives of soldiers, making them appear to be all-but-unstoppable warriors with exciting jobs. The player’s character can withstand multiple bullet wounds and continue functioning, needing only to pause for a few moments to recover.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The soldiers in the player’s squad are clearly depicted as good men fighting for what’s right. They do not kill civilians and focus squarely on their perceived enemy. That said, their sole means of achieving objectives is violence.

Ease of Play

Standard controls should prove intuitive for both fans of the franchise and players experienced with third-person shooters. In-game instructions are provided during the game when new controls become available. Note that this game also supports Sony’s Sharpshooter, a realistically-shaped rifle peripheral used in conjunction with PlayStation Move.

Violence

Players spend the bulk of their time targeting and killing enemy soldiers with rifles, grenades, powerful air strikes, rockets, and other weapons. The player’s character sometimes attacks enemies from behind, strangling or stabbing them. Soldiers stagger and writhe in pain when wounded, and spurts of blood erupt from their bullet wounds.

Sex
Language

Strong language, including the words “s--t” and “f--k,” can be heard during the game’s dialogue sequences.

Consumerism

An advertisement that includes recruitment contact information for the U.S. Navy SEALs is included in the instruction booklet.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that SOCOM 4: U.S. Navy SEALs is a third-person shooter that depicts war zone violence in semi-realistic fashion. Players spend their time using a large arsenal of weapons to kill countless enemy soldiers, who writhe, bleed, and cry out in pain when struck. The player’s squad is clearly on the side of good, but everything they do in the game centers around violence. Parents should note that this game glamorizes war and that the instruction manual includes recruitment contact information for the U.S. Navy SEALs. The focus of the game is online play, where open voice communication is both supported and encouraged, which could lead to inappropriate language and topics of conversation.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 3 year old Written byjakesyl May 7, 2011
Kid, 9 years old May 21, 2012

Not worth buying.

This game is worst game I have ever played. The game has violent themes that are for adults only. If you get shot once you die right away. It's the worst t... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written bycerealkiller189 February 26, 2012

Awesome game.

I TOTALLY LOVE THIS GAME.I play it everyday and can't put it down even for a toilet break.Although its very violent but take this and Call Of Duty or Battl... Continue reading

What's it about?

SOCOM 4: U.S. NAVY SEALS is a realistic tactical third-person shooter with a simple single player campaign and extensive online multiplayer functionality. The story mode puts players in control of a small squad of NATO soldiers fighting in rural and urban locations in a distressed Asian country. Player focus is generally split between engaging enemy combatants directly and managing teammate's actions by tapping the directional buttons to issue orders. Custom missions that allow players to choose objectives and set enemy numbers are available as well. However, most players will spend the majority of their time engaged in online multiplayer matches, where up to 32 human combatants can square off against each other in a wide variety of customizable game types.

Is it any good?

The campaign portion of SOCOM 4 is as average as can be, delivering familiar cover-based combat scenarios populated with forgettable characters and objectives. Squad-focused tactics help distinguish the experience a little, but are marred by A.I. teammates often in need of babysitting. Infrequent stealth missions act as a nice change of pace. Too bad they’re so hard.

Luckily, the multiplayer element proves more satisfying. Upgradeable weapons and a well-designed character growth system will keep avid players busy for weeks or months, and matches without re-spawning -- a staple of the franchise -- are as tense as they’ve ever been. Like previous SOCOMs, the online play will likely be best enjoyed by hardcore as opposed to casual players; the people we encountered online while testing were often overly enthusiastic in their taunting. SOCOM 4 won’t win many new converts, but franchise fans shouldn’t be disappointed.

Online interaction: Up to 32 players can play together in online play. Squad-based multiplayer supports and encourages open voice communication between players, which means players could encounter inappropriate language and topics of conversation. Opportunity exists for players to share personal information.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk violence in games. How do you feel about viewing realistic military combat in a video game? How does animated violence differ from violence in live action films?

  • Families can also discuss online safety. What precautions do you take when playing games online? What do you do if you encounter someone you think might be dangerous?

Game details

For kids who love PS3 games

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