A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
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
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 & Scariness
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.
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Strong language, including the words "s--t" and "f--k," can be heard during the game's dialogue sequences.
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Products & Purchases
An advertisement that includes recruitment contact information for the U.S. Navy SEALs is included in the instruction booklet.
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.
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.
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Our Editors Recommend
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