SOCOM 4: U.S. Navy SEALs

Common Sense Media says

Violent, bloody shooter glamorizes elite soldier's job.

Age(i)

NOT FOR KIDS

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

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

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
Not applicable
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
Not applicable

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.

Parents say

Kids say

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?

QUALITY
 

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.

Families can talk 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

Platforms:PlayStation 3
Price:$59.99
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Sony Computer Entertainment
Release date:April 19, 2011
Genre:Third-person shooter
ESRB rating:M for Blood, Strong Language, Violence (PlayStation 3)

This review of SOCOM 4: U.S. Navy SEALs was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Teen, 13 years old Written byRoblox Adim May 2, 2011
AGE
9
QUALITY
 
ITs not like if kids will use guns in real life if you contol your child everything will be ok.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Safety and privacy concerns
Parent of a 3 year old Written byjakesyl May 7, 2011
AGE
2
QUALITY
 

great for anyone

LOVE IT!!
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Kid, 9 years old May 21, 2012
AGE
18
QUALITY
 

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 thirty bucks I have ever spent. Don't bother to buy this game. Hoped this review helped.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

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