For years the SOCOM series has covered all of Sony’s consoles and has since then solidified itself as one of the top contenders that it has on its side. The newest edition to the Fireteam series continues the trend of squad based tactics while also adding some new elements into the mix.
Fireteam Bravo 3 puts you into the boots of Wraith, a SEAL squad leader of 4 men sent behind enemy lines to find out whose behind the WMD threats in the country of Koratvia. Over the course of the game, you start to learn more about the dark intentions behind the people involved. Although this title brings new material to the world of SOCOM, can it live up to the fan’s expectations? Lets look at the HOTs and NOTs of this title.
SOCOM Fireteam Bravo 3 features an immense amount of customization. From weapons and attachments, to the character you use online. This game features 70 weapons all customizable with different attachments ranging from scopes of all variations to silencers and underslungs. Most of the weapons and attachments require the game’s form of currency, called Command Equity, in order for you to use them. A select few of them you’ll earn specific medals that act as the games trophies. The character customization for your online avatar will have you spending most of that currency on your character so you can have your SEAL or Mercenary look the way you want them too.
The multitude of weapons and unlockables in this game ensure that you will play through the campaign mode multiple times so you can unlock everything for online play. Another great addition is the custom missions mode. This allows you to pick any level you completed in the campaign and arrange the settings as you see fit. You can change everything from the enemy type, to whether you want to go solo or with your fellow SEALs. There is definitely no shortage of things to do or collect in this game.
For the first time in the series’ history, you can play through the entire campaign in four player co-op via either Infrastructure or Ad-Hoc modes. This is a good way to get help with Admiral difficulty or just to have fun playing the game with your buddies. The next multiplayer mode is the online 16 player competitive which features favorites such as deathmatch and a mode called Tug-of-War which has you draining points from the enemy team to collect tickets.
For a PSP game, this games graphics look really good. From pre mission cutscenes to in-game graphics, this game looks like a last gen PS2 game which is saying something in the PSP’s case. Every weapon model look just like the real deal and is detailed in its own right. The magazine will even drop out of the gun when you go to reload it. All of the attachments you put on your weapons before each mission will also show up on your gun.
SOCOM Fireteam Bravo 3 also adds to the military feel by giving the guns their own unique sounds with and without a silencer. You’ll notice as you go along that they keep it realistic by giving they higher caliber weapons a louder report after firing. The game also has a catchy soundtrack that escalates as the action intensifies.
Fireteam Bravo 3 also keeps the in-game mechanics simple to use and easily accessible even to those who are new to the series. One of the most helpful additions is a cover system of sorts. Sitting behind cover and locking on to an enemy will help your character peak up over his cover just enough to hit your target while keeping you as well protected as possible. It works well and the game pulls it off smoothly. The command system also works smoothly in this game. Pressing and holding the circle button down will allow you to open up the squad command menu and order your team to do a range of things from suppressing an area to going into stealth mode so you don’t alert your enemies. Its so easy to use that it never feels like a hassel to have your team supress while you flank the enemy.
This game has some of the best controls on any PSP game by far. It’s really easy to pick up and play and in what feels like no time at all, you’ll be a master of the controls. The lack of a right analog stick doesn’t even phase this game. It tackles it head on and succeeds.It’s mapped out to where everything is easily accessible and you don’t have to be a contortionist with your fingers to pull off any of the games controls.
The story spans only 8 missions not including the tutorial. On the Lieutenant difficulty this game will take no longer than 4 hours even playing it tactically. Admiral will lengthen the longevity of the game a bit, but not by much.
Friendly A.I. Can Be Frustrating
The friendly SEALs in this game can be a bit dumb at times. At times they think they can take a multitude of bullets so they will stand out in the open and take the fire until you have to go heal them. This can be a pain on the higher difficulties. The A.I. also seems to like watching their fellow squad mates bleed out as well. In the heat of a firefight you may notice that one of your friends is down but your pinned and cant get to him. Don’t always depend on them to go heal your fallen friend. A team member down means game over so when this happens it can and will get frustrating.
Overall, SOCOM Fireteam Bravo 3 is a solid game that definitely delivers well beyond the $40 price behind it. The multiplayer and addition of co-op will keep you coming back for more and the multitude of unlockables and medals will keep you hooked for hours. A fine addition to any PSP collection.SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Fireteam Bravo 3 Review,