SOCOM: Special Forces is the first fully fledged SOCOM game out of the Zipper Interactive development stable in nearly six years. Available now on Playstation 3, Special Forces is perhaps Zipper’s most ambitious stab at rejuvenating the franchise and bringing it back into the forefront of its genre. In the wake of M.A.G, Special Forces is Zipper’s second release on Playstation 3 and although the PSN down time means you can’t get to grips with SP’s multiplayer component, trust us, there’s enough of a single player campaign in there to keep you tactically gunning for another few days. TGL caught up with Special Force’s Game Director Seth Luisi to talk about all things SOCOM.
Here we go:
SL: It is always great to return to SOCOM. We still have so much which we want to do with the franchise.
TGL: The SOCOM franchise has always put a considerable impetus on multiplayer. Has the studio’s work on M.A.G influenced the way you have approached the multiplayer component of this latest SOCOM project?
SL: SOCOM uses a lot of network technology that was developed for MAG. This definitely gives us an edge as we are able to quickly match players into games with very little gameplay or lag issues.
TGL: What kind of feedback did Zipper get from the Special Forces beta? Why is the beta process important for a game like Special Forces?
SL: Betas are extremely important. It is our chance to gather gameplay feedback from consumers as well as get a lot of data that is mined on the server side. It really helps provide us with an objective look at our game and allows us to identify areas of the game which need to be addressed.
TGL: Given that M.A.G was such a layered experience with a bevy of post release support, can SOCOM fans expect Zipper to consistently support Special Forces with new content and new experiences after it hits retail?
SL: We have nothing specific to announce at this point, but we do have post release support and content coming.
TGL: If someone has never played a SOCOM game before, why is Special Forces a good entry point for the franchise?
SL: SOCOM: Special Forces is the first full SOCOM game in a while. With it, we have updated many aspects of the title to keep it current with modern day shooters and the title is generally more forgiving than previous titles that were seen as very hard-core. The Move support also brings accessibility to a whole new audience.
TGL: Given that Slant Six’s SOCOM: Confrontation was a multiplayer only title, why was it important to package Special Forces with a single player campaign?
SL: SOCOM has always been known for its online multiplayer experience. However, it is generally the single player experience that opens the door for new players to experience the game and it provides a great opportunity for players to learn the basics before they jump online.
TGL: Tell us a little about Playstation Move implementation. Was the Move controller involved with Special Forces from the beginning or was it something that was introduced further down the development cycle?
SL: SOCOM: Special Forces integrated the Move as soon as the Move was available. While the game was already in development before we received the initial Move controllers we saw early on that it was something we wanted to take advantage of.
TGL: How does the Move enhance the SOCOM experience?
SL: The Move provides a more intuitive method of controlling the game compared to a Dual Analog stick that makes it easier for more casual users to pick it up and play it. For more experienced users, the Move offers greater accuracy and quicker aiming.
SL: SOCOM: Special Forces features many different Special Forces in the game depending on the language setting of you console. So, calling it SOCOM: Special Forces is appropriate. However, in North America the title has always been associated with the U.S. Navy SEALs and so there was a strong desire to keep that link.
TGL: Of course SOCOM has always been very well represented on the PSP. Now that the NGP is making headlines, is it safe to say that SOCOM and Zipper will consider bringing the franchise to the new portable?
SL: While we have nothing to announce at this time, we are very interested in what the NGP can offer. It is an extremely exciting device.
TGL: Finally, are you pleased with how Special Forces weighs up in 3D? Is 3D the future….?
SL: The 3D implementation in SOCOM: Special Forces is amazing. We are able to display the game in 3D, at full resolution with no hit to the frame rate. It is technical achievement which we are very proud off and the game looks great in 3D.
SOCOM: Special Forces is available now for the Playstation 3. It supports 3D and Playstation Move.