previews\ Aug 28, 2006 at 8:00 pm

SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Fireteam Bravo 2 - PSP - Preview

Released last fall, SOCOM Fireteam Bravo on the PSP ranks as one of the premier titles for the handheld. With a ton of content and gameplay that rivals it’s console brethren, the PSP entry in Sony’s hugely-popular SOCOM franchise was a huge hit, and showcased the PSP’s viability as the handheld system that could provide more than just shoddy ports of PS2 games. Now, work is underway for the sequel, SOCOM Fireteam Bravo 2. Sony’s not sitting on their laurels for this one however, as the game is looking to up the ante in terms of gameplay and features. We at GameZone were recently given a chance to sit down with the single-player portion of the game, and from what we’ve seen, SOCOM’s sophomore entry on the PSP should be yet another solid entry in the successful franchise.


While the game plays quite similarly to last year’s incarnation, albeit for a few key additions. The single-player mission that we previewed took place at the site of a helicopter crash that was swarming with enemies. The concentrated enemy presence made one of the new elements very handy, and that was the ability to call airstrikes. Performing the action is a snap, as you just have to paint the target for a little bit and then your airstrike is on the way to clear out a section.


SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Fireteam Bravo 2 PSP screenshots


Another new element is non-lethal weapons that you can use to subdue enemies without killing them. These include shotguns with bean-bag shells that will knock an enemy down and allow you to close in and detain them. This can add to your rating at the end of the mission, and grant you a better score and more experience.


The experience in the game is divided two ways, with command equity and local influence giving you two different kinds of bonuses in missions. Command equity deals with your professional efficiency in missions (how well you complete them), while local influence depends on your tactfulness, like how many buildings you destroy and innocents you kill and so on. While command equity can give you more assets like supply drops and other outside assists, local influence presents itself through the help that you receive from local people privy to your cause. They can help you out in a variety of ways, from revealing enemy positions to more black market weapon options.


SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Fireteam Bravo 2 PSP screenshots


SOCOM Fireteam Bravo 2 will also feature some interesting PS2 connectivity options with the upcoming SOCOM: Combined Assault. As the games both occur within the same time frame and location, the missions will be similar to the point that completing a mission on the PSP version will yield results on the PS2 version.


Graphically, SOCOM Fireteam Bravo 2 looks every bit as good as its predecessor, with clean player models and great environments. Also, the game moved quite fluidly, save for only a few instances of slowdown when the action gets intense.


The real focus of the SOCOM series has always been the multiplayer, which was unfortunately MIA from the preview build. However, judging from the single-payer gameplay, SOCOM Fireteam Bravo 2 is shaping up to be a worthy addition to the franchise and should be one to look out for this November.

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