Thursday, July 31, 2008

SOCOM Confrontation box art

Thanks to Gamecocks625 for posting this in my NeoGaf thread. Looks like it'll be the final box art (with the "M" rating added once its approved). Notice how they added a background as opposed to the older box art which was just draped with a boring black background.

I like it. Very nice!
If you haven't seen it yet, Dev Q&A 12 is up on Check it out.

They touch on encumbrance, the friends list, and a couple other things.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Has nothing changed?

One thing that was clear to me after this year's E3 was the complete lack of SOCOM coverage. Even though the game was there playable at the show, only a handful of publications put up a hands-on report on it. This could be because the game was already shown a few weeks prior at a Pre-E3 event just for the game, but the build being shown in Sony's booth was a lot fresher yet we barely heard a peep.

The result of that being, the nominations and awards that are going out from many of these websites (including GameTrailers) have completely failed to mention SOCOM Confrontation in any category. Which is quite odd considering that all recent hands-on reports are saying the game keeps looking and playing better.

But the real kicker is Comic-Con. Occurring last week and not normally a place where you see that many games, SOCOM Confrontation was playable on the show floor. And while it seems that many casual visitors got hands-on time with the game, I have not read a single preview from IGN, 1up, or GameSpot (or anyone else for that matter), about it's presence at the show. Not in podcasts either. Even though it was being shown off in Private Beta form.

So who's to blame? The media who keeps "ignoring" SOCOM? Nope. I put the blame on Sony.

While in the past year Sony has managed to finally support the SOCOM community with a dedicated community person and for the most part, keep us fat and happy, what they have failed to do is generate any hype outside of this hardcore base of SOCOM fanatics.

For a game that supposedly looks and plays great, as said from various 'qualified' people around the web including Jeff Gerstmann (GiantBomb), Jeff Hayes (IGN), and Thierry Nguyen (1up), Sony hasn't been able to deliver the hype on their end. The most obvious example of this was their E3 Press Conference, where Confrontation was nothing more than a 5sec video between a mish-mash of other titles.

Considering the legacy and power of the SOCOM franchise, I've been extremely disapointed with how Sony has treated it. Keeping the core community happy is not going to blind us to the fact that its been severely under-hyped (yes, history shows that most hype is generated within the company, not the media), and how that will hurt its userbase come launch.

To me, it feels like Confrontation is being sent to die. Unless we witness a huge marketing push come September and October, its clear Sony doesn't have much interest in pushing the game. Maybe they feel it's on auto-pilot and that it can sustain itself, but personally I don't think that's true. This is a franchise that went through a world of hurt and someone has to let those casual gamers know that the real SOCOM is back, while informing those who are unfamiliar with SOCOM why they should care.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Knife kill explained

Dev Q&A 11 went up on today. Check it out here.

Allen Goode's initial response to the knife kill question was that it was 1-hit kill, but thankfully in the comments section David Seymour clarified that answer and said:

Hey guys,

The answer above about the knife attack is incomplete. The knife strike is a one-hit kill from behind, but from the front it only does half damage. Apologies for the omission,


Which is great news. We won't have to worry about people rushing us in a close-quarters gun-battle if they are going to have to take two strikes before they kill us.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Keep Hellman in your thoughts

Hellman, good friend of mine and co-host of TheRealSOCOM Podcast is currently being effected by Hurricane Dolly in South Texas. Right now he is out of power till probably the end of the week.

With that said though, I'm going to try and coerce him into recording a podcast this weekend. That way we can talk about E3 and SOCOM's presence at Comic-Con (which is starting tomorrow).

If there is anything in particular you want us to discuss, let me know in the comments section of this post or in an email.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Why MAG won't have the SOCOM name

Kotaku just put up a new article on MAG. Apparently one of the focus testers that Sony interviewed prior to MAG's announcement, spoke out anonymously. Early on in the article Kotaku seems convinced that MAG will carry SOCOM-branding;

It will more than likely carry SOCOM branding, as Zipper Interactive is behind it. And if so, it could be called SOCOM: Shadow War or SOCOM: Zero.

I sent Kotaku an email, simply explaining to them why it definitely won't have the SOCOM brand attached to it, if Sony isn't run by idiots. I'll let you read the email;

I run a SOCOM blog for hardcore fans of the franchise. I just read your article on MAG, and you and Orange seemed convinced that MAG will have the SOCOM brand. You are probably unaware, and curious why MAG wasn't announced with the SOCOM brand attached to it. To understand this you need a little history of the franchise and its fans, but I'll try to give you a quick overview.

SOCOM fans loved SOCOM 1 & 2, generating upwards of 40,000 unique players online at once every night, it was obviously a huge game for Sony. But then with SOCOM 3 Zipper attempted something different by making it 32 players (compared to 16 players of the first two), and adding vehicles and large open maps to the game. The fan base was not happy, and there was a VERY quick drop-off of players.

When SOCOM Confrontation was announced to be "going back to it's roots", removing vehicles and large open maps, and concentrating on what made SOCOM 1 & 2 so great, the fanbase was extremely excited. What may surprise you as well is that we were also very happy that a new developer what taking over the franchise, Slant Six. Zipper was extremely poor at community relations and QA, among other things. Slant Six has been nothing short of spectacular so far, and SCEA has also been extremely supportive by adding a new Community Relations manager and allowing into their Playstation-blog family.

The reason MAG wasn't announced with the SOCOM name and that you won't see that brand attached to it is three-fold. One, the community would be outraged. Two, with a new franchise it's a lot easier for new players to feel welcomed to try it out. And three, it would cause a drop off of players in Confrontation just like SOCOM 3 caused a drop off of SOCOM 2 players, regardless of how different those experiences were, and Sony is very aware of this. Why would they want to chance throwing away one of their key fanbases who are extremely dedicated and are easy money makers for DLC by introducing a radically different SOCOM game, when they can instead keep the SOCOM Confrontation fanbase AND also build an entirely new online fanbase with a new franchise such as MAG.

David Doel
Our podcast is found at

I'd like to hear the community's feedback. Are your feelings similar to mine and are you happy MAG doesn't have the SOCOM name? Let me know.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Your thoughts on this year's E3?

I'm going to do something a little different. I'd like to hear from you guys/girls, what are your overall feelings on this year's E3? It doesn't need to be SOCOM related, it doesn't need to be Sony related, just give me your overall thoughts on what interested you, impressed you, and maybe disappointed you.

Either post a comment here or email me at with your feelings. In my next podcast I'm going to take some of your thoughts and read them on the air with Hellman, and we'll talk a bit about the stuff you brought up.

For those that aren't already aware, I'm a huge gamer outside of just the SOCOM universe. I own all the current-gen consoles and even though I use a Mac I still follow the PC side of things. So I love talking gaming in general, and me and Hellman will open up the next episode of TheRealSOCOM Podcast with some E3 talk.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Peak at the between rounds screen

Gamespot just had Seth Luisi and SOCOM Confrontation on their E3 Live show. In typical Gamespot fashion, they failed at answering any real burning questions we have and instead filled the last portion of the segment with bonehead questions like "Are there any vehicles?" and "Can you pick up backpacks from other troops?". Lord.

Anyways, Hellman, a friend of mine and co-host on TheRealSOCOM Podcast, grabbed a couple shots of what the menu that comes up in between rounds. There is some interesting stuff in there including "Kill Assists", a new and welcome addition to the franchise.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Zipper Int. accounces MAG: Massive Action Game

People can finally stop saying "wait for the real SOCOM from Zipper". Just a few minutes ago in Sony's E3 Press Conference, Zipper Interactive ended with a trailer for their new game, MAG: Massive Action Game, eerily similar to the name I predicted on TheRealSOCOM Podcast Episode 3, "Big Ass Battles" :p.

MAG is an online game where you in a squad of 8 can take part in battles that can reach up to 256 players! It also includes player progression akin to an MMO as well as rank within your squad.

I'll post the video as soon as I find it online, but it was simply a CG trailer, so no gameplay to be seen yet.

Anyways, you can tell your journalist friends to stop saying "wait for the real SOCOM", because the REAL SOCOM is hitting on October 14th, and it's called SOCOM Confrontation.


is the video from the conference.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Ranked rooms now in the classic lobby system! + more info

You all prayed for it, and Sony/Slant Six is making it happen. Now ranked games are no longer just stuck to the auto-match/party system. Today, in Q&A #9, straight from David Seymour:

In addition to the lobby system for custom games, we have added ranked rooms to the lobby system. These ranked rooms will contain pre-set playlists of ranked games which will allow players to earn rank from within the lobby system while still preserving a fair and competitive ranking system. Adding ranked rooms to the lobbies was a decision that was made in response to the feedback given on the forums on and the blog.

Wow, I have to say that I'm really impressed. I knew Slant Six and Sony were listening, but I didn't think this was something that they had any intent on implementing. So from the sounds of it, those "Medley" rooms we all loved in the past games will now basically be the ranked rooms of each lobby. No word yet on how they will break the rooms down (whether it's by map, by mode, random, or all three) but we'll just have to wait and see. Regardless, it's a welcome addition.

But that isn't all. Some more great info came out of the Q&A - no rocket and grenade launchers in ranked games! Also David clarified that all ranked rooms will have respawns off and friendly fire on, while unranked match-making games will have respawns on, friendly fire off, rocket and grenade launchers on. Seems like a fair trade off to me. It also confirms that you will never find me in a unranked match-making game :p.

There is also some more info in the Q&A about how they will handle ranked vs unranked stats, and that they currently have no interest in ever adding vehicles (thank god). So just check out the full Dev Q&A #9 yourself.

Monday, July 7, 2008

A pic with the words "Private Beta" in it? Woops!

Sony can try, but they will never be as quick as the people on the message boards are.

Earlier today, on, David Brothers made a new blog post about the radial weapon selection menu but that wasn't the thing the boards went crazy over. It was the fact that in the original image that was posted, it clearly said "Private Beta" in the top left corner. Take a look for yourself at the original image that was posted:

Now take a look at the photoshopped image that it was replaced with soon after:

"Private Beta" is missing. I don't know why they even bothered as by the time they corrected it, people on the boards were already going crazy, saying that the private beta had to be out and getting all pissed they weren't in it.

Well sorry folks, as Abigale cleared up for all you later, the Private Beta is NOT out. Yes, the image clearly said "Private Beta" in the top corner, but that does not mean it was sent out to anyone outside of Sony and Slant Six. Here is Abigale's post:

Ok, ok, here's the deal. Beta has not started yet but as you were able to see from the tag on that shot, we are definitely working towards that. The shot went up, someone noticed that it said Private Beta and thought that would get everyone thinking that it had already started. So they pulled it down and removed that part.

If I had known they were going to do that, I would have let them know that it was already too late. I know you guys well enough to know that if something is up there for 2 seconds, one (or more) of you will find it and repost it! :smileywink:

So... sorry for the confusion and rest easy for now. Beta is around the corner but it hasn't started yet. All of this speculation is just what we wanted to avoid by removing the Private Beta tag. We just didn't do it fast enough! :smileyhappy:

So there you have it. The Private Beta has NOT been sent out yet.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

SOCOM 3 & Combined Assault patched

Who would have thunk it! Zipper is still supporting SOCOM 3 & Combined Assault (which work off the same servers) with patches. Today they released version 2.3 (for SOCOM 3) and version 1.4 (for Combined Assault). You can check out all the details at here.