[GAMES 10] SOCOM 4 Hands-on Impressions w/ Playstation Move
We try out Zipper’s Move-enabled third person shooter.
After the barrage of party and dancing games, when we found Zipper’s upcoming shooter SOCOM 4 on display with the Playstation Move at Zone 5 of GAMES 10, we lapped up on it. Finally a shooter. While I won’t be throwing away my DualShock anytime soon, SOCOM 4 is an impressive display of what can be done on this motion based device; a perfect platform for developers to analyze and bring their hardcore-friendly games to the Playstation Move.
The Move controllers are very similar to the current set-up of the Wii Remotes. On the left hand you carry the compact-sized Navigation controller that does just that: navigate. On the right hand you carry the main Move controller with which you can aim, fire, tilt camera and throw grenades. Each controller has a trigger as well: the Nav’s trigger puts you into cover, while the Move’s trigger fires at the aimed direction. The big Move button in the middle functions as a zoom, giving you a sight of line of the rifle for increased accuracy.
In the ten-min demo, me and my team had to hunt down enemies on the streets of an urban town. Getting used to the motion had a fairly steep learning curve, especially with the A.I doing a good job of reddening out the screen. Having never played a shooter on the Wii before, I was quickly disoriented on the y-axis and struggled to make sense of what was going on and where I should be going. Only when I slowed down and took in things at a pace did I come around to understand the basic mechanics of the game. I found the controller to be pretty sensitive and extremely accurate to even the slightest move of my hand. Aiming was fairly easy as well but I still couldn’t perform quick shoots across the screen the as the cursor controls the camera as well.
As I rifled through the level, being seemingly impressed with the visuals and the game itself, it suddenly dawned on me: how is this any different than playing on a pad? I was still running and gunning with the Move controllers, I was still getting killed a lot in the process and I was just looking silly holding out a purple ball on a stick. The demo didn’t include any motion-based enhancements like gesture based grenade throws or customizing the aim box that’s found in many recent Wii games.
While that will be added in the retail version, Zipper’s shooter effectively shows that an engaging shooter is definitely possible on the Move. All it will ever require is to give it extra thought and utilize the supreme technology behind the device to go beyond what was ever possible on the Wii.
SOCOM 4 is scheduled to release sometime next year.
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