Review: Socom Fireteam Bravo 3 (PSP)

socomfb3

Title: Socom: Fireteam Bravo 3
Release Date: February 16, 2010
Platform: PSP

“Alexander Gozorov is a man that does not want to be found, an ex-KGB agent with ties to the Russian mafia, he has killed everyone we have sent to find him. Gozorov is believed to have information on a major imminent attack against western interests. Time is running out and your 4-man team of U.S Navy SEALs is sent in to track him down.”

Yup, the storyline sounds a bit familiar, and Socom Fireteam Bravo 3 may even feel familiar, except that a lof of features included have never been experienced on the PSP before. Fireteam Bravo 3 is definitely a Socom title, and for a portable title, is quite robust. Not only do you get a well done single-player experience, but you get extensive multiplayer as well. Let’s see how well it stacks-up!

Visuals
This is yet another PSP title that looks better than what would be expected. Characters look great, with smooth animation. Textures overall are quite crisp, and the draw distance is impressive. The framerate rarely dips, and never enough to hamper gameplay. Most of your missions will be at night, so even walking around using the night-vision goggles looks great. The lighting and shadowing add a nice visual flare to the game, and are also very solid.

Audio
Many in the Socom Community have a few complaints about Slant Six, but one thing that you have to appreciate is the audio engine in Socom Confrontation. They used that same expertise to create a true audio environment in the PSP title. Voice work is very well done, and sound separation is excellent. This is definitely a game that you should play using headphones, as many subtle things may be missed through the PSP’s speakers. They’ve done a admirable job at using audio to pull you into the experience, and it’s definitely an asset to the game.

Control
Those that played resistance Retribution will be surprised to find out that Fireteam Bravo 3 does not control in a similar manner. You move with the left stick. This includes turning right and left, an moving forward and backward. The left shoulder is used for strafing, and the right trigger is used to lock-on to enemies, but also to switch into walking mode with your gun drawn. You fire your weapon with X, and switch weapons by going in to the pop-up menu using left on the d-pad. Using circle, you can even give your squad members orders such as “Open and Clear” or to cover a certain point. It may take you a few minutes to get used to the controls, but once you do, they feel very natural. You can zoom-in your view with certain weapons by using Up on the d-pad, and this allows you to aim without moving around. If you then hold the left shoulder, you can slowly move around to make adjustments.

Online
The online modes included in Fireteam Bravo 3 are what makes this game stand apart from many others, Not only does it actually support Infrastructure mode (and ad-hoc if you so choose,) but it also includes a few features that you’ve only ever seen in a full console title in the past (like Clan support!). The first mode is a FULL 4-player online co-op through all 9 levels of the campaign. This includes full voice-chat, which works better than expected. The mic on the PSP-3000 and PSP Go do ao wonderful job, and speech is clear and easy to understand. You can also choose to go back and play any of the missions that you’ve completed, but you’ll have full control over the rules, which can make the mission play completely differently.

Competitive includes 7 different modes throughout 8 levels. All of these modes support 2-16 players, and uses your actual PSN account for connectivity. The lobby system is simple and easy to use, and shows who’s talking. As in other Socom titles, only 1 person will be allowed to speak at any one time, and uses push-to-talk by pressing and holding right on the d-pad.

Online play is great! Sony set up a day for reviewers to play against some of the development team onlne, and it was an awesome experience. The different maps that we played were diverse and obviously well thought-out. One level takes place in an aircraft carrier, while another was in a run-down fortress in the middle of a jungle. Again, voice chat made a huge difference as our team did a fantastic job of communicating enemy locations and what was happening. We only got to play for an hour that day, but it was honestly much better than I expected, an in my opinion, a lot more fun that Resistance Retribution’s online play. I played on the PSP Go that day, and the text and HUD were easy to read and well layed-out.

Conclusion
I didn’t expect to really enjoy this one much, but it definitely surprised me. The Single-Player is pretty standard, but the fact that it supports full 4-player online co-op is an awesome addition for a game on a mobile platform. Included with that is a full and robust online competitive mode that adds greatly to the value of this one. If you’re a Socom Fan, or are looking for a 3rd-person military-type shooter on the go, Socom: Fireteam Bravo 3 definitely fits the bill.

Score:
8.0

Twitter Digg Delicious Stumbleupon Technorati Facebook
  • madeup6

    The controls seem a little annoying but the game itself looks really well done. Visuals are fantastic too.

  • madeup6

    The controls seem a little annoying but the game itself looks really well done. Visuals are fantastic too.