The highest-profile online game on the PS2 is back in SOCOM II: US Navy SEALs. Although Sony have so far taken a more laid-back approach to their promotion of online games, compared to Microsoft and the Xbox, the original SOCOM nevertheless managed to become the most popular online console game ever. Bucking the trend of most video game sequels, this follow-up actually manages to improve on the original, fixing many of the niggling flaws that permeated it. Not that SOCOM II is radically different from its prequel: far from it; it's still a squad-based combat simulator very much in the style of Rainbow Six and the legion of other Tom Clancy-inspired tactical shooters. Here though the emphasis is on user-friendly controls and teamwork with real human players. The game features proper support for clans (groups of players that regularly play together) and is much better at keeping out cheaters. There are also 12 new maps to play on, in addition to the 10 from the original game, and two new multiplayer modes that have clearly been influenced by Counter-Strike. Sensibly, though, the developers have paid just as much attention to the single-player mode, with a complete overhaul of the graphics and increased voice support that allows you to bark commands at your computer-controlled team mates (as long as you've got a USB headset) instead of mucking about with the ( still very good) menu system. All of this makes SCOCOM II the perfect way to get into online gaming. --David Jenkins
- Engage enemy terrorists with fellow SEAL team members via intense team-based gameplay.
- Association with the U.S. Navy SEALs provides realistic SEAL actions and mission designs.
- Take on terrorists in a variety of missions, including ambushes, hostage taking and rescues, search and destroy, demolitions, laser designated targets, night fighting and more.
- Utilize 30 different types of weapons.