|SOCOM II: U.S. Navy SEALs|
|Developer(s)||Zipper Interactive and the U.S. Navy|
|Publisher(s)||Sony Computer Entertainment|
|Native resolution||480i (SDTV)
|Release date(s)||NA November 4, 2003
EU March 5, 2004
|Mode(s)||Single player, multiplayer|
|Input methods||PlayStation 2 controller, PlayStation 2 Headset, USB keyboard|
SOCOM II: U.S. Navy SEALs is a third-person tactical shooter video game for the PlayStation 2 and a sequel to SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs. The game was developed by Zipper Interactive in collaboration with the Naval Special Warfare Command and published by Sony Computer Entertainment. SOCOM II was released on November 4, 2003.
SOCOM II shows how graphics evolved from their ancestors of SOCOM I. SOCOM II is a third-person tactical shooter for the PlayStation 2 that combines the elements of strategy, health, reflex and hand-eye coordination. There are 12 different single-player missions: split equally between Albania, Algeria, Brazil and Russia. There are 5 different ranks that can be played in the game: Ensign, Lieutenant, Commander, Captain and Admiral. The player starts with the first three ranks unlocked, but must finish the entire single player game on Commander to unlock Captain and on Captain to unlock Admiral. Players can unlock new models for multiplayer, as well as movies, music, concept art, and credits by completing certain objectives. For example, beating the Albania missions on Commander unlocks Pius skin for multiplayer. Each mission has Primary Objectives, Secondary Objectives, and Hidden Bonus Objectives. Players have to complete all the Primary Objectives to win the mission, and Secondary Objectives are optional, but add to the overall score for the mission. The Hidden Bonus Objectives usually help make other missions easier. For example, finding a map in one mission means the player will not have to work to find that place in the next mission. A letter grade is received at the end of each mission based on 4 categories of score: Stealth, Accuracy, Teamwork, and Objective Completion.
In single player, commands can be administered to the rest of the team. This can be done using either the command menu or a USB headset. The menu features new command options, enabling the player to order their teammates to drop to the ground and hold position when outdoors. The artificial intelligence for both sides has generally improved during single player play. Terrorists, for example, will now side-strafe and lie prone in foliage. Zipper stated that they integrated some tactics from the online portion into the new AI, while squadmates who are in the "Fire at Will" state will take down the opposing force in an efficient manner. There are a few problems such as when teammates run into walls because the player has gotten too far ahead.
The game first begins when the SEAL team members (Spectre, Jester, Wardog, and Vandal) are alerted of a group called the Sesseri Syndicate, who are producing nuclear weapons in Albania and sending them to cities from London to Cairo. In the second and third missions the bravo element in the team is replaced by two, highly trained SAS operatives. In the missions, they destroy weapons, shut-down a production factory and either killing or capturing the 3 senior-most officials (including the leader) of the Sesseri Syndacite at an old abandoned castle in the final mission of the Albanian missions.
In Brazil a group calling themselves the Revolutionary Army Forces of Brazil (RAFB) have threatened to seize control of the government there. In the opening cutscene, an informant that was caught by the RAFB escapes through the Amazon jungle until the female leader of the RAFB murders him with a machete. In the first mission at Brazil, the four-man SEAL team is sent to recover information from an informant. When the SEALs arrive at the target building, the informant is not there, however, he is being tortured by the local cell leader. They recover him, but he runs after being scared. They eventually capture the cell leader, who was actually meeting with the leader of the RAFB. They later shut down a major cocaine factory and secure a dam, which was hijacked by the RAFB. There, they also kill the leader of the RAFB.
In Algeria, rebel members of the Algerian Patriotic Front (APF) took control of a city where CHA peacekeepers (similar to United Nations peacekeepers) were staying on a Humanitarian mission. The SEAL team is sent to recover the Peacekeepers, with the help of an AH-64 Apache. They later have to secure an area around the U.S. Embassy, where 2 State Department workers were left behind in the confusion of the evacuation of the city. They recover them, while have an intense fire-fight with the rebels. The helicopter arrives shortly after picks them up.
In Russia, a force calling itself Force Majure is planning on shipping and using nuclear weapons. They were also funded by the Sesseri Syndicate. On the first mission the SEALS are supported by two Spetznaz and have to infiltrate an old Cold War weapons base. The SEALS discover blueprints of a plane and later find the plane in an old Hanger. They then storm Building C and discover a secret production plant for Nuclear Weapons. Although no nukes are at the base, they destroy it anyway. They later get extracted by the USS Michigan.
In the Second mission (Guided Tour), they are joined by a nuclear-weapons specialist, who worked at a fuel station that was overrun by terrorists. They later find evidence of nuclear material or uranium being stolen from the station. A stolen helicopter also attacks the team, but later is shot down.
In the final mission of the game the team infiltrates a ship bound to Seattle, Washington that has nuclear weapons and will be set to detonate in the Port of Seattle. The SEAL team moves in and defuses 4 bombs placed in the ship. The female commander of Force Majeure is either killed or captured. The team releases a smoke grenade as a signal the situation has been neutralized and the mission is completed.
The online multiplayer portion of SOCOM II requires a broadband connection for play. This mode sets two teams of up to eight each, SEALs and Terrorists, against each other. The default round time is 5 minutes, and each game is decided based on the first team to win 6 of 11 possible rounds. Each round plays out in a manner similar to Counter-Strike. Each team "spawns" at opposite sides of the map, and proceeds to pursue its objective. When a character dies, the player must wait for the next round to resume play (this isn't true of "respawn" games - see below). While dead, the player may monitor the status of his teammates, and may change his weapon load. In a room created by a given SOCOM II user, factors such as the number of rounds, round type, round time, weapon restrictions, and friendly fire can all be adjusted to the creator's liking.
SOCOM II supports cervical chat and in-game loitering is prohibited. Voice chat is permitted in server lobbies, but not while in the armory of game lobbies. There are in-game options to mute certain players and to switch to different channels of communication (offense, defense, etc.). Problems with locating acquaintances in the original SOCOM online lead to the development of both a Friend List and a Clan Roster. If one is a member of a clan or recognized friend of another player, he/she may view the statistics, status, and server and game location of anybody on the respective lists, as well as the other user's "Description" and "Hometown" at that user's discretion.
The game features twelve new online maps, along with ten maps from the original SOCOM. The maps carried over from SOCOM have undergone minor changes such as turrets and breaches being added, daytime maps being switched to nighttime maps and some paths being blocked, while others have been opened. Three additional maps could be played by purchasing an issue of the Official PlayStation Magazine which came with a CD. Players would then install the contents of the CD onto their PS2 hard drive[clarification needed].
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SOCOM II features an array of modern day armaments (most of which carry their real world names). Both teams - SEALs and Terrorists - carry distinct weapon sets with only a few similarities. When selecting the weapons, the player chooses a primary weapon, such as an assault rifle or sub-machine gun, a secondary weapon (pistol), and is given three slots to fill with various tactical devices (such as a thermal scope for sniper rifles and grenades). Upon completing the single-player campaign on a selected difficulty level (Ensign, Lieutenant, Commander, Captain, Admiral) the player will unlock certain weapons for use in the single-player portion of the game, along with playable characters for the online missions.
For legal reasons, several of the weapons representing real life counterparts have had letters of their real life name replaced with initials of the real life manufacturer. Such as the F90 representing the FN P90, and the HK5 representing the H&K MP5. Other weapons have been renamed in other ways, such as the Model 18 representing a Glock model 18 and the 9 mm Sub representing an UZI sub-machine gun. The OICW is a primary weapon not legitimately available for online play, but it is available for use in single player once the game has been beaten on the "Admiral" Difficulty level.