The Game that started this all !
SOCOM U.S. Navy SEALs is a tactical shooter video game developed by Zipper Interactive and published by Sony Computer Entertainment exclusively for PlayStation 2. It’s one of the earliest titles for PS2’s online service in North America.
In addition to the 12 offline single player missions, SOCOM also featured online play via the Internet. SOCOM uses a USB headset for its speech recognition commands offline, and allows voice chat with teammates when playing online; this was the first game for the PlayStation 2 to use the headset. As of November 6, 2003, the game has sold two million copies worldwide.
The online servers for this game, along with other PlayStation 2 and PlayStation Portable SOCOM titles, were shut down on August 31, 2012
The player leads a four-man team (three AI-controlled teammates) of United States Navy SEALs through 12 missions in four regions: Alaska, Thailand, Congo, and Turkmenistan in the then-future of 2006 and 2007. In the single player missions, commands can be spoken using the included USB headset or via an onscreen menu if the optional SOCOM headset was not purchased. Typical missions consist of killing terrorists, rescuing hostages, retrieving intelligence, or destroying terrorist bases.
The player character’s codename is Kahuna, while the NPC teammates’ codenames are Boomer, Spectre and Jester. The team is divided into two sub-groups, Alpha and Bravo. The Alpha group consists of the player and Boomer (the Able element), while the remaining two make up Bravo. Commands can be issued to both individuals and a whole group, for example it is possible to ask team Bravo to remain stationary while the player is scouting the area with Boomer. However the player can not venture alone through a map, when Kahuna is too far away from Boomer he will automatically resume following the player, regardless of prior orders. Briefings and intel such as maps and photos are given prior to each mission.
Before each mission, the player may choose new equipment for himself and his teammates. Usually this consists of a primary and secondary weapon, along with two pieces of equipment like extra ammunition, explosives and so on. However, on some missions it is required that a team member carries a particular piece of equipment, such as C4 for destroying walls or vehicles. Characters are very vulnerable to enemy fire and may die after just a couple of shots, depending on where one is hit and what weapon is used. It is required that at least one teammate survives along with the player, if not the mission fails.
At the end of each mission, the player is given a rating based on stealth, accuracy and teamwork. These ratings are alphabetical, with “A” being the highest grade. Once the game is completed for the first time, the player unlocks a higher difficulty and can try to complete the game again and again with a progressively higher difficulty.
Online players choose one of two sides: SEALs or terrorists. Maps consist of three types: suppression (eliminate all members of the opposite team), extraction (rescue hostages) and demolition (capture a satchel and destroy the opposite team’s base). SOCOM, SOCOM U.S. Navy SEALs: Confrontation and SOCOM 4: U.S. Navy SEALs for the PlayStation 3 are the only games in the series that do not support LAN play (local multiplayer). In addition to the specific game type, any of the three game modes may be won by eliminating all members of the opposing team. The online features of the game, however, are no longer accessible.