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March 27, 2006
SOCOM Fireteam Bravo - PSP Preview
Release Date Publisher Developer Anticipation Players Price
28/4/2006SonyZipper Interactive1-10$99.95
(inc. headset)

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Sneaking up from behind.
SOCOM. To some the name stands for Special Operations COMmand, but if you're a Playstation 2 gamer then it probably means the best online game on that system - and one played by millions the world over. Well now PSP owners are going to get a chance to prove their worth as well as SOCOM: US Navy Seal's Fireteam Bravo is headed to the system and packs a few very exciting features including online gameplay, and cross-compatibility with PlayStation 2 through that system's upcoming SOCOM 3: U.S. Navy Seal's.

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In a firefight.
As with the PS2 titles this game has been developed by Zipper Interactive which should ensure quality all the way. Players assume the role of a SEAL commander assisted by an AI (Artificial Intelligence) teammate, as they battle enemies throughout the world in 14 original missions across four international Areas of Operation (AO). The controls have been smoothed out a bit for the PSP and now offer quick teammate commands and realistic lock-on targeting for enemy acquisition. Players can also customise their gameplay experience to play their favourite mission types e.g. Hostage Rescue, Demolition, etc. After successfully completing a level, players can replay the mission in an entirely new way through the “Instant Action” option, with different objectives, enemies and object placements.

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Using the sniper rifle.
One of the most exciting aspects of this title which we hinted at before is that SOCOM: U.S. Navy Seals Fireteam Bravo is one of the first PSP games to demonstrate cross-compatibility with the PlayStation 2 with “crosstalk” title objectives. Completion of an objective in one SOCOM game will affect the overall play experience in both games (once a crosstalk task is completed, the player will be notified and is able to sync mission-critical data from PSP to PlayStation 2 through a USB connection). It's a pretty exciting concept that hasn't been used much as yet, however with the PSP hooking upto the PS3 in future we expect to become more widely used.

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Heat seeking?
Of course a game like this is good on its own, but brilliant in multi-player and Zipper Interactive are catering for us in a big way. Wi-Fi Ad Hoc mode will support up to 10 players at a time which should be tremendous fun - although we do have some concerns about lag issues. Even better is the news that the game will support Infrastructure mode so you can play the game in multi-player (we believe with up to 16-players) online.

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Some levels are a bit barren.
Looking at these screenshots it's clear that the game doesn't quite match the PS2 SOCOM titles in terms of grapical quality - but it's certinaly not a disaster either and when you consider the number of players it's supporting it's better that a solid frame rate is retained then a chugging frame rate with more graphical frills. SOCOM US Navy Seals: Fireteam Bravo is expected to hit Australian shelves in late April and will include a headset to communicate with other players for only $99.95.