U.S. Navy SEALs Tactical Strike Review
U.S. Navy SEALs Tactical Strike box art
System: PSP Review Rating Legend
Dev: Slant Six 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Sony 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Nov. 6, 2007 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1-4 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: TEEN 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

There is an assortment of squads that you can choose from, even selecting individual teammates. These choices are purely cosmetic, as they all play the same. Missions can be replayed as soon as you complete them. There are different ways to accomplish your objectives, so you can really get your money's worth by trying different strategies. The missions can be quite lengthy. Some can last over an hour. Another oversight is the lack of an in-game save. That's important for a portable system. There are checkpoints, but if you die, you'll have to start the mission from the beginning.

U.S. Navy SEALs Tactical Strike screenshot

A moveable reticle lets you outline a path for your squad. This reticle is controlled by the nub. For the most part it's pretty easy to move around, but there are some tight spots that make it really frustrating. For one thing, the camera angles don't shift into any kind of reticle mode. Secondly, the reticle is fixed to the ground. If you have to go around obstacles, corners, or up or down stairways, you'll have another kind of fight on your hands trying to move the damn thing around. Keep in mind these camera angles also adversely affect the gameplay even when not using the movement reticle. You can't see around corners or obstacles, which leaves you open to a cheap enemy ambush. One that could be easily avoided with more controllable camera angles.

Multiplayer modes can be accessed locally or online. As I mentioned, there is some lag, but it doesn't kill the experience as it's intermittent. There are five modes which include the standard Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch in addition to VIP escort scenarios and Capture the Flag variations in which one team tries to destroy what the other team is defending. There's plenty of gunfire and explosions in these modes. Certainly more action than the single-player mode. Up to four players can participate, but you don't play as members of a particular squad, each player is in control of a four-member squad. So there's no getting rid of the stupid bots.

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SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Tactical Strike is a great looking game. The environments are huge and extremely detailed with lots of destruction modeling and ambient background animation to add to the realism. It's so impressive that you can hardly fault the lengthy load times. Voice acting is good, if a little stoic, but it captures the emotionless essence of the story. Teammates are multilingual. They speak a variety of languages including Spanish and Korean. While impressive, it's a detail I could care less about. Just make these guys smarter. Who cares what language they speak? How do you say "dead" in Swahili?

SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Tactical Strike is a good addition to the series, albeit one that needs some special consideration. It's the black sheep of the SOCOM family and is in need of some refinement. It's close to greatness, but close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.

By Cole Smith
CCC Senior Writer

Features

  • All-new SOCOM experience delivers a true combat simulation, where tactics determine the outcome of each encounter.
  • Innovative, easy-to-use graphical interface lets you switch seamlessly between fireteam, sub-team elements, and individual SEALs to view the action and issue commands.
  • Enhanced artificial intelligence results in smarter, more formidable enemies that communicate with each other.
  • Choose from nine international special forces units, each with unique weapons and loadouts.
  • Tactical-action gameplay delivers a unique online multiplayer experience, featuring 2-4 player Ad Hoc and Infrastucture play with full headset support.
  • Operate in highly-detailed environments, including urban, industrial, and jungle terrains Authentic special forces movements and tactics, refined through association with U.S. Naval Special Warfare Command, makes this the most realistic SOCOM to date.
  • Command Equity and Local Influence allows skills, weapons, and gear upgrades.


    RATING OUT OF 5
    RATING DESCRIPTION
    4.8
    Graphics
    Excellent detail. Huge environments. Smooth animation.
    2.7
    Control
    Camera angles, latency, and clunky movement reticle restrict flow.
    4.8
    Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
    Great music, sound effects, and voiceovers.
    4.5
    Play Value
    Replay missions using different techniques. Five multiplayer modes.
    3.7
    Overall Rating - Good
    Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.
  • Screenshots / Images
    U.S. Navy SEALs Tactical Strike screenshot - click to enlarge U.S. Navy SEALs Tactical Strike screenshot - click to enlarge U.S. Navy SEALs Tactical Strike screenshot - click to enlarge U.S. Navy SEALs Tactical Strike screenshot - click to enlarge U.S. Navy SEALs Tactical Strike screenshot - click to enlarge U.S. Navy SEALs Tactical Strike screenshot - click to enlarge U.S. Navy SEALs Tactical Strike screenshot - click to enlarge U.S. Navy SEALs Tactical Strike screenshot - click to enlarge U.S. Navy SEALs Tactical Strike screenshot - click to enlarge U.S. Navy SEALs Tactical Strike screenshot - click to enlarge U.S. Navy SEALs Tactical Strike screenshot - click to enlarge U.S. Navy SEALs Tactical Strike screenshot - click to enlarge

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