Protectors not Aggressors
As a true warrior who fights with his intellect as much as he does his brawn, it is hard to imagine someone with more lethal potential than a U.S. Navy SEAL. These soldiers can be asked to undertake the most complex and difficult of missions in the most remote and heavily guarded of locations. They are trusted to finish the job through personal ingenuity, creativity, and skill. In Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, Navy SEALs were instrumental in securing much of the country's oil infrastructure to avoid ecological catastrophe and in Operation ENDURING FREEDOM in Afghanistan, Navy SEALs captured and eliminated numerous Taliban and terrorist threats. When it looks too hard to do, you call the SEALs.
The real life of America's elite warriors isn't like the movies though -- while SEALs are more than capable of "blowing stuff up," more often than not, their mission is reconnaissance and getting information that helps keep the world safe. In Iraq, Army Special Forces played key roles in rebuilding the nation. One task not publicized by the media was their role in rebuilding the Baghdad Zoo. To some this may sound silly, but that is because most people do not realize that the Special Operations Forces include many academic experts in a wide range of fields. Moreover, rebuilding the zoo is a true example of rebuilding a nation, rather than reconstructing buildings.
The members of America's Special Operations Forces are protectors, not aggressors.
SOCOM II: The Game
With that thought in mind, let's move on to the new PlayStation 2 game, SOCOM II: U.S. Navy SEALs. As a videogame, the goal in Sony's SOCOM series of games is entertainment not simulation. Nonetheless, the SOCOM series of games is privileged among games in that it is developed with the cooperation of Naval Special Warfare Command. Like the original, the single player missions are designed with scenarios and stories that put forth realistic goals, with a plausible sequence of objectives. In the game, blitzing the enemy with your Glock Model 18 and making as much noise as possible isn't going to work, but it’s still fun. This is a game that requires you approach the mission with some mindfulness and care.
By working with Naval Special Warfare Command, Sony and Zipper Interactive have done their best to incorporate and honor some of what it means to be a Navy SEAL, while making sure that the priority is still a fun videogame. If you want to know what being a Navy SEAL is like, don't play SOCOM – work on being able to do push-ups until your friends are tired of watching you.
The original SOCOM was also a Sony technological showcase. They introduced broadband Internet play for the PS2, voice command technologies, Dolby Pro-Logic II, and progressive scan video. With SOCOM II, it seems like Sony Computer Entertainment America has made this series its own flagship title much as the Japanese PlayStation division has made Gran Turismo its own flagship title.
With SOCOM II, Sony adds DNAS (Dynamic Network Authentication System), a more robust Internet gameplay infrastructure, LAN support, and support for the upcoming internal Hard Drive. More importantly, SOCOM II has also concentrated on improving the underlying game itself and the sequel features significant improvements to the gameplay and graphics.