Recent Articles: SOCOM 4: US Navy SEALs

SOCOM developer Zipper Interactive closing down

Zipper Interactive, the development team behind the SOCOM franchise, MAG, and the recent Vita release Unit 13, has announced their closure via Twitter:

After 17 years it’s time to head off into the sunset. A sincere thank you to all our fans for everything you’ve done for us. Farewell.

Zipper’s parent company, Sony Computer Entertainment, responded to the closure with a statement to Game Informer:

The closure is a result of a normal cycle of resource re-alignment within SCE WWS. Zipper has completed all work associated with its most recent project, Unit 13 for PlayStation Vita. Zipper titles MAG, SOCOM 4 and Unit 13 will continue to be supported, including the new Daily Challenges in Unit 13.

Best of luck to the former Zipper employees, a team as talented as they were will catch on somewhere, if they haven’t already.

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Zipper entices you to buy new copies with “SOCOM Pro”

We’ve seen publishers struggle against the second-hand market of used games with numerous programs and initiatives, from Online Pass to Project Ten Dollar. Sony and Zipper are taking a page out of EA’s book with the announcement of SOCOM Pro with all new copies of SOCOM 4: U.S. Navy SEALs.

This Pro version will give all purchasers of new copies a PlayStation Network redemption code. Redeeming it gives you access to the SOCOM Pro custom game types, many of which you may be familiar with if you participated in the beta. The four modes initially available will include “Community Day Classic,” “Last Defense Run ‘n Gun,” “SCRUM,” and “Sniper Alley.” Players will also get a little extra firepower in their arsenal, with the classic M-16 and AK-47 both available for use in the game.

Zipper has teased future additions for the service, which include “exclusive multiplayer maps, various co-op additions, dedicated leaderboards, and lots more.” If you don’t buy a new copy of the game, you can purchase SOCOM Pro for $14.99 from the PlayStation Store, but not until April 26.

I’m usually for “Project Ten Dollar”-ish programs, mostly because I almost exclusively buy new games; I just hope this doesn’t dilute the potential for custom lobbies or divide the community too much. We’ll see the effects of this when SOCOM 4 launches on the PlayStation 3 tomorrow.

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New Releases: Portal 2, Mortal Kombat, SOCOM 4, More

It’s finally here. All month long we’ve been building up to one of the biggest release weeks ever and it’s finally here.

Starting things off is Valve’s full-priced sequel to Portal, Portal 2. Coming to the PC, PS3 and Xbox 360, the game will include co-op play for the first time and a greatly expanded single-player campaign.

Next up is a franchise that needs no introduction, Mortal Kombat is back. The reboot takes the series back to the birth of the MK saga and gives PS3 and Xbox 360 owners their latest 2D fighter fix. And speaking of long-running franchises, Sony and developer Zipper Interactive are finally bring SOCOM to the PS3 for real with SOCOM 4: US Navy SEALs.

Believe it or not, these three are just the beginning.

Sega is bringing High Voltage’s first person shooter Conduit 2 to the Wii. Square Enix is continuing to plug their huge franchises on the PSP with Final Fantasy IV: The Complete Collection. And Ubisoft is rewinding the clock to bring Prince of Persia Trilogy to the PS3 in stunning high definition.

Your wallet weeps. Check out the full list of the rest of this week’s new releases after the break. (more…)

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Resistance 3 early beta access included with SOCOM 4

Sony keeps the beta train rolling with the announcement that gamers who purchase SOCOM 4: US Navy SEALs will receive early access to the Resistance 3 public beta. Sony seems to be knitting some kind of “beta chain” for their major 2011 releases as early access to the SOCOM 4 beta (which is going on right now) was included with copies of Killzone 3.

Both the regular version and the Full Deployment Edition of SOCOM 4 will include a voucher for beta access. And gamers can get their hands on either when the game is released on April 19.

Sony has promised that more details on the Resistance 3 beta program will be released soon.

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The Next Level: The Games of April 2011

April is upon us! The Warp Zoned staff barely made it out of March alive – between PAX East and the release of the 3DS, we’ve had a lot on our collective plates. We’re all looking forward to April, which will give us a chance to catch up on what March unceremoniously dumped on our laps, as well as give our wallets a little break. There are a few huge releases coming out this month, though, and we’re trying not to freak out too much over them. So here’s what we want to play next month. (more…)

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Interview: Zipper’s Kevin Schmitt Talks SOCOM 4 Multiplayer

At PAX East 2011, Senior Editor Nicole Kline and I got to have a lengthy chat with Kevin Schmitt, Lead Multiplayer Designer for SOCOM 4: U.S. Navy Seals. We got to talk extensively about the multiplayer, from game modes to progression paths, and how the buddy system plays a large role in the game. We also got some interesting insights from Schmitt, including what it’s like to be a lead designer on his first game at Zipper and the challenges and benefits of dealing with a long established fan base, whom he affectionately refers to as free labor. Playing the game got me really excited for its release and talking with Schmitt only compounded it. Hit the jump for the full interview on one of the most anticipated games of April. (more…)

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SOCOM 4 multiplayer beta opens for PlayStation Plus users today

It’s on. While many of us will be knee deep in Crysis 2, more tactical shooter fans, third person enthusiasts, and PlayStation elitists will be overcome with joy to play the multiplayer beta for SOCOM 4: U.S. Navy Seals. PlayStation Plus subscribers get a little value added today when the PlayStation Store updates with the download.

The beta includes all four game modes on two maps, in both standard and classic matchmaking. Plus subscribers will be joining the lucky players who got to participate in the private beta, where a few custom types were also available. Hopefully we’ll get to play those, too.

The beta for Killzone 3 purchasers begins next week, followed by an open beta for all PSN users the week after that, and the full version of SOCOM 4 releases for the PlayStation 3 on April 19.

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SOCOM 4 multiplayer beta details emerge, new Bomb Squad mode announced

It’s the event you may have bought a copy of Killzone 3 just to get in on: the SOCOM 4: U.S. Navy Seals beta has been officially detailed. A new phase will begin every week starting March 15th, when a small private group of individuals contacted by Zipper or Sony will be invited. Next week, PlayStation Plus subscribers will get their chance at the tactical gameplay, followed by owners of beta codes given out with new copies of Killzone 3. On April 5, the beta will be open to all PlayStation Network users. All four phases will be cumulative, so if you’re a PlayStation Plus subscriber, you can play in the other phases up until the servers are taken down on April 13.

Players will be able to check out two maps (Port Authority and Assault & Battery) while playing in all four game modes: Suppression, Last Defense, Uplink, and the newly announced Bomb Squad. In Bomb Squad, the Spec Ops team escorts a heavily armored, yet indispensable technician from bomb site to bomb site as he attempts to defuse explosives before the Insurgent team can stop him.

This does seem a little cheap – Killzone 3 purchasers getting in on the second to last phase when that was such a big part of the advertising for the game. Not to mention if you’re a PlayStation Plus subscriber who could’ve gotten into it anyway without a purchase. Chris Roper from Zipper explains the phasing is so they can gradually introduce a greater amount of players in each phase as a lot of people bought Killzone 3. I’m inclined to believe him, and hope the beta works out for the team when SOCOM 4 is released on April 19 for the PlayStation 3.

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