Searching for the Next Socom Part IV
I began this year with the highest hopes that my Search for a game that gave me back the excitement, the all night gaming marathons, the anticipation felt when I was driving home from work on a night in which my clan and I were scheduled to play a major war against another clan in a battle for territorial control in a Urgent Fury tack-map tournament was back. A feeling which I haven’t felt since Socom II and a percentage of Socom III/CA. Would at long last my search be over?
How long had it been? How long have I been searching for the next Socom? Part I of this series was written back in Nov of 2007. Has it been that long? Have I been searching for two years? The word Socom in these series has taken on the role of a metaphor. It no longer equates to a specific title, I use the word to describe what was once the best in online shooter gaming. Today that notion seems to be lost. There is no “best” just a haphazard array of offerings that provide a tidbit of the qualities that make up my metamorphic ideal of Socom.
This was to be the year, the time was finally upon us. Slant Six’s Socom Confrontation was finally due to be released and I along with my clan, friends and the community of urgent fury were on pins and needles in anticipation. I played the beta for hours upon hours going over Crossroads until I knew every square inch of the map. There were problems, sure but it was a beta and I like a lot of my mates chalked it up as a part of what a beta was all about. Surely they would fix these things before releasing the game.
It’s finally here
I stood in line to get my pre-ordered copy. It was pre-ordered so I didn’t really have to stand in line, yet there I was. I was so excited that it didn’t matter I wanted my game and I wanted it as soon as possible. I rushed home reading the box at every stop light going over the features listed with an exhilaration. This is it! this is what I’ve been searching for. Its finally here and tonight is my night bro! For the first couple of weeks I tried in earnest to convince myself that I had found my holy grail. But something was wrong there was a tiny voice in my head that kept repeating “something isn’t right” in my mind. I refused to listen, I tried to convince myself that I was just being picky, that this title was the end all be all. I was like a kid at a candy store trying to persuade myself that the prize in my box of cracker jacks made up for the staleness of the caramel popcorn. In the end I realized the prize was just a worthless cheap whistle. A roll of duck tape wouldn’t keep the whistle from breaking sooner or later.
Holy Patch Batman:
If it isn’t broke fix it anyway. If it is broke than duck tape it. If the duck tape tears apply more duck tape. That seemed to be the general thought the game developers had. Each patch seemed to only slow down the leak on one side of the boat only to spring a new one on the other side of the hull. Socom seemed to need constant bailing in order to stay afloat. For me the boat sank.. even the Socom life preserver didn’t save me from the sharks. The game now sits on the shelf collecting dust next to other titles I no longer play. For those that continue to play it and enjoy the release I am however delighted that they are able to do so. I wish I could say the same, but I simply can’t: Confrontation is not the Socom I was searching for.
What does the future hold?
My hopes are that Sony puts more effort into their franchise title. That they give me the Socom of my dreams. That they follow the format which made the title so successful in the past. That they develop and release a Socom title free of defects. Part of me knows this is wishful thinking, that I should just try to make the best of what is available. Believe me I have tried. I can’t help it.. if when it comes to Socom I have high standards. I realize this leave me sitting on the sidelines waiting to see if a future game release gives me back the all night gaming Socom addiction I once had. Knowing the odds of getting the silver whistle in my box of cracker jacks are extremely rare won’t stop me from buying a box. Is it too much to ask that the popcorn at least not be stale even if the prize is a piece of junk? Still searching for the next Socom.