When I was first asked to review SOCOM: Tactical Strike I was excited. I had read and heard good things about the previous SOCOM games and not yet having a chance to try one I figured now was an excellent opportunity. And boy was I surprised. This is a strategy game! And if not for a game killer and a couple problems, a great strategy game it might have been.

I really liked the graphics in SOCOM, both cut-scene and in-game. The cut scenes are nicely rendered and look very good on the small screen. The in game areas are a tad bit pixilated but nothing any PSP gamer will dislike. The environments look very cool, although they seemed devoid of life. I mean any third world town will have innocents right? Another area this game shines is the sounds. The voice acting is top notch for a portable game, and throughout the game your soldiers confirm commands and generally sound like a team talking to each other. Also the weapon effects are good (bullets firing, grenades, etc). In game music is minimal but when used is done well. Look down at the PSP. Every button you see is going to be used during the course of game play. I found myself so utterly confused at times trying to remember which button is for what that it turns into a detriment to game play until I got used to it You cycle in between your two companies with the R button or select both by holding it down, or switch between individual soldiers with the left button. The O button is your movement button. Hold it down and get a submenu with different movement options. The X button is the fire command, just like movements hold it down to get a submenu. Square button, you get grenades. Hold it down, yada yada. Joy pad is a pointer to where you want to go, fire, or throw said grenades. And while confusing, you start to get used to it and it isn

This game has lots of potential. When I started playing I felt like I was playing a 3d Jagged Alliance which is certainly a good thing. You start off listening to a back story, something generic about a politician getting kidnapped, then picking what country to play, choosing/meeting (or later leveling up) your squad members. Then you outfit the troops and check out your mission briefing. And starting off, the game looks very promising with an excellent in game tutorial. But that is where the shortcomings start to rear their ugly head. The one thing that truly ruined this game and granted it may just be me, is the camera. Why can

With three difficulty levels and nine countries to play (which each follow their own story lines and speak their native languages!), along with the open game play this PSP game has some serious legs. And if more people were available and the alleged lag issues were corrected you could be playing this game a very long time.

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