Correct me if I'm wrong but here are my thoughts on the SOCOM beta taken from my blog:
I got into the SOCOM: Confrontation BETA today and I keep reminding myself that I have to take the game exactly for what it is, a beta. It’s kinda hard though when the game in question is such a shambles that this particular blogger found it nigh-on impossible to even get in a game. We’re talking 2 hours hopping screens and menus gave a return of one match. With the release date looming in October I have a list of negatives to talk about to those lucky enough to not be involved in the beta. Hopefully this post will draw some attention to the developers of the game to make them realise that I’m not getting a very functional game to test at the moment.
The first thing worth noting is the dramatic slow down in the menus. For some reason when I’m navigating menus I find my controller unresponsive and the menus juddering all over the place. My first port of call was to change the appearance of my character but given the shoddy loading and downright dogged menu system I quickly got frustrated and decided to hop into the game.
Of which the experience is just as unsatisfying. You choose your main lobby (for me the UK) and then from here you can hop right into a number of pre-made game rooms and also user-made game rooms. It was within these I spent a good hour and a half or so hopping around trying to actually play the game. Joining a room has you waiting until the next battle until you can play but sadly I sat in one particular room for a good 35 minutes (one match is 8 minutes in the Beta by default) where I was prompted twice that I was “entering” the game but instead sat with a background image of soldiers and a spinning circle.
Eventually I managed to join a one on one in a French speaking room which is where I got to play a little of the game. Graphically it’s pretty nice but there was a helluva lot of noticable texture loading which you physically watch load to it’s proper resolution as you traverse the environment. I can cope with that but it’s not the most subtle of problems and started to irritate me as I watched the resolutions change when I run past certain walls. There’s also a problem with pop-in I noticed when I turned corners quickly objects suddenly popped into view. Aside from that the graphics looked really good for a PSN game so I’m sure upon release date those problems can be ironed out.
What I’m more worried about is the “cover system” which allows your character to stand by walls and use the tilt of the six-axis to look around corners. The six-axis was on the whole unresponsive to tilt and the cover system just seemed to activate when I was just walking around. No where near to walls. Now - it may be that it’s button activated and I didn’t notice but I got more of an impression that the game was just deciding when to use the mechanic for me. It was hindering and cost me a couple of lives.
The controls were another notable cause for concern with reload being mapped to the right stick as default (why?) and R2 being used for run. What irritated me most about running was the fact that you don’t move your characters direction with the left-stick - more he runs straight forward and then controlling the camera allows him to turn corners. It’s just something that made me feel less attached to the character. Why not turn the characters body and not have the camera change his direction.
Overly I found the game slow and somewhat tedious, particularly if these are the lengths you have to go to to find a game. Maybe I was annoyed with the lack of immediacy - I’m new to beta’s and am probably irritated by the teething trouble but then I expected behind the shabby slow menus and even the apparent issues of booting up a match to be evened out when in game but it all feels so mundane. Slow, clunky and frustrating are my initial impressions on SOCOM: Confrontation.
I’ll persevere for the sake of beta testing and I hope Slant Six Games totally take my ideas on board in the long run. I just can’t see how this game is going to be ready for October though guys.
EDIT: That's an embarassing spelling mistake in the title. I'm ashamed. Can't edit it though :(