This year’s E3 was not dominated with software as past years have but instead shifted to focus on something else entirely, motion control. With the coming of a new device and way to play there must be games in order to play and that is what Socom 4 has started. I was able to get my hands on the game at Sony’s booth and try out the Move along with it.
When I first got the Move and secondary controllers in my hands I took a few seconds to familiarize myself with the controls. The way the buttons are laid out is not unusual and they feel natural where they are placed. Being a haardcore gamer I have enjoyed the comfortable layout of the PS3 controller and found that this was simple and easy to adapt to. Move has all of the buttons a normal controller has with the addition of two new buttons, the trigger on the underside for your index finger and the Move button in the center on top of the controller which is used in place of the PS button. It’s lightweight, has vibration, is wireless, and the colored ball doesn’t distract you at all.
For those that are unfamiliar with Socom, this is a military squad based shooter, meaning you control where your squad goes to get objectives accomplished instead of doing all the shooting yourself. The situation you were tasked with was taking out a tank and artillery unit further down the road. Your aim is controlled by the Move controller, the one with the lit ball, and the navigation controller does as it says, moves your character around. What I found most annoying was the loss of a separate camera control in this game, instead of using another analog stick you use the Move controller to turn the camera as well as yourself. This can cause problems since in shooters you need to be able to swing the camera around your position as quickly as possible so you don’t get mowed down. Instead you pointed your cross hairs at the edge of the screen and the game would turn the camera in that direction which isn’t the most precise.
One other technicality that bothered me was when I looked down my sights and tried to aim more accurately it wasn’t a smooth motion of movement, they jumped from spot to spot making my aim highly inaccurate. Now this may be the camera’s fault for not being able to detect that much movement or the game’s fault for not being able to facilitate that much micro-movement. Either way I hope it gets fixed because that is a major issue on their hands if they don’t.
Other than those two complaints the game went very well, running around and ducking behind cover went smoothly, shooting wasn’t difficult to learn, and ultimately it’s a great way to attract the hardcore. The Move has real potential and since I only tried one game that wasn’t complete, I can’t lay a verdict down as to whether or not it’s a real “game changer” (no pun intended). Look for Socom 4 sometime later this year.