I have the flag. I took down three Warhawks single handedly, hopped out of the burning wreckage that used to be my own flying machine, and took out a tank with an RPG, alone, to get this far... but now what?
"Hey, guys, I have their flag, someone wanna send a hawk over here and pick me up? The skies are pretty clear for the most part."
"I'll settle for a jeep..."
Tell me this doesn't sound familiar. It seems like 11 times out of 10 it's a voiceless empty void in most PSN games. Warhawk, Soul Calibur IV, Team Fortress 2, silence. Okay, maybe that's a bit of an exaggeration. I have run into people that talk, every once in a while. But it's rarely ever to, you know, strategize, and that's okay I'm all for trash talking, really, when you kick some ass you want that fact to be known... especially to the guy who's ass you just kicked. It could get annoying, sure, but it's one of the main differences instead of playing against an AI. I just wonder... if the PSN is free, couldn't you use that money you're not spending on a decent headset?
Maybe it's because people can just hop online whenever they want, dick around and do whatever, with no worries about commitment. After all, they didn't pay a monthly fee for this, no pressure.
While this sounds great and everything, the lack of a mic severely hampers many games playability. Why bother even hopping online with Soul Calibur IV when I can fight emotionless, cheap, and downright annoying characters offline against the CPU, and I don't even have to worry about lag! This might sound strange, but after playing Soul Calibur on the 360 and also playing it on the PS3, I couldn't go back the PS3 (even if the 360 D-pad is borderline broken on the 360), at least the online mode. It was just... so boring, no personality. I WANTED people to talk shit. I know, it sounds weird. But when you're so used to something like that and it's suddenly taken away... it's noticeable. Like in Tom and Jerry, if Jerry was ever killed in a mouse trap, Tom would finally get his peace and quiet... but some part of him would die with Jerry.
Okay, you get the picture.
Games like Warhawk, or Rainbow Six: Vegas use voice for shit talking, yes, but it's main focus is for strategy. Call for help, ask people if they need help, plan weapon layouts, stuff like that. It's essential, it makes or breaks your team. Well organized squad? Or a heavily armed mob with the combined intelligence of a acorn? A hard choice I know, but think it over for a minute.
The Socom: Confrontation is nearly out, and judging from the beta it's pretty good. It's got some bugs... and it doesn't really look... what's the word I'm looking for... "next gen." But, what the Socom fans were saying was true, the gameplay does make the difference. On top of which, people were talking! A lot! Actually for the first time ever, people with mics were outnumbering the people without mics. Madness?! Yes, indeed. But welcomed madness. My squad mates were using tactics, covering each other, doing stuff that I found terribly surprising but far from unwelcome. Now I know this is a limited beta, for people that pre-ordered the game. I have a hunch, that many (if not damn near all) of them had played a Socom game before on the PS2, and are using the very same headset. In addition, one of the packaged versions of the game is coming with Sony's wireless headset for only 59.99. A damn good deal, considering the headset alone costs 50 bucks, and the game alone costs 40.
Though they did that whole headset thing with Warhawk... and well we saw how well that's be going.
Never the less, I remain optimistic. The more people playing Socom, means more people talking on the PSN in general. With Socom coming out extremely soon, we're not gonna have to wait long to find out. I wonder if having this game (and Warhawk before it) actually hurt its online community? Either way those that play Socom and get the mic will trickle outward onto other games (I hope), and Sony's official headset will help standardize everything a bit. With all this combined, I really do see things looking up for the whole vocal community. The PSN is a great service thus far, especially for the price. It will definitely take a bit more work, from the players, and Sony, but there is a bright light shining at the end of that tunnel. I think. Never the less, because the console doesn't actually come with a headset like the majority of 360's it's got a long way to go till it catches up to the Xbox's service, at least in terms of player communication... But it sure beats the shit out of the Wii's. read