It can take years for studios to create a Wii remote responsive game. It took Zipper Interactive around six weeks of serious development to drop in fluid PS Move controls in their simulation shooter SOCOM 4: US Navy SEALS.
Byrne and I spoke over SOCOM 4’s pounding pyrotechnics in a darkened, sheeted-off lounge room reserved for game demos. The objective of our meeting wasn’t to talk shop -- it was for me to get an idea of what the PS Move brings to SOCOM 4 and then put my hands on the device in combination with the game.
The PS Move controls are simple and satisfying. A swing of the wand moves the reticule and pans the over-the-shoulder camera. The large PS button in the center zooms the camera in for tight shots. The trigger underneath it fires weapons.
With the PS Move, plotting these courses felt natural. Byrne echoed my gut reaction while I fiddled with the mode. A large third-person RTS reticule, almost like the grenade reticule in Gears of War, pops up allowing you to place characters with ease. The D-pad on the sub-controller allows for quick-swapping between the squads.
After the firefight the demo became a blur. The squad and I kept pushing forward down the road, stopping behind barriers to put down more enemies as they shot out of their own cover. Our session ended as I called in an airstrike with a button on a gaggle of thugs unaware of our approach.
As Byrne confirmed to me, the game isn’t being dumbed down when the PS Move is being used. You can tell. The enemies react naturally and swiftly and you will still get punished with projectiles if you don’t take a methodical approach to the combat.
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