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SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Combined Assault

SOCOM U.S. Navy SEALs: Combined Assault is a video game for the PlayStation 2 that was released on November 7, 2006 in North America. Combined Assault features an entirely new campaign, new vehicles, weapons, multiplayer maps and much more.

Combined Assault's campaign mode is completely new and offers 18 missions. Rather than spanning multiple countries like past games in the series, the game takes place solely in the fictional country of Adjikistan. The country is supposedly situated somewhere in the Afghanistan/Pakistan region of Central Asia and features a number of environment and climate zones, allowing for the game to feature a wide variety of landscapes and settings while working within one large, connected story.

New features

One of the main new features of this game is the ability to play an all new story mode online. Set in the fictitious region country of "Adjikistan" replacing the SEAL team with up to 3 other players via online play.

In addition, the online play section includes all the SOCOM 3 multiplayer maps as well 10 new multiplayer maps for Combined Assault. The SOCOM 3 maps can be played with players using a SOCOM combined assault disc, however SOCOM 3 disc users would not be able to play any of the new Combined Assault maps without purchasing the game.

The ranking system has been reworked. The player doesn't just have to defeat the other team to get one's rank higher, but the player also has to win games and rounds.

The biggest addition to Combined Assault is the online co-op. Players can team up with up to 3 other players and either play single player campaign missions, or the instant action missions. This mode allows the player to play any unlock levels in single player on a variety of game modes. This adds replay value to the game, as players can also unlock "Badges" after completing specific objectives. After a player receives a certain amount of badges, they unlock weapons and weapon attachments. These unlocked weapons are used mainly in offline mode, but two weapons are able to be used in online multiplayer matches once they are unlocked.

Some other changes include a different in-game command menu (more like SOCOM II), and the ability to complete the campaign mode in any order the player wishes (for example: players can complete objectives in no specific order, and players can choose which mission to play).

New items include medkits and Ammunition kits, able to revive/heal a SEAL team member and replenish ammunition of multiple types of weapons respectively. Body Armor is an option and Beanbag Launchers are a non-lethal alternative to stunning an opponent in long-midrange combat.

Changes

To comply with the game's new rating of Teen by the ESRB, some elements of the game were altered. Some major changes were the removal of blood and changing the names of the enemies to mercenaries and paramilitaries to make the game more politically correct. The dialogue in the game was also cleaned, as to remove racial slurs and obscenities. The phrase "dead" has been replaced by "incapacitated"

Blood was replaced with gray "dust" instead. This caused controversy within the SOCOM community.

Individual "Rifle Butts" in Close Quarters Combat no longer kill an opponent, but temporarily stun them. Multiple "Rifle Butts" either kills or forces the opponent to surrender.

On the Armory screen, instead of being shown in combat uniform, the SEALs are shown in officer uniforms, which would only be correct for SPECTER, slightly incorrect for JESTER (Since he is a CPO), and completely incorrect for KILLJOY and SIMPLE (Who are regular Petty Officers).

Storyline

After a few years since the Soviet Union's collapse, the former Adjikistani Socialist republic has finally gained independence. The charismatic Ismail Karim is appointed Adjikistan's first president. He promises an economy more competitive than that of other "hot" Asian nations such as China or Cambodia. This makes Adjikistan a key American interest. However, not all is going smoothly. A large rebel movement threatens to destabilize the government, and after a CIA asset is kidnapped by the rebels, a SEAL team is sent in to rescue him; however, the helicopter is shot down after the spy has been saved. The character's fireteam is sent in to rescue the survivors, and the team becomes more and more embroiled in the conflict. However, the rebels claim that they are not trying to topple a benevolent government; rather they are protecting themselves from a genocidal campaign waged by Adjikistani authorities. The SEALS later discover a system of concentration camps in a major Adjikistani city and shut it down. Eventually, Karim is cornered in his Presidential Palace and is arrested and tried for crimes against humanity.

Critical reception

SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Combined Assault received average reviews from critics. On the review aggregator Game Rankings, the game had an average score of 73% based on 42 reviews. On Metacritic, the game had an average score of 72 out of 100, based on 38 reviews.

Characters

Able Element

Bravo Element

The Bravo Element of the 4-man team are the backbone of the team. They carry out all orders given to them either separately (if ordered) or as a pair.

Other SEALs

  • BOOMER - He was in Kahuna's element in SOCOM 1. After the first game he broke off and went to another fireteam. He was injured by friendly fire in SOCOM 2. In Combined Assault he is downed in a chopper (along with the rest of his team) and is designated as missing in action. SPECTER finds him dead in the first mission of the game.
  • VANDAL (v.b. Nolan North) - His real name is Alex Harada and he was a part of the Bravo Element in SOCOM 2. He broke off and joined another fireteam and eventually became commander of that team. His helicopter was shot down in Combined Assault and players later find him in a paramilitary held town later in the game.
  • AZTEC (v.b. Philip Anthony Rodriguez) - A member of VANDAL's team alive in a watchtower later in the game.
  • WINGTIP - A member of VANDAL's team alive in an old barracks later in the game.
  • SANDMAN (v.b. John Cygan) - A member and commander of Fireteam Bravo. He is involved with the team by communicating intel and providing support in most missions. He is also the main character in SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Fireteam Bravo and SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Fireteam Bravo 2.

Other

  • H.Q. (v.b. Jennifer Hale) - A female Navy Officer that guides the player through missions in SOCOM I, II and 3. At the conclusion of Combined Assault, she is shown at a computer. She was also voiced by Monica Murray in SOCOM I, and Vanessa Marshall in SOCOM II.
  • Underwood - A C.I.A. agent extracted at the beginning of the game by VANDAL's team. Then is shot down in the helicopter and once again extracted by SPECTER's team in the second mission reprisal.

Online gameplay

Verification

Previously, a credit card was needed for additional features on SOCOM Combined Assault such as ranks, clans, friends lists and the ability to join ranked games. However, Zipper Interactive removed account verification and newly created accounts are automatically verified.

Online maps

Combined Assault includes the 12 maps originally available in SOCOM 3, along with 10 new maps. So at release, it came with 22 multiplayer maps. As of March 31, 2008, three map packs have been released, adding 11 more maps, making a total of 33 possible maps (map packs must be purchased; see "Downloadable Maps" on this page for more info).

Downloadable maps

All three map packs are free to download onto a USB memory device (previously they cost $5.99 each to download). Players need at least 64mb of storage the actual storage amount is around 61mb of memory.

The first map pack was released on June 27, 2006 and contained the 3 HDD Maps from SOCOM II. The maps are After Hours, Last Bastion, and Liberation. Players were given two weeks (until July 10, 2006), to play these maps online for free. The map pack is still available to download for free through the SOCOM 3/Combined Assault Community.

The second map pack has been released with a new patch on November 19, 2007. There are 4 maps, and they are Blizzard, Desert Glory, Abandon, and Blood Lake. Each other these maps were in both SOCOM I & II. With the release of the second map pack, players were not given a two week trial period like with the first one. It is available for free via the SOCOM Store.

The third map pack has been released on March 31, 2008. The four new maps include Frostfire, Fish Hook, Guidance, and Crossroads. With the release of the third map pack, Zipper Interactive have decided to stop charging for the map packs which were originally priced at $5.99 (USD).

European users will not be able to download any map packs; the reason for this is unknown and unannounced by the developers.

Online ranking system

The ranking system in SOCOM: Combined Assault is based on raw points. To help demonstrate how this system works, one team will be designated as Team One, and the other team, Team Two.

On a general note, if Team One has a combined overall score (that is the number of points a user has, NOT his/her overall position) greater than that of Team Two, and Team One wins the game, Team One's players will not have gotten as many points than if Team One had a total number of points fewer than that of Team Two.

There are many variables and factors that affect this. If Team One has a total number of 10,000 points, and Team Two also has 10,000 points. If a cat Team One wins the game 6-4, each player would not have gotten as many points had Team One won the game 6-0. In short, winning games in as few rounds as possible will help acquire the most points. In addition, playing games with more rounds cause the most dramatic changes in points, be it winning, or losing. Furthermore, acquiring more kills than deaths after the game has finished will help gain points. However, if Team One has a "big negative", an account with an extremely low negative score, such as -100,000, Team One will now have a total score of -90,000, which results in major point loss towards Team Two. In fact, even if Team Two beats Team One, Team Two will still lose points because Team One's score is so low. "Big negatives" are created through the use of glitching, and on a lower level, teamkilling.

Quitting, disconnecting, and getting voted out of ranked games will all contribute to losing points. While in-game, committing suicide or killing friendlies, hostages, V.I.P.'s, etc. will also make one lose points.

While the general higher rankings of Socom 3 and Combined Assault seem to glitch with "big negatives", about 20% of the top 10,000 positions are "legit" and do not cheat.

Official SOCOM: Combined Assault Player's Guide

Concurrent with the game's release, BradyGames published "SOCOM U.S. Navy SEALs: Combined Assault Signature Series Guide".

The guide covers all multiplayer and single-player aspects of this game. This includes maps, complete mission-based walkthroughs, secrets including unlockables, hidden Bonus and Crosstalk objectives, battle tactics, weapons, stealth, sniping, and PSP connectivity. The entire multiplayer section of the guide was written by a long-standing Socom clan, the Sea Snipers (clan tag [SS]), and contains real-world tactics, strategies, and clan management tips.

Trivia

  • The idea of a chopper being shot down while picking up a Navy Seals team is probably based on Operation Red Wing in June 28, 2005. Eight SEALs were lost along with eight Army Night Stalkers when a Taliban rocket-propelled grenade shot down their helicopter in Afghanistan. This chopper mission was attempting to rescue a four-man SEAL reconnaissance team involved in a firefight. Three of the four on the ground were killed. The fourth evaded the enemy and was rescued days later.
  • Boomer finally returns in one level after an absence of two games. He is not one of the teammates though, but gets killed off during the mission as a plot direction and a satirical jab at the player base's negative reactions towards the character in the first SOCOM game.
  • Apart from the Adjik paramilitaries, there are multiple mercenaries that have been hired by the Adjikistani government to assist and train new soldiers. They are equipped with heavy weapons and state-of-the-art weaponry, ranging from suppressors and Kevlar helmets to night-vision goggles. They are much more dangerous than an Adjik regular, but are much rarer, usually found guarding targets of high importance. The mercenaries speak English, and have a heavy Irish accent. They may or may not be an allusion to the Provisional Irish Republican Army, a Northern Irish terrorist group.
  • At the end of the game (when watching the GNS station), it is revealed that this game takes place 5 years in the future after SOCOM 3, because it says Mahmood's NAPF party was defeated exactly 5 years from the showing.
  • At the very end of the game, players finally see the female Navy officer who guides the player in missions over the radio in the SOCOM series. She is wearing a standard naval uniform and has very short brown hair and is seen finishing the Fireteams report.
  • In the beginning of the game, GNN correspondent Mark Tepper is seen for the first time . Tepper covers military movements from a journalistic standpoint in the first games.
  • Throughout each mission, there are sausages that can be found in different locations, usually each has a location that the player wouldn't bother to get to if he/she doesn't know the existence of them in the game. The sausage can be "eaten", with the player's character saying, "Mmm, spicy.". Also, at the end of the game, when watching the GNS broadcast, the scrolling words that sausage stock products inclined, which probably relates to the sausages in the game.

See also

Notes

External links

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