Interview: SOCOM: Fire Team Bravo

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posted 12/5/2005 by The GN Staff
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The SOCOM franchise has been a huge hit for Sony for the last few years and it was only a matter of time before the franchise made it’s way to Sony’s luscious Playstation Portable.  Today we talk with Torin Rettig, the associate producer for the game about what it took to downsize the game for the PSP.

GamingNexus: The past three SOCOM games for the console have taken advantage of every button on the PlayStation 2's control, what kind of concessions did you have to make in order for Fireteam Bravo to fit on the PSP?
Torin Rettig: The biggest change we had to make was our Target Lock system. It became evident very early on that transplanting look control to the face buttons would not be a feasible option for a number of reasons. One, it would immediately take 4 buttons away from us and we were already 4 buttons short on the PSP going in. Secondly, and to us more importantly, the face button look control never felt natural and responsive enough to be a fun and useable control option in our game.  So we came up with our Target Lock scheme and made sure it was deep, robust and fun enough to add to the game instead of taking away from it.

However, this still left us about 4 buttons short so we had to get creative about our use of the remaining buttons to still give the player the same degree of control that they had in the PlayStation 2 SOCOM games. We made some buttons do double duty by making a tap and a hold of the button initiate different functions. For instance, tapping Triangle will change stances, but holding Triangle will quickly switch between your primary weapon and primary grenade. We also made it so that you had to be in your inventory to change fire modes. Not ideal, but quick when you get used to it.

At the end of the day we managed to keep just about all of the traditional PlayStation 2 SOCOM functionality alive and well on the PSP and actually, we think players will find our control scheme faster and easier in some ways, once they get used to them. We’re really proud of how it turned out.

GamingNexus: When SOCOM 1 was released on the PS2 it quickly became filled with cheaters, what steps have you taken to make sure there is no cheating in Fireteam Bravo?
Torin Rettig
We employ the same cheat protections in SOCOM: Fireteam Bravo that we do on SOCOM II and SOCOM 3. It is a very powerful, thorough and adaptable system that allows us to quickly deal with new and existing cheat devices and punish the offending players accordingly, through warnings, banning and suspension of accounts. SOCOM: Fireteam Bravo will be just as secure as SOCOM II and SOCOM 3.

GamingNexus: Are the multiplayer levels the same as what is found in the single-player campaign, or should we expect a different variety of levels?
Torin Rettig
There are 12 multiplayer maps total and four are based upon single player missions, but the remaining eight are totally original.

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