There are plenty of bullets flying in SOCOM: Tactical Strike, but unfortunately, you won't be firing any of them. This release of SOCOM has no playable characters (in mission mode, anyway; I can't speak to on-line play).
You have a squad of 4 guys (Wraith, Bronco, and two other guys) and you play the game by issuing commands to them. You don't control a character and move them with the joystick. Rather, you move the reticle (they call it the "command skimmer") to a spot on the screen and push a button and order them to move. You don't shoot at your enemies, you put your enemy in the command reticle and order your team to attack (fire, throw grenade, snipe, etc.).
I've played a couple of missions, and besides being pretty short, the style of game play just isn't that interesting to me.
- Graphics are very good
- The range of commands you can issue is very broad. You can order your team to move, move with stealth, breach a door, breach with stealth, etc.
- You can play as commandos from 4 or 5 different countries.
- In-game control can be pretty complex. I wouldn't be surprised if most players just stick with the simpler commands.
- Wraith is back, but where is Sandman? (Maybe he got a job on a better video game.)
- The tutorial is pretty bad. The narrator talks really fast, and it is hard to pick up on what she is telling you to do. Doing anything in this game takes at least two steps (and the more sophisticated stuff takes 4 or more steps), so it isn't very helpful when she describes is all in one sentence.
I think it's too bad that Sony did this to SOCOM. I have nothing against strategy games, but this series traditionally has been a 3rd-person action/shooter. For it to be 100% strategy-based is a step backwards. If you like strategy games, this one probably is OK. If you are looking for a good shooter or another chapter in the SOCOM series, then stay away from this one. At the very least, rent it first and see if you like the style of gameplay before you buy.