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Video Game / SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs

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Probably the Counter-Strike of the PlayStation 2. SOCOM (Full name; SOCOM U.S Navy SEALs) was a military Third-Person Shooter franchise produced by Sony Interactive Entertainment and developed by Zipper Interactive during the Sixth and Seventh Generation of consoles.

These games follow a SEAL team 20 Minutes into the Future (you wouldn't know it, though) consisting of four members (which usually change between, and during, games) combating international terrorism, from your basic Jihadi to a massive international Communist conspiracy to the Albanian Mafia being very naughty.

A large emphasis is on stealth and commands given out to your team (The game used the PS2 headset for voice commands, which, it shares with an obscure game called Operator's Side, a.k.a Lifeline), and have an effect on your post-mission rating. Running-and-gunning, although you can go that way, can get you killed (and infuriating you, since you have to start aaaaaaallll the way pre-mission).

The game had 5 main games and many spin-offs.

  • The SOCOM US Navy SEALS trilogy (PlayStation 2 - 2002, 2003, 2005)
  • SOCOM US Navy SEALS: Combined Assault (PlayStation 2 - 2007): A Mission-Pack Sequel to 3 with the addition of new online modes such as the ability to play the campaign in co-op online.
  • The SOCOM US Navy SEALS: Fireteam Bravo trilogy (PlayStation Portable - 2005, 2006, 2010)
  • SOCOM: Confrontation (PlayStation 3 - 2008): A multiplayer-only spin-off.
  • SOCOM 4 (PlayStation 3 - 2011): The last game in the franchise and it revolves around a conflict in a fictional Southeast nation where an American (or European) and South Korean joint special forces team are sent to hunt the rebellion's ringleaders. It added Regenerating Health and the ability to use objects for cover.

The franchise was known for being one of the first military shooter franchises to use actual Special Forces tactics, terms and gear, with the franchise being Backed by the Pentagon for a time. In 2012, developer Zipper Interactive was shut down after the commercial failure of both SOCOM: Confrontation and SOCOM 4 and the franchise was put on franchise limbo with Sony having no interest in bringing the franchise back for the foreseeable future.

The series contains:

  • Action Girl:
    • In SOCOM 4, you get to play Lt. Park Yoon-Hee, a.k.a "Forty-Five," in a few missions.
    • Raven (a temporary teammate) from Fireteam Bravo 2 counts as well.
    • SOCOM II has Polish GROM operator Coldkill.
  • A.K.A.-47: Some of the U.S.-made weapons are known by their real name (usually because these are military designations rather than trademarks), the names of other weapons... yeah, they're either short versions of the name or in the case of most weapons, have different letters but the same numbers as their real life counterparts.
  • Actionized Sequel: SOCOM 4 goes in this direction-the player is more durable than in previous games and it has Regenerating Health.
  • America Saves the Day: Well, semi-Averted. Oftentimes, Special Forces from another country will assist you during missions (such as the Special Boat Service, Spetsnaz, or GROM). You don't do so when you're at the end of SOCOM 4/Special Forces.
  • Anyone Can Die: And how! Boomer in Combined Assault as a jab at his constantly getting shot in the first game. Poor Lonestar took one to the chest in Fireteam Bravo III. Oh, and lets not forget about what the terrorists are doing.
  • Ascended Extra: Specter in the main PS2 franchise, going from the sniper in the first to squad leader for the remaining games. Same goes to Wraith, who took over Sandman's job after Fireteam Bravo 2.
  • Big Damn Heroes: You come to the assistance of United Na... er, Humanitarian forces stuck in a rut in SOCOM II, and you help rebels pinned under fire in SOCOM 3.
  • Call-Back: Later games in the franchise started making references to earlier installments.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Gorman's pen in the fourth game.
  • Continuity Nod: After SOCOM II, the developers make strong nods towards previous games. SOCOM 3 saw a certain dictator return as the first antagonist, and Fireteam Bravo 2 saw an unnamed PMC from Combined Assault appear as the main antagonist.
  • Countrystan: The nation of Adjikistan, first featured as an ally of the West before it's revealed that they've been doing nasty things to its own citizens. It's located near Afghanistan and Pakistan.
  • Cultured Badass: Dion Wells and Forty-Five in the fourth game. They discuss a poem by William Butler Yeats in reference to the Operations Commander.
  • Dark Action Girl: The RAFB is led entirely by them, with their leader, Quixada Christo, being so bloodthirsty that she simply won't be taken alive and the SEALs are forced to kill her. The leader of Force Majeure is one named Valeska Lukanov, who unlike Christo can be captured.
  • Demoted to Extra:
    • Kahuna returns as a member of Bravo Element in SOCOM Tactical Strike (Even though he was the protagonist in the first game), while Sandman gets demoted to being under Wraith's command.
    • Let's not forget Lonestar, who gets killed off after being your main ally in the first two Fireteam bravos.
  • Dirty Communists: Force Majeure, a (rather large) international terrorist organization in SOCOM II. Ironically, despite being based in Russia and led by Russians, a lot of them aren't even Russian, drawing from former Soviet states, Asia, and everywhere else.
  • Discontinuity Nod: The main character of the first game disappears entirely until Tactical Strike where he now takes orders from an extra in the sequel. Same can be said for Lonestar who apparently left to join a PMC after he spent the previous two games fighting them.
  • Escort Mission: Any mission involving a hostage, captured leader, or mole has this. At least you can call down 'copter support in most missions, and your escortee is smart enough to take cover.
  • Field Promotion: The new Operations Commander in the fourth game as of the first mission. (An achievement for completing the mission is named as so.)
  • Final Boss: Averted. Even though they're in charge of their individual organizations, the various terrorist leaders are no more difficult to kill/capture than their mooks.
  • Former Regime Personnel: The Iron Brotherhood, the first terrorist group the SEALs engaged in the first game, are ex-Spetsnaz troopers engaged in arms dealing and general terrorism for profit.
  • Holiday in Cambodia: The Riddah Rouge in SOCOM I. Based in Thailand. The first mission in this portion of the game is even called "Golden Triangle Holiday."
  • Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels: Based on ranks: Ensign, Lieutenant, Commander, Captain and Admiral.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: Lampshaded in SOCOM 3, when the team raids a terrorist training camp in an abandoned Polish salt mine:
    Spectre: So this is where they learn to miss.
  • Infinity -1 Sword: The M16A2 in SOCOM 3 and Combined Assault. One of the SEAL weapons and easily unlockable, is very accurate at long range and can be used in conjunction with variable magnification scopes, making very easy headshots, as a poor man's sniper rifle. What prevents it from being a total game breaker is the lack of a suppressor like the M4A1, but like its carbine counterpart, can mount a grenade launcher.
  • It's Probably Nothing: In some games, it is literally possible to stare one of the enemies in the face and get absolutely no reaction. Until your teammate accidentally bumps into them and alerts the entire enemy base.
  • The Mafia: Albanian ones. The only reason why they're being taken down by the SEALs (and SAS) and not the police is because they started to try and sell arms and nuclear material to terrorists.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Kahuna, who leads the SEAL team and serves as the Player Character in the first game.
    • Jester frequently cracks jokes during missions.
  • Mission Control: Jennifer Hale playing the Headquarters operator. In SOCOM 4's campaign, it's MI6 Agent Mackenzie Douglas, otherwise known as Oracle.
    • Hale returns to voice HQ in the latter's Custom Campaign mode, however.
  • No Name Given: The Operations Commander in the fourth game. He's either referred to as the OpsCom or Commander. Promotional material from Zipper, however, reveals his name to be Cullen Gray.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: Done twice.
    • In SOCOM: Combined Assault:
      President Karim: What I did was necessary for the future of my country.
      Specter: Save it for your hearings.
      President Karim: You know, you and I are alike. We do not fear the things we must do.
      Specter: You and I... are nothing alike!
    • In SOCOM 4:
      Razad: You and I are very much alike Commander. We're both pawns in someone else's game.
      Operations Commander: You and I are nothing alike!
  • Pacifist Run:
    • Can be done in SOCOM 4 and Fireteam Bravo 2. In the latter, you can achieve any level with one with non lethal weapons and CQC takedowns, and it's somehow recommended by the system as capturing enemies give you bonus Intel points. it's also satisfying to hear enemies cry frustratedly over pepper spray.
    • Ditto for Combined Assault, where you get an achievement for completing any mission without having any fireteam member killing an enemy. (Achievements in CA are the basis on unlocking weapon sets and other content.)
  • Private Military Contractors:
    • The African mercenaries holding the Marines hostage in the first game - though, they're not a real company and are visibly less organized than actual PMCs.
    • ClawHammer from Fireteam Bravo 2 and in the fourth game counts as well.
  • President Evil: In Combined Assault, President Ismail Karim of Adjikistan.
  • Qurac:
    • SOCOM II and SOCOM 3 have you dealing with a brutal dictator who has overthrown the Algerian government. And when you finally arrest him in SOCOM 3, it's a thinly veiled reference to Saddam Hussien's capture.
    • In the third main game's PSP counterpart, the first Fireteam Bravo, one area of operations tied to where the dictator's forces was heading is Morocco.
  • Red Shirt: If you're a regular grunt, don't expect to last too long in the field.
  • Regenerating Health: Present in SOCOM 4.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Plot!: Even though you chose Wraith to accompany you for your mission in FTB2, gave him a machinegun and a shotgun for weapons and had him waiting outside, the ending cinematic has him change skin tone, accent, weapon, and uniform into something else. More so in FTB3 as that handgun you gave your guy magically became a rocket launcher so he could blow up an enemy formation prior to disappearing.
  • South Asian Terrorists: SOCOM 3 has the Fist and Fire, a gang of Ruthless Modern Pirates from Bangladesh who raid ships in the Bay of Bengal and sell their cargo to the highest bidder, who have stolen Land Attack Standard Missiles from an Australian freighter which they plan to sell to Al Shakoosh to use against the South Asian government.
  • Stealth-Based Mission: Although stealth is one of the main focus of the franchise, at least one dedicated "do-not-get-caught" mission is in per game. SOCOM 4 has several of these.
  • Straw Feminist: The RAFB faction leader in South America exclusively uses women as elite troops. Men under her command are stuck doing shit patrol, and gripe about it frequently, especially considering she chews them out. Constantly. For minor things. She's also a lesbian. When you eavesdrop on her, you can hear her extol the virtues of women over men.
  • Take Cover!: SOCOM 4 allows the player to enter and exit cover with the press of a button.
  • Terrorists Without a Cause: Some.
    • For example: it's not really known what the ex-Spetsnaz of the Iron Brotherhood are fighting for (except for gunrunning, which is just a side-business), and no one knows why a bunch of South African and British mercenaries kidnapped some US Marines.
    • Averted in future games, starting with Fireteam Bravo II and Combined Assault where all terrorists turn into PMCs on a quest for either revenge or money.
  • The Man Behind the Man: The Naga guerrillas aren't the main bad guys in SOCOM 4. Clawhammer is.
  • Translation Convention: Zigzagged. While the enemies themselves speak in their native languages, the game helpfully provides English subtitles.
  • Universal Driver's License: In SOCOM 3, you can drive boats and any vehicle. Except tanks, planes, or choppers. Obviously, this exists in real life, being, you know, the fact that SEALs are trained to do as such?
  • War for Fun and Profit: The Iron Brotherhood terrorists and the African mercenaries in the first game. The Albanian mafia has its ass-kicked as a result of trying this.
  • Western Terrorists:
    • Lots of them. In fact, the original game didn't have your typical Jihadis show up until the last three missions.
    • Averted by Combined Assault where they are all renamed mercenaries. Because we all know mercenaries have nothing better to do than plot to destroy America.
    • Would Hit a Girl: Hit and shoot, in this case. Female enemies encountered in the series are just as deadly as their male counterparts and the SEALs treat them so.
  • You Are in Command Now: In the fourth game, Lieutenant Park becomes the new Operations Commander after the main Player Character gets fatally wounded by Gorman in the ending cutscene of the penultimate mission.


Video Example(s):


The Fist and Fire

A Bangladesh terrorist group, the Fist and Fire operate as pirates in the Indian Ocean, hijacking weapon arms shipments and selling it to various groups to topple their governments.

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Example of:

Main / RuthlessModernPirates

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