Zipper Interactive has said that for the franchise, SOCOM 4 is the first "real" SOCOM game on PS3, and that it looked to MAG and other titles it's worked on for the online mode.
Speaking with Destructiod, the game's designer Ben Jones said the game is "fully featured," compared to the last game in the series, SOCOM: Confrontation by Slant Six. It contains a full single-player campaign with added co-op, 3D and Move support, and a 32-player online mode. It's the first SOCOM game for Zipper since 2006's Fireteam Bravo 2 on PSP.
"You know, that's their [Slant Six's] game," said Jones. "I mean, we really have been focused on SOCOM 4 and doing our own thing. I think, for the franchise, SOCOM 4 is the real first SOCOM on the PS3."
Jones also said the studio learned a lot from it's online shooter MAG, especially "on the networking side," and objective-based multiplayer modes due to the sheer scale of the game.
"We've perfected that technology, and we're able to route a ton of players and get them into games super-quickly," he said. "We learned a lot about what kind of objectives are necessary, what number, how to assign them, [and] how they [worked] with larger groups of players in MAG.
"Thank God for MAG. Because we know what SOCOM is, and we've done it for a long time, and I think we've done it really well. But in adding a lot of the new elements that we did, I think we looked to titles that we've developed internally ... and said, 'What are they doing that players have really latched on to, that has made the game better for them?' And [we] looked to incorporate some of those elements as well."
SOCOM 4: Navy SEALs is out in the US on April 19 for PS3, and GameStop has an exclusive pre-order map available for it. No word on a date elsewhere in the world, but it will be called SOCOM 4: Special Forces outside the US.