Monday, February 26, 2007

A Requiem for SOCOM

Christmas, 2003. I received a copy of SOCOM 2 for the PS2. The commercials sold me, as I thought the game looked pretty cool. I played the single player game a few times, but wasn't thrilled with it. I also received the network adapter that year and had read good things about SOCOM 2 online, but I didn't know anyone else who played.

For the next seven months, the game sat in its case while I played Madden, GTA Vice City & NCAA Football. Then it happened.

I was contacted by a couple of buddies from my Foxwoods days, Aaron & Eric. In conversation, they asked if I played SOCOM. I told them I had the game, but didn't play it. They told me they were in a clan with other old pals from Foxwoods & invited me to join them.

From the very first night I played, I was hooked. It became an obsession. I was playing a virtual game of hide & seek with friends, twice a week, sometimes more. Thursdays & Sundays were SOCOM Nights. Nothing else. Even Red Sox fans gave up on the Sox during the ALCS in 2004 to play SOCOM. (I'm pretty sure some managed to watch a World Series game or two.)

The Geeks with Gunz clan was a machine. We played constantly and always seemed to have at least six, usually eight, players on a given night. New recruits were added. We tried to have a tournament. We bombarded each others emails with roll call for the coming night & recaps of the previous night's skirmishes. We even spent $100 on the useless hard drive that allowed us to play three new maps. Anything to expand the SOCOM universe.

Eventually, some players left us, including Aaron. He moved onto World of Warcraft, where he still lives today. The core of the group held strong under Zman's leadership, keeping up with the sequel, SOCOM 3, which arrived in the fall of 2005. However, the end was near.

In the spring of 2006, Sony promised new maps. They arrived in July. Then, SOCOM 3.1 was announced, titled Combined Assault. As the number of regulars dwindled to around four or five per night, the writing was on the wall. Combined Assault wasn't good enough to justify paying the money for and many GwG members were gaming on next-gen systems. There were a few stragglers, but with Zman finally purchasing an Xbox 360 this past Friday, the final nail was pounded into the SOCOM coffin.

Since Dean (PudClot) is the only idiot former member to buy a PS3, Geeks with Gunz is starting anew, this time on the Xbox 360. There are currently five former members actively involved with Rainbow Six: Vegas, a game that’s just as much fun as SOCOM was in it’s heyday, only better.

The beauty and joy of next-gen and HD gaming can’t take away from the hours of enjoyment that SOCOM delivered the past few years. Friendships were made as were the memories. Here are some words & images to ponder as we say goodbye…

A little bit of everything:


A little Crossroads:


A little Frostfire:


A history of Desert Glory:


A little SOCOM 3:


Final Roll Call:

KernelPanic
ZMan
CaptainNapalm
CaptainMorgan
Spankinator
StormSurge
PudClot
B52Buff
Spellbound
Rhavage
CaneCorso12
SJHustle
Softball
Phatback
Shootuintheye
SnakeEyes23

10 comments:

P.J. said...

Ahhh, good times. I know I didn't make it that often (damn career), but I enjoyed it when I did.

I believe, too, my first kill was ZMan. My second was Pud. Good times.

It's the only reason I purchased all the online stuff, modem and all that crap. It was fun to do though.

I'll miss SOCOM even though I haven't played it in forever. I had a lot of fun on some of those teams, especially when I was able to be a suicide bomber and go ahead of people firing into the air.

I can say I won't be joining people on the XBox360, PS3 or anything else. I don't play PS2 enough to justify games, let alone a new system. Maybe if I ever find a career change with normal hours, but for now, it wouldn't be prudent.

Good recap though, Matt. Long live SoCom!

Brian said...

Yes, those were great times online. Every kill was like a rush, given that I was the newbie and generally got my ass handed to me on a regular basis.

"You have died." Nah, I never saw that very often...wait, I never saw it coming very often. That's what I meant.

One of my favorite non-GWG moments came with a full house at the marshy place, with the bridges across a river to some small islands. I played for an hour on there with most of the same dudes, and it was a blast.

Good stuff, Matt.

Dgnr82 said...

Socom will always live in my heart as one of the greatest multiplayer games all time. I still remember the first time I played online. I miss playing with all of you online, but work calls. I vow to catch up to on Rainbow 6 shortly as my schedule will be changing. Send me some friends invites on Xbox360 or PS3 as I finally broke down and purchased one.

good times
~Snakeeyes23 'Bryan'

Chris said...

Wow - you should be in show biz!
Fire in the hole!
Ra-hee-ha!
z.

ME said...

PJ, I know you wish you could've play more. You buying all that stuff proved your dedication, as well as hosting the forum, even if it didn't last. At least you didn't buy the hard drive!

Brian/Hustle, playing with you was always fun. If you were frustrated, you didn't show it.

Brian/SnakeEyes, you're already on my friends list, I'm just waiting for you to rejoin us!

One of the all-time greatest moments was when Dean played dead on Frostfire, watched as someone ran right by his prone body & then stood up & shot him. I don't think he was wearing the yellow raincoat that time.

Nnamdi Astell said...

Hooo Rahhh.

I started a new job a few weeks ago and since then really haven't played anything on playstation, let alone get home in time for my tv shows which is extremely depressing. 10, 11 and 12 hour days now call starting at 8 am.

I can't say as though I will be buying another system for quite some time as I am now looking at trying to purchase a house that needs a lot of work which will keep me busy.

Lest we ever forget ... I was the best damn soldier to fight under the influence of Vicoden and Amstel light. And if I'm not, then its the man, the myth, the legend who was never killed, just screwed over .... the Spankinator.

Phatback over and out.

Anonymous said...

PudClot - lives on in PS/3 land..

Z-Man ruined SOCOM

- F Off - OUT FOREVER

ME said...

Hi Dean.

You mean PudClot lives on at PS3 Island, since you're all alone there.

I miss your shotgun & flashbangs.

Captain Napalm said...

In secta meena hayna!

I was the one who fell for Pud's playing dead trick on FrostFire.

I think the funniest SOCOM moment that I was not involved in was in Crossroads when Pud had an RPG aimed down from the balcony at the warehouse. Captain Morgan was sneaking up behind Pud with pistol in hand looking for the easy headshot. But Morgan forgot about back blast and Pud killed him with it when he fired the RPG.

While I have recently moved on to the XBox 360 and R6V there was nothing more fun than playing SOCOM2 with the GWG clan.

Anonymous said...

No question, that Captain Napalm was the staple of the game...

When team killing was accepted with the reasoning being "I slipped" was cool, so was SOCOM

Z-man killed it.

Captain Napalm, as stated once before - You complete me.

Pud