'SOCOM 4' Online Co-Op Features Custom Campaigns For Up To Five Players

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Zipper Interactive might have launched the "SOCOM" franchise and overseen the development of the game's most successful PlayStation 2 and PlayStation Portable incarnations, but the developer has yet to do a thing with the franchise for PlayStation 3. That all changes with "SOCOM 4," which brings Zipper back into the fold after its successful PS3-exclusive mass-multiplayer shooter "Mag." The first details emerged on the coming game's cooperative online play features, which you can learn more about after the jump.

There are two co-op modes for teams of up to five, with dedicated scenarios that stand apart from the single-player campaign, according to PlayStation Blog. In Takedown, teams must explore hostile areas in search of VIP targets that must be neutralized by any means necessary. Espionage sounds like a more stealth-oriented affair, as players search for enemy intel and sabotage their operations.

Lead designer Travis Steiner offers some info in a video interview posted with the blog. "The way it works is players, when they host a game, will specify a map and a game type they want to play [as well as] the enemy count and difficulty." There's more to it than that however, as co-op designer Blaine Higdon reveals.

"You don't necessarily create one mission and say, 'Okay, I'm done and we're going to play this mission.' You can chain up to four missions with all sorts of custom settings," he said. "AI locations, AI tactics and also your objective locatiosn are going to be randomly selected every time you select a map." This essentially allows players to build custom co-op campaigns on the fly.

"SOCOM 4" is going to be here very soon, with its release currently set for April 19. The PlayStation 3-exclusive title support Move motion controls and, with Zipper's expertise at the helm, it should offer a marked improvement over 2008's "SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Confrontation."