Eight heavily armed U.S. Navy SEALs were on hand this week to help PlayStation reveal some of its new fall and winter releases, but the hot game these symbols of American military excellence were there to unveil has a distinctly Canadian flavour.
Vancouver’s Slant Six Games is currently developing SOCOM U.S. Navy SEALs: Tactical Strike for PSP and SOCOM U.S. Navy SEALs: Confrontation for PlayStation 3, the first-ever version of this highly popular franchise on the next-gen system.
“Both SCEA (Sony Computer Entertainment America) and Zipper Interactive (SOCOM’s original developers) have put a lot of trust into Slant Six and that’s not something we take lightly,” managing director
Brian Thalken told me this week in San Diego, Calif. “It’s one of their very important franchises and, quite frankly, we’re honoured to be entrusted to work on it with them.”
Slant Six have only been around for two and a half years, but already employ 80 people and have enjoyed success working on projects like last year’s Syphon Filter: Dark Mirror for PSP. Its co-founders, Thalken and director of development Dan McBride, have some pretty solid cred, working in the gaming industry for more than 10 years each before forming Barking Dog Studios in 1998 (they later sold it to Take 2 Interactive, which re-dubbed it Rockstar Vancouver).
Using all that gaming savvy, Slant Six have decided to serve up the PS3 version of SOCOM with a twist: It’ll be an online-only game with no single-player mode.
“SOCOM, as a series, has lots of strengths, but one of the things that really shines through, especially in the fan community, is that, at its purest, it is a really great online experience,” said McBride.
“We wanted to capture that and then bring it up to the next generation platform.”
As for what kind of Canadian content gamers might see in this combat-filled title, the developers were elusive.
“That’s under wraps right now,” McBride said with a chuckle. “But I can tell you that the area of operation is not in Canada.”