SOCOM: Combined Assault was not the end-all of co-op games, although it was a personal favorite. The controls were solid, but there was a framerate lag that had plagued the series since SOCOM II; hitting a terrorist with a shotgun blast would render a laughable animation that looked like someone under a strobe light. Also, thanks to the launch of the stats site, most online players overlooked the co-op feature in favor of another GameBattles match, something I've always been bitter about. After a few short weeks, SOCOM co-op became nearly obsolete to all but the few hardcore. It was a gritty experience, before Cross-COM and before cover systems. Players had to option to mark one enemy at a time on the team's HUD, and that was as fancy as it got. Most of your time was spent staging and executing enemy takedowns, both from afar and in close-quarters situations. It was great.
The series has since changed hands, and is now with Slant Six, a capable but fledgling group. Zipper has moved on to Massive Action Game (MAG), an ambitious title that has no co-op leads whatsoever. Combined Assault seemed to be a last-ditch effort for one more round of game sale, and unfortunately co-op died with the Playstation 2 generation of SOCOM games. I have many times contemplated selling or trading my Playstation 2, and thanks to the glory days of SOCOM, I have not been able to do so in good conscience. Sure enough, this past week I was able to visit some fond memories, finding the servers to be scarce but usable.
Maybe this summer I can rekindle old flames and get a four-player LAN co-op night going. Maybe Fortune will shine on me and grant a few online buddies to co-op with. If not, the memories alone will suffice. SOCOM U.S. Navy SEALs: Combined Assault co-op...I will always love you.