The player assumes the role of a Seal Team Leader. As well as engaging enemies, the player can issue orders to the other three members of the team. As well as being able to give basic orders, like whether to remain silent and where to run to, more complex orders can also be issued. For example, you can tell your team to provide over watch for a particular area, or you can tell them where to deploy grenades. Like the first SOCOM game, an optional headset was available with SOCOM II. This enabled the player to issue orders to their team via the headset, as the game was able to recognize speech. The headset could also be used to play the game online.
At the time it was released, SOCOM II, as with SOCOM, had a vibrant online community. The multiplayer proved popular, even on the Playstation 2 which required the "Network Adapter" to facilitate online multiplayer (at least until the PS2 Slim). Typically, one side of up to 8 players would take on another 8 player team. One side would take the role of the SEALs, whilst the others team would be terrorists. Modes included simply deathmatch games, hostage rescue missions and also bombing missions. Clans were also a very large part of the community.
On August 31, 2012 SCEA shut down online service for SOCOM II.
- Infantry based
- 8 v 8 combat
- 3rd person camera view
- included headset for communication
- Dedicated servers
- This mode is a simple team death match. The Seals team will face off against the Terrorist team. The team with more team members alive at the end of the time period wins.
- This mode was a twist on the standard "capture the flag mode." In Demolition, each team fights for control of the "bomb" that is placed near the center of the map. When a team gets the bomb they must go to their opponents base and plant it in order to blow it up. The first team to successfully plant the bomb and blow up the enemies base wins. It is possible to defuse it once it is planted as well.
Extraction- This mode features the Seals team trying to escort three hostages out of the terrorist base and back to a helicopter in order to be win. Neither team is allowed to kill these hostages. If one team happens to accidentally or purposely kill two of the hostages then that team automatically loses the round.
Breach- This type of game play was new to Socom II. In breach, the Seals must plant various C4 explosives in order to break through the terrorist base. Once they get to the terrorist base they must plant a bomb in order to blow it up. The terrorists can defuse this bomb in order to win.
Escort- The last type of game play found in Socom II was escort. This was also new to the series with Socom II. In this game type, the Seals must escort three VIP's to a helicopter in order to win. The terrorist team simply needs to eliminate the VIP's in order to win.
- NOTE: In any of these game types, if one team eliminates all members of the other team, they automatically win the round.
One of the reasons for the game's popularity was its multiplayer level design. What's unique to this game is that every single map created, from design to release, with only a single game mode in mind.
Note: Abandoned, Bitter Jungle, Blizzard, Blood Lake, Crossroads, Death Trap, Desert Glory, Night Stalker, Rat's Nest, and the Ruins were all maps that were first featured in the original Socom. Some of them were modified or tweaked slightly for Socom II. The rest of the maps were brand new to the series.
AbandonedSuppression - Abandoned was a jungle themed level. It included various temples, caves, and streams to hide in. This was also a map that was redone from the original Socom. In this new version, it was now dark and night time, which made it more difficult to see.
Bitter JungleDemolition - Bitter Jungle was another jungle themed level, but much smaller. It featured two large caves on each side of the map with a small hut in the middle which was where the bomb was located.
BlizzardDemolition - Blizzard was a level with a giant mountain and of course, snow. It featured a large cliff for the Seals to start sniping from. The Terrorist spawn was located in a large base of their own.
Blood LakeExtraction - Blood Lake was one of the larger levels in the game. It featured a large lake that could be waded through in the middle of the map. There were also various towers that players could snipe from scattered throughout the level.
Chain ReactionSuppression - Chain Reaction was a multi-leveled map. Seals would start on the top of the roof. From there they would make there way down to a warehouse/dry dock that had a giant submarine docked in the middle of the map. Players could also climb onto the girders near the top of the ceiling in this map.
CrossroadsDemolition - Crossroads is a map that has a small town square in the middle of it. There are also various rooms to hide in. Most notably the "fish market" and the "red room." These were both areas on the outside of the town square that many firefights would occur in. This was often chosen as the "tie breaker" map when it came to "three map clan wars."
Death TrapExtraction - Death Trap was a map that had the Seals starting outside of a giant mountain side Terrorist base. Seals would have to breach their way into the base. This base featured various tunnels where Terrorists could hide and wait for the Seals to enter.
Desert GloryExtraction- Desert Glory was a level that featured various buildings for players to hide in. One of these buildings featured the three hostages that needed to be rescued. Players would often snipe via the windows of these large buildings.
EnowapiBreach - Enowapi was the second map that featured a large base within a mountain. Seals would breach the base by either a large bridge or via the side of a mountain. From there they would have to plant a bomb underground in the heart of the Terrorist base. Players could also shoot out the lights in this underground base in order to keep it very dark and require night vision.
Fish HookExtraction - Fish Hook was a map that was largely based on a small town. There were various buildings and rooms for players to go through in order to hide. Seals would have to work their way into this town by breaching various walls, etc.
FrostfireSuppression - Frostfire is a map that takes place on an oil tanker. This map also had a room with a large computer. The map sat on top of various tunnels that the player could access underneath. There are two main tunnels which are connected. This was altered from the first Socom.
FoxhuntEscort - Foxhunt was one of the largest maps in Socom II. It featured large brush that would allow players to hide and crawl around in. There was also a large stream and cave that ran across the side of the map.
GuidanceEscort - Guidance was another snow map featured in Socom II. It featured various paths that led up a mountain into a Terrorist base. SEAL players had the option to choose members of the Polish Special Forces for this map.
The MixerEscort - The Mixer featured large vacant warehouses that players could hide in. This map was also multi-leveled and included various towers that could be climbed. The player also had access to drainage tunnels that ran underneath the map. Players could use these to get around the map and surprise enemies.
Night StalkerDemolition - Night Stalker was another desert themed map that featured paths on both sides of the map which each led to the opponents base. The middle of the map featured various buildings and boulders that could be used as cover in case of a fire fight.
Rat's NestSuppression - Rat's Nest was another map that was altered from the original Socom. This map was now placed during night time. It featured a network of caves and tunnels that led under ground.
RequiemDemolition - Requiem was a night time themed snow map. It featured a frozen stream in the middle of the map. On opposite ends were various bases for each team in the game. There was also a tomb that could be accessed via a tunnel near the stream.
The RuinsDemolition - The Ruins was a jungle themed map which featured various temples that players could use to hide in. There was also a stream that players could wade through on one side of the map near both teams bases.
SandstormBreach - Sandstorm was a desert themed map with a large Terrorist base that had various buildings in it. Seals could access the base via a trail through the mountains on one side of the map.
Shadow FallsSuppression - Shadow Falls was a map that took place in a very dense jungle. It was very dark and featured various bridges that could be used to go over various streams instead of wading through them.
SujoBreach - Sujo was a map that featured a very large Terrorist base at the end of it. Seals would have to breach various walls and dividers in order to get to the base. The base itself sat behind a small stream.
VigilanceSuppression - Vigilance was a map that took place in a small town. Players could go through various buildings within the town and could snipe from the roofs. They also had access to a tunnel that ran through the center of the map.
Gamebattles Top 25 Clan Ladder (snapshot 08/12/04) Game (the gaming ladder that is now a part of MLG) was started as a place for Socom players to compete. Accomplished clans include [LiQ], [JaDe], and [:D]. Matches were usually a best of 3 or 5. Weapons that were usually outlawed include grenade launchers, RPG's/AT4's, and the IW-80 rifle.
-Aiming while prone next to a wall: In Socom 1, if you were prone next to a wall, you still had a completely free range of motion to aim and shoot at people. In Socom 2 you are pretty much just stuck there. There is something that helps tremendously however. If you are in the prone position next to a wall that is to your left, lean to the right (using the D-Pad) and now you can swivel almost 180 degrees and shoot away. Also if for some reason you're in your scope and can't look up, try leaning first.
-Blowing up mines w/o using grenades: You can successfully shoot at mines to blow them up. Just get far enough away that you won't kill your self, lean to the right (using the D-Pad) and fire at the mine. With some practice it becomes pretty easy and you will hit the mines MUCH more often than firing at it straight on.
-Sniping enemies using guns w/o a scope: This really only works if your enemy is standing completely still, ie: sniping or camping in the distance. And this does not work on night time levels, because Zipper decided to give us night vision instead of the binoculars. This is for guns like the m14 and m60e3, where you have binoculars to look for people (instead of a scope & cross hairs) and can't shoot while zoomed in. All you have to do is zoom in twice (Up on the D-Pad) and look through your binoculars until you find someone. Then center your binoculars on their head/upper chest (sometimes their health & name will pop up, this is good). Proceed to zoom out once (Down on the D-Pad), and tap R1 a few times to get the kill. (don't hold it down or your bullets will fly everywhere)
-Kicking doors open: For some reason this does not work on all levels. When you see the green "Open Door" icon, hold x for longer than you normally would, and then release it. Your character will kick open the door, and stand at the opening with his gun pointed. (Levels it does work on: Guidance, Sandstorm.) (Levels it does not work on: Blizzard, Desert Glory, Fish Hook, Frostfire.) And this only works from the outside of the door, obviously.