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The creative director of the original SOCOM games wants to bring you the spiritual successor to those breakout PlayStation 2 shooters.
2,772 backers pledged $252,662 to help bring this project to life.

Gameplay: Similarities & Differences to SOCOM

Posted by David Sears (Creator)

First things first, if you haven't already, back our project because without your support H-Hour will not be a reality! We also ask that you help spread the word to your friends, teammates, family and even your enemies (if you want to shoot them online), word of mouth is an integral part towards this campaign's success. If you haven't already, like us on Facebook, follow us Twitter, subscribe to our YouTube, and register an account on our website.


So how will H-HOUR be like SOCOM but different from SOCOM? Let’s assume that I’m talking about SOCOM II rather than the later sequels or SOCOM I just to stay focused, and I’ll talk about H-HOUR as if it is a finished game or rather as I’m envisioning it. There was much, much more to talk about (and I could do that for days) but I’ll let those aspects emerge through dialogue with you over the next month.



SOCOM was intended to be a mass market game. It acquired a “hard core” reputation later after millions of people were playing it.

H-HOUR is intended for fans of SOCOM of all stripes and features difficulty modes (single player) and customization options online to welcome fans of other shooters to join the H-HOUR community.


SOCOM was made on instinct, some focus testing, and input from the publisher.

H-HOUR was made with instinct, game design experience, the known desires and expectations of the community derived from direct engagement with the community.



SOCOM had 22 multiplayer maps each generally designed with one game mode in mind. Creating DLC was impossible. The AI was unintentionally unpredictable and limited to a few maps.

H-HOUR will have 6 multiplayer maps at launch and steadily increase that number via DLC for the two years following launch to exceed 22 maps. Each map is designed for one game mode. AI are smart enough to be afraid, belligerent or suspicious. They appear in maps as hostages, VIPs, enemy leaders, and innocent civilians.

In SOCOM, maps had significant variety in terms of size, interactivity, and setting. Draw distances were greatly limited as were visual effects.

In H-HOUR, maps have significant variety in terms of size, much greater interactivity, and settings that are not edited for political reasons. Draw distances are greatly increased where appropriate and visual effects are on par with any AAA shooter.


SOCOM maps ranged from urban to rural with an emphasis on good flow.

H-HOUR maps include dense urban environments, wide open rural or desert locations, jungle and forest among others. These maps are inspired by the approach that made SOCOM maps work well. They look prettier but play just as great.

Victory Dances

SOCOM had victory dances and customizable taunts.

H-HOUR has customizable victory dances, customizable taunts, and a “worst enemy” feature.


SOCOM featured a lobby system that let you find exactly the kind of game you wanted, when you wanted, and allowed you to get to know your teammates in chat.

H-HOUR features a lobby system that lets you find the kind of game you want, lobby chat (speech and text), the classic “server list view” plus an optional infographics view that lets you find a game or friends (or enemies) through a stylish visual interface.

Game Modes

SOCOM featured game modes such as ESCORT, SUPPRESSION and BREACH.

H-HOUR features similar (but differently named) game modes with expansions on the design plus two additional all new game modes at launch with more to come via DLC releases.

Game Customization

SOCOM allowed players to customize their game with many parameters and create invitation-only games.

H-HOUR allows you to customize your game with the same parameters and many more so that you can create game experiences as hard core or “friendly” as you want. You can of course save these as presets. 

H-HOUR allows you to create private games, instantly create and send invitations to friends and opponent lists, and more.


SOCOM allowed you to create a tag for your character.

H-HOUR allows you create a tag, a personal bio, and a graphical patch.


In SOCOM, you could create clans outside of the game and were left to your own devices for communication within the clan.

H-HOUR has all the clan creation and management support built right into the game. You can create a clan with one click using the presets or be as detail oriented as you want, even writing a constitution to guide ethics and behavior, create a clan logo for display on characters and your own personalized clan page, invite/message/kick members, assign member various ranks and powers, view analytics after action reports of individual clan members or the whole clan on a timeline and much more.


In SOCOM communication between players and the game was handled almost entirely outside the game.

In H-HOUR you will be able to monitor clan activities through your game-generated clan page, emails, a mobile app, and more.


In SOCOM if you played as a team and considered real world tactics you were more successful.

In H-HOUR, if you know you are playing as a team it's because the game tells you through after action reports. It lets you know when real world tactics should have been used and who on your team supported you or let you down, among other things.


In SOCOM, you knew you weren’t doing well because you died a lot.

In H-HOUR analytics tell you why you die a lot, then tells you when and where you died and how to avoid that in the future. The ANALYTICS SERGEANT provides and improvement plan for you and monitors your progress.


SOCOM featured a large number of generically named side arms, machine guns, assault rifles, sniper rifles and grenades.

H-HOUR features a smaller but well-balanced number of weapons at launch and increases that number over time. Partnerships with weapons manufacturers increase authenticity.

Ballistics Model

In SOCOM the ballistics model was built using tabular research and Q & A with a military consultant. Each weapon had a personality but not all weapons were well balanced.

In H-HOUR the ballistics model is built using data provided by a professional real world weapons engineer, ongoing Q & A with our special forces team, and practical experience on the firing range. Weapons still have personality but superior balance.


In SOCOM you could play as SEALs or terrorists.

In H-HOUR you can play as any US Special Forces or as terrorists.

Character Customization

In SOCOM, you chose from pre-set skins for your character.

In H-HOUR you can customize your character’s appearance. Through DLC the possibilities are tremendous.



In SOCOM single player, AI could be unresponsive and slow. Path finding was awkward. AI often appeared to “hide” in plain sight.

H-HOUR AI focuses on behaviors appropriate to context: fear, panic, anger, stealth. They also try to be human and create empathy or antipathy in the player through customized animations and vocal performances that are presented naturally during play rather than in cut scenes.


SOCOM had clear cut objectives, sub-objectives and occasionally emergent objectives.

H-HOUR has clear cut objectives and sub-objectives as well as emergent objectives that can affect the flavor and objectives of subsequent missions.

Voice of HQ

SOCOM cast a woman as the voice of HQ.

H-HOUR has a female voice of HQ.


SOCOM made extensive use of dialogue to create context, mood, and to give clues about who the characters were. Sometimes the dialogue included useful intel.

H-HOUR makes extensive use of dialogue in the same way, with much greater emphasis on intel gathering during times of stealth.


SOCOM occasionally used stealth to build tension, challenge, and realism.

H-HOUR occasionally uses stealth in the same ways.


SOCOM featured storylines and settings from areas that were potential hot spots of terrorist activities. Deep research on those locations did not always affect the content due to limitations of hardware and schedule.

H-HOUR features true, never before told stories from retired special forces operators all set in locations where terrorist were or are active. Contemporary hardware platforms allow much greater use of deep research.


In SOCOM vehicles appeared in the form of tanks, helicopters and “dead” cars.

In H-HOUR vehicles appear for dramatic purposes or to kill you but not for you to drive around large maps banging into things. H-HOUR is all about the “men on the ground.”


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    1. Missing avatar

      Abraham Valera on

      Please make that socom feeling come back!!

    2. Missing avatar

      Paul on

      Dear David,
      I played Socom since the beginning, since Socom I. I tried other shooter games but Socom II had the best game 3rd shooting feeling, you really got into the game as a Seal of terrorist.

      Here are some ideas to consider for H Hour:
      - respawn should not be default; why? respawn tend to become a repeat until end of game 'run and hit and die and respawn'. this is not the Socom feeling, you have to be careful and team up; just for the killing points
      - a really smooth motion of shooting, running, falling down, stand up, shooting, reloading, etc. is crucial for a one on one shooting scene (Socom II online and LAN were so fast in motion); jumping and shooting (and a second for reloading) all the way during running is a necessity; this means do not delay if you wear weight; jump and climb was a nice feature
      - the maps played until the Socom II servers went down were FishHook and Crossrards. why? you can not see the enemy or kill from the start; these maps have a sort of a center where the battle takes place when it gets hard; short distance shooting and sniping are both an interesting possibility on part of the maps
      - no unexpected reactions and flow: such as a grenade which you do not know where it ends up (so intriduce grenade arc), lagging should be eliminated! (this kills a game), shooting with a short spraying machine should not kill from a great distance. All actions should be predictable (you should have a feeling what will happen)
      - every map should have a smooth flow of running through: no sticky objects, no objects where you get snagged or have to jump over, you can see a route or road of the map a route in several ways (in order to attack a enemy from the back)
      - able to hear enemies talking and walking who are near (like footsteps); this is a great feature to really get into the game as a SEAL (this must be really perfect otherwise be careful with this feature)
      - no extra button push to run (I really hate this one)
      - in every map should be have sufficient variety of person interactions, like climbing (such as ladder or on a wall), jumping (eg on a roof or balcony or tree or over a wall), pull yourself up (like a roof), etc.
      - ... there are some more reasons why Socom II was such a great game. I can write them down... not now... to much...

      In order to get the real feeling of a game, you should play and test the game (interaction, shooting, maps, etc) for at least 50 hours.
      So, I suggest you make a beta testers team of a few die hard gamers, who can help to improve the game.

    3. Eric Tyler on

      Push to talk of course and please please proximity chat!

    4. Missing avatar

      Daniel Jose Santiago on

      What about in game voice chat? Will it be the way it was in SOCOM and SOCOM ll where each person had to take turns at the mic. It was a huge part of the game play experiance. Ever since SOCOM I've never really been a fan of open voice chat.

    5. chris dennis on

      Since this game will probably be introduced to ps4 I think I speak for many people saying that there should be an option to take out the sixaxis functions. If I wanted to play with hand motions I would have purchased a Wii. Maybe just make the function available for when your dead and looking at your body. Please create some sort of Polling system to get our opinion on any software updates after the arrival of ps4. How soon until we see an official Blog page for H-Hour??

    6. Missing avatar

      Tango on

      I think the size of the multiplayer maps in H-Hour should be the same as Socom 1 and 2, they were perfect. I also think you should keep the player count to 8 vs 8 with a 5-6 minute clock. If there's only 1 player left on each side it would allow the remaining players time to find each other. Socom 3 maps were way to big , if there was 1 player left on each side of the Map Harvester for instance , the players would just wait out the clock. It was very boring to watch! I'm not really a fan of encumbrance either! Every one should only be allowed to select a certain amount of weaponry, if you select an extra clip then you have to sacrifice a grenade etc.

    7. smiffy14 on

      The cover system was one of the good additions to socom 4? Dude are you for real? This game will not be for you man, stick to all the other user friendly pick up and play scrub games on the market. This is for the skilled tactical player that can be tactical and get in cover himself, not because the game suggests so!!

    8. Gary Davies on…

      I used to play competitively, I run a corp in an MMO and the problem I have is being able to successfully recruit and grow my corp. We communicate through our teamspeak server and verbal comm's are essential to good tactical play. The number of corp members online at any time restrict our playing style and players stop logging in.
      Community support is the only way to make a game successful and I don't think that giving everyone the permissions to start a corp/clan promotes even growth across player corps/clans.

    9. Missing avatar

      Joseph on

      David sears, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE YouTube blackwido88 and hire this guy to work with u to create this future socom game. There is such a mix crowd of uneducated gamers (gamers that do not known a good game from a bad one) and blackwido88 is the number one guy that would know what the game needs what to take out etc. etc. PLEASE contact this guy for this game and I promise u that hhour will be the biggest shooter ever made. Blackwido88 knows what the socom 2 community needs, and taking advice from gamers today will only run you in circles. All you have to do is hire this guy. Sounds crazy, but his opinion is the difference between the best game ever made and just an ok game, seriously.

    10. Missing avatar

      Pest_AWC on

      I hope there are no "unlocks" that affect gameplay. Cosmetic stuff is fine, but giving an equipment advantage to someone because they have played longer is the worst thing you can do to a game.

      If my clan starts a match against another clan, everyone should be on the same level playing field and have access to the same equipment.

      Cover systems are not needed. I am glad you aren't putting one in. Especially since you will support setting the game to First Person only for those that prefer that style. (like me).

    11. Niko DelValle on

      I'm actually more interested in the actual animation for cover. I just think it's a presentation thing, I like walking up to cover and seeing my character hug the wall rather then seemingly just stand there and make them almost intentionally more exposed.

      I was never really interested in the "true" cover system. But I like the idea of it. Splinter Cell Conviction for instance had a really good one, you never got stuck on anything, but it still provided protection. You only hug it when you're close, then you can leave it naturally. Then of course there is the potential for cover that would protect you if only your character would crouch a little lower, and it really irritates me to see your head just sticking out over something you should obviously be able to take cover behind, and at least with a cover system you can actually take cover behind it instead of just standing there and getting your head popped off from long distance.

    12. Missing avatar

      FantastiQ on

      I don't think there should be unlock able weapons.

    13. Missing avatar

      Pierre Lefeuvre on

      You can unlock weapons when our level increases?

    14. David Sears Creator on

      Absolutely, a ranking system is part of the plan. It's completely designed--just need to add programmers to make it happen. :)

    15. David Sears Creator on

      Regarding cover "systems" I sort of go on a rant about that in a recent interview. Why invest all that time and money into a system that ultimately slows things down and accomplishes the same thing. An object that would stop a bullet if you were sticking to it like Spiderman will stop the same bullet if you just crouch behind it. Sure, there are games where a cover system makes sense but it's really not in the DNA of H-Hour.

    16. Tom Newbold on

      No magnetic walls in this game! Alot of people prefer to be able to just freely stand behind a wall or press the crouch button

    17. Missing avatar

      Pierre Lefeuvre on

      No cover sytem please :)

    18. Niko DelValle on

      Does H-Hour have a cover system? It was one of the few good additions to SOCOM 4 (which is not to say SOCOM 4 was a bad game, but it wasn't quite as hardcore as it should have been).

    19. Missing avatar

      FantastiQ on

      Great post, this is exactly what this game should be all about. I am looking forward for H Hour Worlds Elite.

    20. Tom Newbold on

      @Carlos that a great point, i loved how simple socom 2's ranks where. I liked how it was based on a percentage of where you was ranked among everyone and how you could loose your "wings"...
      There was far too many ranks on socom 3 to even keep track!

    21. Missing avatar

      Brit Freeman on


      I was wondering if there is going to be a way for my clan and I to enter a room by ourselves and kind of walk through the map, discuss strategy, and maybe take up/evaluate different sniper and defensive positions with each other, without having to actually play against another team/clan? This would be a wonderful way to practice IMO.

    22. Carlos Avila on

      Hi David,

      I have yet to see anything about online ranks. One of the gratifying things about SOCOM II was the ranking systems. I have talked to numerous people about this, and everyone loved it.

      Would we see a similar approach as in SOCOM II, unlike SOCOM 3, where it was messed up, with the ranking system? Once finally obtaining your "wings", or captain status, you have to continue to do well, or you can lose it.

    23. David Sears Creator on

      "On a the topic of the clan management, I'm not sure if this has been discussed in earlier forums or if I'm introducing something new for thought, but will there be any management interaction with other clans? "

      Yes. This is an extensive feature set. Once you've established a clan, you've got to be able to easily communicate with/challenge other clans. We're planning to make it simple for you to find rival clans, issue challenges, set up multi-round, mulit-map competitions, automatically track and report the results, and much, much more.

      Will clan battle rooms be private? Yes, absolutely. Will no-show players be easily replaced by clan members via email/messaging? Totally.

    24. David Sears Creator on

      Wow. Lots of comments..One at a time then....

      Yes, you will be able to restrict a game to either first person or third person.

      Regarding PC players, I think they will really enjoy the approach we're taking, so hopefully they'll be on board.

    25. Missing avatar

      Pest_AWC on

      David, for the part where you say:

      "H-HOUR is intended for fans of SOCOM of all stripes and features difficulty modes (single player) and customization options online to welcome fans of other shooters to join the H-HOUR community."

      I think you may want to really specify if you will have an option to restrict 3rd person view for those that are fans of realistic 1st person only tactical shooters like Ghost Recon, R6 Ravenshield, and SWAT.

      It is going to be a tough sell to get this game kickstarted by PC players when your targets are PS2 SOCOM fans. Thanks for making such a good effort!

    26. Brian Kelty on

      Hello David, I'm only a few days new after being introduced to H-Hour via TRS's announcement of your Kickstarter's kick-off. On a the topic of the clan management, I'm not sure if this has been discussed in earlier forums or if I'm introducing something new for thought, but will there be any management interaction with other clans? For example, search for clans by name or by clan leader/member, listing their clan as ally or rival clan, and then scheduling that clan for a clan battle against your clan on a specified date and time? Members from both parties can accept or decline the clan battle invitation. If you accept the battle invite, you reserve your spot to represent your clan in the battle. You can view who in your clan has accepted the invitation and maybe view who accepted the invite from the opposing clan. This way you get a preview of the vs roster. Once the countdown to the clan battle is down to zero, all those who reserved a slot for the battle will get prompted to join the battle room lobby. A clan member can give up the reserved slot prior to the match at anytime, which the rest of the clan can receive another accept or decline prompt to reserve the open slot. If there are no-shows in the battle room lobby, clan members can send invites to fellow online clan mates.
      These clan battle rooms will be private so that players outside of either clan party cannot join.

      This also opens up an idea for you to introduce specific unlocks dedicated to clans only, determined by the number of clan battles one to show a prestige. These unlocks would be cosmetic only, such as displaying clan battle victory markings on clan member's helmets. Moving the clan's patch from the arm, to the chest, and then to the specific head equipment such as the ball cap, beret, spec helmet, or watcher's cap. The final unlock could be to the clan leader to create a new camo by altering colors to any camo pattern of choice. (Absolutely no wild, neon colors, but simple shades of sandy colors, browns, reds, greens, blues, purples, and shades from white to grey) Once the leader finalizes the camo creation, all clan members will have access to the new camo and can wear it on armor and or uniform.

      just a thought.

    27. Chris B Partnur on

      Good comparison! I'm sure someone will ask about every feature on Rev's list. lol

    28. Tom Newbold on

      Hi David, a quite big discussion on the forums is about the characters movement... Its a big thing for those looking for the classic experience. Could you possibly expand on how the character will feel to control. Are we looking at socom 2's type character speed and strafing that made for fun, creative gun battles and navigation of the maps?

      Thanks in advance! Tom