SOCOM: Confrontation gives the series a PlayStation 3-worthy makeover, but it plays like it was forged out of a rusting boilerplate. Everything from the interface to the controls to the game modes screams old-school, which is bound to please the built-in SOCOM fanbase. Newcomers might be turned off by its lack of innovation and of any kind of single-player experience.

The series felt outdated even on the PS2, so it's a shame that Slant Six didn't take this as an opportunity to revisit large parts of the game's design. SOCOM apologists oddly keep clinging to many of the especially outdated portions of the gameplay, repeating the mantra that it's just the way the series is. The thing is, now there are so many better alternatives available that it's tough to justify some of the series' quirks.

Take the controls, for instance. If you've equipped a scope, you're required to tap up on the d-pad twice to look through it. You can swap between two weapons relatively quickly, but grabbing anything else in your arsenal requires a visit through a clunky radial menu. If you run while your night-vision goggles are on, they turn off, requiring you to flip the switch again. Players can create custom control schemes that alleviate some of these issues, but not all of the default commands can be changed. Fans will tell you that these are concessions toward keeping things realistic, but I doubt that a game that has a jump button and the option to dance on enemy corpses is fully committed to that vision.

While the game's modes are standard fare, the maps are some of the best I've played. They've been designed with multiple routes and have plenty of places for camping and for sneaking up on campers. The larger ones are huge, but they're not so big that you won't ever find anyone to shoot. Weapons are varied, though they don't seem to be as effective (or consistent) as you might expect. For all the talk of accurate bullet modeling, something doesn't seem right, demonstrated by people absorbing and surviving multiple headshots.

If you've enjoyed past SOCOM games and are looking for a better-looking version of what you've played before, check out Confrontation. It's fun in a way that just about all multiplayer games are - you're sharing an experience with real-life opponents. If you'd like to play something with fresh ideas and a thick sheen of polish, though, keep marching.