Section 8: Prejudice ReviewBy Rick Givens | May 16, 2011 | Reviews | No comments | Share
TimeGate Studios released Section 8: Prejudice on April 20th. Now, I know this game has been out for a few weeks, so not the latest and greatest thing, but it is awesome nonetheless. First of all, the game was only $15 USD or 1200 Microsoft Points at release. Normally, you get what you pay for when getting inexpensive titles, but TimeGate gave you all that, the kitchen sink and a bag of crisps.
If you have ever played the original Section 8, then you are familiar with the general background. Mankind has grown beyond the confines of Earth, begins setting up colonies on various worlds, terraforming them and spreading Humanity’s influence throughout the galaxy, whether anyone else likes it or not. In order to eliminate any opposition, Earth creates a new breed of genetically modified Hybrid Super Soldiers, and just as quickly discards them when they are of no further use. Under the guise of disbanding them, Earth hunts down the Super Soldiers, exterminating them as they turn and rebel against Earth.
The new story picks up years later, with you taking the part of Alex Corde, descendant of the original game’s protagonist, and member of Section 8; an elite force of armored soldiers which comprise part of the USIF Armored Infantry, the new force which enforces peace throughout the colonies. At this point, the USIF is embroiled in a struggle against another faction, sedition of planets seeking to break away from Earth, receiving backing, intelligence and equipment from an unknown source. At this point in the story, the Section 8 has captured one of the top generals, and is questioning him.
The game starts off as sort of a crash course in controls, teaching you the basics of aiming, firing and movement in the game. It’s neither difficult, nor engaging, but necessary, as there is no tutorial for the multiplayer. After that, it’s into the fire as an attack frees the captured general, and you must track him down.
One of the things I like about this game is the purchase menu. It doesn’t come into play as much in the Single Player, which is probably good because I would spawn a tank and rain hell on my enemies faster than a wino skipping bail. However, in the Multiplayer mode, you can build up enough purchase points, described in the game as form of money, to buy vehicles, defensive and offensive turrets, sensors, and supply depots. Build up enough, and you can turn your little area into a death zone for the enemy.
Other nifty things include the jetpack assisted leaps, overdrive running, and of course the truly remarkable overdrive leaps when you combine the two. With the jetpack, you are able to reach quite a bit higher in elevation, making it easier to get in just that right sniper spot, or to fly overhead briefly and drop rockets on your opponent like you’re a pigeon at the park aiming for little Johnny. Overdrive of course is just that, toggle the run feature and point yourself in the direction you want to go, after a short sprint, your armored suit’s servos kick in and you run FAST. Now, start running, hit overdrive and then jump and you will carry yourself across the map like a midget shot out of a cannon. This feature comes in handy with both the Single Player and Multiplayer modes to leap across normally blocked paths or the occasional collapsing bridge.
Well, if you are familiar with Epic Games’ Unreal Engine, then you are well versed in what to expect. Even when played on the Xbox, the graphics were pretty nice and resembled something of a cross between Halo and Warhammer 40,000. The armor and weapons look a bit over sized for the characters, but considering you have to fight off other armored opponents, enemy mechs, vehicles, and in one case a small airship firing rockets, it kind of makes sense you would be carrying something that might tip the scales. The only real complaint I had was the ultra-white teeth every character has, I mean, I know this is the future and all but, they look like they glow! The cinematic cut scenes are relatively brief, and serve to push the storyline to the next series of events without making you wonder if you have a bucket of popcorn and a soda coming your way.
In all, there is about 5 hours of Single Player gameplay. Some would have issue with this, but I have yet to meet a single person that can play a game through fully without having to restart multiple times. The first time I played through, I died a lot; it took me about 4 days. If it was any longer, I likely would have grown frustrated and bored, so 5 hours is perfect in my opinion. Like the original Section 8, Prejudice’s crowning jewel is the multiplayer game modes, and even the Single Player is a training tool.
The initial release held two modes, Conquest and Swarm, and recently unlocked Assault after the players across both the PC and Xbox platforms racked up an astonishing 10 million kills, in about three weeks. In Swarm, you or a team defend a point against a perpetually replenishing army of AI bots. Conquest is just that, you and your team facing off against the opponents, attempting to control as many of the points on the map as you can. Assault is a team-versus-team game mode where teams race to capture all Control Points in the fastest time. While in the attack round, players must work together to capture all control points. During the defense round, players defend their bases for as long as possible.
Good thing about the Multiplayer mode is that you don’t even need to have an Internet connection to enjoy it. The game comes with full bot support, and if you are feeling anti-social, just start your own Multiplayer match and populate it with bots. Just be careful, these aren’t your average bots, but are pretty intelligent. We’ve all played against various bots, and it is entertaining to watch them run into walls, shoot each other, or just stare blankly at you. I was expecting that this go around, but was surprised at the level of tactical intelligence they displayed. In the Singleplayer, the AI will take cover, flank you, and generally pull stunts like camping on ammo supply points, which also serve to heal damage. Quite a few times, I was shot from behind in an area I previously cleared, but left open long enough for the AI to jetpack in and show me a little love. In the Multiplayer, the bots will run in formations, heal each other, and generally use whichever weapon needed to get the job done. In all, I would have to say it is an excellent AI.
The Final Word
TimeGate made one hell of a promise to gamers, to deliver quality content for a ridiculously low price, not only did they live up to their word, but they make me question why it can’t, or won’t, be done by other companies. Here is my review: BUY THIS GAME.
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