Review – Section 8: Prejudice

Time Gate Studios unleashed Section 8 Prejudice on Xbox Live back in April and now it is available on the PlayStation Network. Is it worth your time, or should it get a dishonorable discharge? Read our review to find out.

The first Section 8 game started out as a disc based title for the Xbox, but eventually became a downloadable title for the PlayStation Network. It introduced gamers to respawns that saw them dropping from 15K feet up, and onto the battlefield.

Just Thought I would Drop In

Where the first game’s campaign really was just an extended tutorial for online play, Section 8: Prejudice adds a full campaign that can take you 6-8 hours on Normal difficulty, or even longer if you’re a glutton for punishment and want to take the Hard road. The game is downloadable only for the PSN, and was downloadable only for the Xbox back in April.

The story once again follows a select group of soldiers that are the best of the best, even though their name implies otherwise. The game is set in the far off future, where space travel is common, and soldiers fight in full body armor that includes a jet pack and a shielding system. You play as Alex Corde. A hardened veteran who knows his way around, and above, a battlefield. A distant planet is being threatened by a group known as Spear and it is up to Section 8 to eliminate the threat.

The story itself is well thought out, and easy to follow. The dialogue is full of cliches, and the voice acting can be a little over dramatic, but that doesn’t take away from the overall campaign experience. The campaign is comparable to games that are disc based and three times the price, so Time Gate Studios did a very good job with it.

The campaign consists of eight chapters, and introduces all of the weapons and devices you’ll need once you get ready to tackle multiplayer. You start with three basic loadouts, but as more and more weapons are unlocked, and as you work your way through the campaign, your total number of customizable loadouts expands to six. You can also rename them, which comes in handy for quick reference to the game style you’ll be using. A decent Sniper loadout may consist of your standard sniper rifle, plus a hand gun and some frags, or you may go with the sniper rifle and an assault rifle as your backup piece. The choice is yours. All of your loadouts are customizable from the main game menu and carry over between the campaign and the multiplayer. A well thought out plan by Time Gate Studios that was executed nicely.

Most of the campaign missions are evenly balanced when it comes to difficulty, and even on Hard, most of it isn’t. There were a few places where logic seemed to have left the building though, and left us scratching our heads wondering what the developer was thinking. The main example is a mission where you are traveling on foot are escorting a tank. It’s a tank. Armor plated. Gun turrets. Huge cannon. Everyone knows what a tank is. What seems odd here is that you are protecting the tank. The tank operator isn’t very bright, and you have to wonder if he slept through Tank 101 during his training. Tanks are best used from a distance. Common sense should tell you that. This operator, zero common sense apparently. The driver bull rushes his way right into a gauntlet, with infantry firing from both sides, and a Mechanized Attack Vehicle (Mech) staring down his throat. It’s up to you, the foot soldier, to defend the armor plated, cannon wielding, tank and its doofus driver and keep them from being destroyed. If the tank is destroyed, you fail your mission, and back to the last checkpoint. Checkpoints are generally close enough together to keep failures from being overly frustrating, but when things defy logic, and make it almost impossible to clear, frustration can abound.

The campaign is truly only half of the experience, and the multiplayer modes take your standard FPS rules and throws them in the garbage. Campers beware. There aren’t any true spawn points, and camping in one spot just might make your head someone’s landing pad, and that rarely ends well for the camper. The drop in style spawning eliminates the very thought of camping, and adds a dimension that most games never truly use. You’re not coasting in on a parachute. You’re dropping in at a high rate of speed and anyone caught under you is a dead gamer. Add in the Overdrive Sprint feature, which allows a player to run at a very high speed, and sniping becomes almost completely obsolete. Buildings and map layouts also help to balance the game play. Grenade spamming is almost impossible with most maps.

There are four different multiplayer modes:

  • Assault – 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.
  • Conquest – Warfare is waged between the 8th Armored Infantry and the Arm of Orion for control of the battlefield.  Drop into the battlefield with one purpose: dominate the enemy in a relentless assault of enemy bases, utilizing a variety of on-demand deployables and vehicles and limitless loadout customization opportunities. Each team competes to complete critical missions and objectives, capture and hold Control Points, and score Victory Points (VP). When one team earns enough VP to meet the Victory Point goal, they are victorious and the enemy team is defeated.
  • Swarm – Take the role of an 8th Armored Infantry soldier with 3 ally as you defend a single Control Point against an overwhelming number of attacking enemy units. To attain victory, your team must protect your Control Point from being captured by the enemy before reinforcements arrive. It’s no simple task, but you didn’t join the 8th Armored Infantry because it was easy.
  • Skirmish – Pits the 8th Armored Infantry against the Arm of Orion in a team death match with a twist. Victory Points are awarded per each kill and DCMs completed. Control Points cannot be captured nor hacked in this game mode.

Run-n-gunners very seldom fare well in these matches, so if that’s your style, you may want to change tactics. Before dropping in, you can see the map from above, and you can then spawn at any point you feel would best help your team. You can also change your load out before spawning. Even noobs have the same weapons to choose from, so the game stays very balanced regardless of how long you’ve been playing. There are some unlockables that you’ll earn as you progress along, but most can be earned in the campaign mode, and you should have started there anyway.

Did we mention knife fighting?

Time gate Studios took a genre of gaming that has seen many titles, and brought a little fresh air to it. Section 8: Prejudice is a well thought out, mostly well executed, first person shooter that adds game play only seen in its previous title. With a campaign worth playing, and multiplayer modes that make you think, this is a game every FPS fan should have.

$14.99 and it has a Platinum trophy? Why wouldn’t you get this?