Section 8: Prejudice
Developer: TimeGate Studios
Platform: PS3, PC, & Xbox 360
Section 8: Prejudice is a sequel to 2009’s Section 8 which did surprisingly well for a downloadable shooter. You once again star as Alex Corde who is a part of the military group known as Section 8 who are SPEESS MUHREENS who drop into battle from space. The story isn’t really anything to mention besides there’s a really ugly SPEESS MUHREEN who doesn’t like your SPEESS MUHREENS and you guys are going to duke it out to see who the best SPEESS MUHREEN is. The voice-acting is laughably bad and the story non-existant, but it’s still really nice to see that TimeGate took the time to put one in instead of just leaving multiplayer. There are 8 levels broken up into 4 chapters and it took me around 5-6 hours to finish it which is about the same time as most retail shooters, I’m looking at you every recent FPS game, but of course this game is all about the multiplayer so let’s just get into that.
Section 8: Prejudice tosses you into 32 player battles across a big map, but it does it well enough that the maps feel large and it doesn’t feel like it takes you forever to go across it since TimeGate added several things to help you move quickly across the battlefield. The first thing that you’ll notice is that you can pick where you want to spawn on the battlefield and while you don’t have full control while your SPEESS MUHREEN is dive bombing to the ground, you can steer him a bit once you get close enough to activate the brakes. Of course this adds in the command posts (CP) that you need to capture to claim their AA turrets for your team so you can limit the areas that the enemy team can drop in. A well organized team can capture all 4 CP’s and place their own AA turrets in smart areas to basically force the opposing team to spawn in one spot. The chances of this happening are incredibly slim, but I did play a match where my team did manage to pull it off so it is possible. You’ve also got an overdrive sprint that allows you to run at high speeds across the battlefield and a jetpack which when used with overdrive can launch you pretty far. I felt I’d mention that there is a lock-on ability you have that lasts for around 5 seconds and has a minute cooldown period. At first I thought this would cripple the game a bit but it feels pretty fair since there’s no chance of you killing an opponent in the 5 seconds you get if they have a full shield and health bar, plus they also have it.
The game has 100 levels for you to go through, sorry Call of Duty players no prestige for you, with new unlocks for your weapons or passive additions to your armor. Each weapon has different types of bullets you can equip in your loadout screen to better suit your playing style with types like incendiary, EMP, slug, and others. Your armor also has a bit of customization in that you’re given 10 points at first to put into various skills that range from increasing the recharge time of your shield, increase bullet damage, less recoil, etc. There are also physical upgrades to your armor; some that actually affect your stats such as higher shield regen and others that are simply cosmetic. A neat thing is that you can either choose to acquire all of these by simply leveling up online, or you could play the multiplayer modes offline (plus the campaign) to earn stars. Playing offline would probably be the fastest way to earn all the upgrades, but after playing a few conquest matches in hard mode (each map gives 3 possible stars, 1 for easy, 2 for medium, 3 for hard) I didn’t really find much challenge from the AI thus dampening my fun, so it’s up to the player to decide their preferred method.
A major part of the online matches are the Dynamic Combat Missions, or DCM’s. Every so often the game will through out one or two missions for your team to complete while it’s the opposing team’s job to stop you from completing it, and likewise when they receive a mission. These can range from escorting a VIP general to your CP, protecting a convoy, eliminating the enemy team, and a few others. These add a bit of a random element into matches since you have to decide quick whether you run off to complete the DCM or protect/capture a CP. Of course if your team already has all or most of the bases under your control most players will decide to go do the DCM, but this gives enemy players a perfect distraction to run into your base to destroy your structures or capture it.
Swarm mode is basically Section 8: Prejudice’s take on Gears of Wars Horde Mode, but of course it’s got a Section 8 twist to spice things up. Yous see when you start the match you’re given one command post (CP) to defend, and once you start the hack to acquire the CP the enemies don’t really like that so they’re going to come take it back from you. Now it’s not game over if you die, the game ends once the enemies hack your CP and you fail to defuse the hack in time. The first twist is that you can use cash you earn for killing enemies, repairing objects/players, or getting badges to drop in structures such as radars, turrets, mechs, bikes, or supply depots. It’s up to your and your allies to strategically place your structures so that you don’t get overwhelmed by the masses of enemies that will soon appear. The second twist is that since the maps are fairly large and you only stay in a small area you’ll be given optional objectives such as escorting a VIP general or collecting intel to persuade you to leave the CP to complete these objectives for some quick cash. It adds a little interesting mechanic to the gameplay since only you get the cash for completing the objective so it’s up to you and your teammates to decide who goes off to get extra cash for themselves, leaving the rest of the team fighting the waves. The game does cut you a little slack by sending an airstrike every 5 minutes (total match time is 15 mins) which will wipe out all enemies in the are. You can either play this online with 3 other players or offline with 3 AI allies, but I don’t really recommend playing with the AI unless you just want to practice.
Section 8 also has a conquest mode where two teams fight to reach 1000 points by killing each other, capturing CP’s, or completeing DCM’s and while this is incredibly fun it’s just not worth noting here since it adds nothing new other than what I’ve previously talked about (the DCM’s). There’s also Assault where both teams race to control the CP’s and then the game switches to your basic attacker/defender game mode. Skirmish mode was the latest released and is simply the same as conquest except this time you can’t capture any of the CP’s. If it wasn’t because of the DCM’s or structures you can drop-in like mech, tanks, or turrets these would be the same tired game mode as any other FPS; thankfully these additions add a nice change.
The graphics in this game really give me a Halo vibe for some reason, though it could be because Halo’s the most recent I’ve player with this much color, but that’s not a bad thing. You’ll go to your typical arctic, forest, canyon, & volcano areas with each one having multiple maps that take place in the same type of area but they feel different enough so that it doesn’t feel like you’re playing the same map again. The only issue is that the game doesn’t exactly look that great, just mostly slightly above average, but it’s still nice to look at and everything has a nice vibe to it. I couldn’t remember anything about the soundtrack so that usually means I thought it was garbage and the guns really didn’t have much kick to them when you shoot. It’s moments like these when I wonder if it’s so hard for somebody to go to a shooting range and ask to record sound for a gun then tweak it a bit to sound more futuristic.
The Final Word
Section 8: Prejudice will definitely make your $15 feel well spent with a decently sized campaign, swarm mode, and three other modes plus you’ll be clamoring to reach level 100 to get all the weapon/armor upgrades in multiplayer. There are a few times when the framerate will freak out a bit when times get really hectic, but this only happened to me during the multiplayer modes (online and offline) when too many players converged in the same area causing multiple explosions. If you need your shooter fix before Battlefield 3 or Modern Warfare 3 come out, Section 8 offers a great high for a low price.
– MonsterVine Rating: 4 out of 5 – Good
This giveaway does not, in any shape or form, affect our review score for Section 8: Prejudice.
NOTE: THIS IS A GIVEAWAY FOR A PLAYSTATION 3 CODE OF SECTION 8: PREJUDICE
Hello readers, I totally copy/pasted this from Zack’s Bastion review since I’m incredibly lazy! Do you want to get Section 8: Prejudice for free? Of course you do, hell I might even enter just so I can have the game twice! There are two ways to win (you can do both to increase your chances): 1) Comment on our post about why you would like to play Section 8: Prejudice OR who your favorite SPEESS MUHREEN character is from any videogame (and a reason why). 2) “Like” our Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/monstervine and comment on our review link for Section 8: Prejudice. Contest entries end August 11, 2011 at 12:00pm EST and a winner will be selected August 12. Make sure to have valid e-mails/Facebooks so we can contact you by! On the other hand, if TimeGate sent me a replica SPEESS MUHREEN suit I’d totally bump up the score of this review.