Review by MadCat2400
"Scratches an itch that few other shooters can"
Section 8: Prejudice is the sequel to last year's Section 8. It is a space shooter set in the future across various worlds. It features an 8 hour campaign, 32-player multiplayer, bots on and offline and a 4 player co-op mode called "Swarm." It's available on the Xbox Live Marketplace and coming soon for PC and PS3 for a measly $15. And these aren't even the highlights of the game!
I'll start with the overall design. This game definitely learned from its shortcomings last year. The game is crisp and clean and feels like something you bought at a store, not downloaded from the marketplace. The controls are smooth, the shooting is accurate and the vehicle controls have been completely revamped from last year. In short, it's an excellent shooter and completely betrays its $15 pricetag.
The controls are much tighter than last year. The weapons all feel fantastic and sound differently depending on the ammo you're running in it. Your character is also equipped with a jetpack, which is incredibly useful not only to reach certain places but to get the drop on your enemies, and an Overdrive system, which is essentially a super sprint. Once you sprint for a few seconds, you can press a button and your character will holster his weapon and start running like it's the end of the world. The maps are quite large and this is a great way to traverse them, though not nearly as good as the bike. Both your jetpack and overdrive are limited, but they regen quite quickly unless you're being hit by an EMP weapon.
The campaign is a short, 6-8 hour adventure across a few planets that help give you the feel of the game. The story is pretty cliche but it works. You trek across an area, fight a few baddies, rinse and repeat. The game does have a few bosses, which I personally love. I feel it's a great way to break up the monotony of a shooter, which is almost certainly bound to happen.
The multiplayer is something else entirely. Other then the features I already listed, the game has one of the most unique spawn systems I've ever seen. In most shooters, there's a predetermined number of spawn areas and the game attempts to spawn you near your teammates but away from danger. In Section 8: Prejudice, you drop in from space. That's right, every single time you spawn, you pick where you want to drop and you do it. There is one limitation. AA turrets. AA turrets will shoot you on your way down and unless your armor is customized properly, you will die. I'll get into that more later.
The main objective in multiplayer is to capture points on the map, defend them and complete DCMs, Dynamic Combat Missions. This prevents the action from becoming stale. There are quite a few DCMs, ranging from capturing intelligence to defending an outpost to donning an enhanced suit of the enemy's armor and trying to capture one of their bases. These DCMs appear pretty frequently and they scale depending on how the teams are doing. If a team is losing pretty badly, then the DCMs will be easier for that team to complete. Most of them have tangible effects too, defending the VIP allows him to defend a base until he's killed. Completing an air strike mission completely destroys the base you complete it at, killing all enemies in the area and allowing for an easy capture for your team. The DCMs also score more points then capturing and holding bases, but the bases all have an AA turret, allowing you to control where the enemy spawns.
Customization is definitely a huge selling point for this game.Each of the weapons have multiple ammo choices, some increasing shield damage, some increasing armor damage, some drain run and jet power, some set them on fire. There's the normal complement of guns as well as a rocket launcher and pulse cannon. You also have grenades, mortars and detpacks. Top that off with a knife or one of the tools such as repair of siphon and you've got yourself a walking army.
You can customize your armor to increase shields, armor, run speed, energy regen, stealth, damage among others. No two loadouts are the same and people have very unique ways of building their armor. There's even one that reduces AA damage enough so you can drop through one, though you'll be badly hurt when you land, it's a great way to surprise your enemies who feel safe under their AA.
As you play you'll gain money that can be used to purchase deployables. These can be turrets, sensors or a mech, bike or tank! Players have started building mini bases in the middle of the map that can essentially defend themselves! This adds to the constantly changing battlefield, you never really know what to expect and must adapt to handle the environment.
Overall, I'm a pretty massive fan of this game. It scratches an itch few other games do. It's a little similar to Tribes, though hardly a clone. For $15, you can't really go wrong with it and if this game does well, it shows the industry that quality is more important than a huge name.
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 05/06/11
Game Release: Section 8: Prejudice (US, 04/20/11)
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