Review by Mephistofun

"A superb alternative to Halo's multiplayer. I actually prefer it."

Am I normal? I actually prefer this to Halo.

Space Marines are space marines. You can give them any name you like but whenever you have a human soldier, in the future, dressed in an exotic combat suit you'll always have someone point out that it is derivative. They all are, even the good ones.

I prefer the more positive assessment of Section 8 being part of a sub-genre of the FPS, along with Halo, Crisis 2, Quake and so on. It's a Space-Marine shooter but it is quietly but brilliantly one of the best

Predudice is a follow up to the straight to bargain bin classic, Section 8. It was a shame but as a full price disc release the first game was always going to struggle against the likes of Halo on the XBox but Predudice has been released at a much lower price and I hope it works for them because as an XBLive game it is brilliant.

Visuals aren't going to make you stop for lunch and have a picnic mid-game and the single player is fairly average FPS stuff, though it is far more than the first game offered. That isn't to say it is boring. The single player. It is even quite cinematic at times, but it is the multiplayer where this game really shines.

The game plays much like any other of its' genre but there is a greater sense of scales to the maps than you get on most games of this ilk. It's party piece is simple but genius. You get to choose where you spawn with a nifty orbital drop scene each time you die. Before you jump out of your drop-ship you get to choose your load out, pick a place on the map and jump out of the drop-ship to the ground. You even get some control, enough to land on and kill anyone camping. to stop this being abused the players on the ground can place anti-air turrets to shoot dropping players but you are shown safe zones to land in before the jump. It lends a deceptively complex tactical edge to the combat, particularly with a levelling and upgrade system that can give a player the ability to soak up some AA fire in surprise attacks.

The whole dropping in mechanic allows you to outflank enemies on a much larger scale than normal and, if you get the wrong place there is a sprint button and rocket pack button which makes you very mobile. The verticality of the levels is quite impressive and a speed run and jet pack means that crossing the big maps is never a chore. Hoofing it from location to laceration actually becomes great fun once you realise that ploughing into someone can kill them. It's hard to do and never feels unfair for the player being mowed down.

The first game was released with only Conquest mode, essentially capture and hold locations on a map much like Star Wars Battlefronts only with a lot more options for customising your load outs and a much tighter feel to the weapons. Kill stuff, capture stuff, blow stuff up and you get points. One set of points buys you gun turrets, the AA ones shoot down enemies dropping in from orbit too close to where your captured bases are for example. There are tanks, antigravity bikes, mechs and resupply depots to plant where you choose. Another set of points bags you extra side-missions that, when completed get you even more points or, if you prevent the other teams' mission from succeeding, you also achieve greater points. Other modes have been released but are generally variations on the "capture" the base, flag or survival themes.

Maps are always well populated with players and even without a headset you will wind up working as a team. How co-ordinated that team is is down to you. Everything feels fast and smooth and getting into a game never takes too long. Whilst there are other shooters out there vying for your attention and with other publishers throwing more money into advertising Predudice still feels like a niche game but one that has a dedicated and well behaved fan following. Perhaps the ability to choose your respawn makes it less frustrating, or that respawning is so fast that getting revenge just isn't on anyone's agenda. My personal feeling is that when you die in Predudice it never feels personal. Both sides are trying to achieve another goal. Getting shot up means you get to try to achieve that objective again from another angle, rather than feeling like failure and that is really what makes Predudice so clever.

There are improvements that could have been made. The weapons feel beefy enough, there is even a time limited, recharging lock-on system to track players that rocket into the sky when you start peppering them with rounds but shooting a target in the foot or the head seems to make no difference. Your head is just as well protected as your kneecap it seems.

Single player is worth a play through or two, most will only play through once. It never really taxes, nor does it ever feel underwhelming. It introduces parts of the multiplayer game quite well without ever seeming like a tutorial. With huge starships hanging in the sky above and some impressive level design (single player actually uses the multiplayer levels but limits the player to a linear route through them) along with some very varied objectives. for an arcade title the single player is complete enough to complete with anything else out there. Even the voice acting is pretty good.

It's a very solid, very good first person shooter. More welcoming than Halo and the other top titles and just as rewarding once you get into the grove. It probably suits casual players better but rewards the long term devotees with a hefty upgrade and levelling up system.

It's quietly, brilliantly one of the best.

Graphics= 8 imaginative level design, everything runs fast and relatively smooth.
Gameplay= 9 Near perfect. Fast, with lots of different play styles, levelling up if you're into that sort of thing and almost zero frustration. Very welcoming for new players.
Sound= 8 as I'm hearing impaired this kinda means less to me. I wish there were more subtitles but form the few occasions my neighbours were out long enough for me to play, the sound effects fit nicely.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 05/20/11

Game Release: Section 8: Prejudice (EU, 04/20/11)

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