Timegate Studios is back with a sequel to their 2009 FPS, Section 8. Due to the lack of praise for its predecessor, does Section 8: Prejudice deserve a chance.
Being the sequel to a lackluster, a game like Section 8: Prejudice has a lot to prove. Section 8 virtually had no single-player and was focused solely on multiplayer. Online multiplayer was definitely the center of Section 8, and the biggest problem is no one was online to play. From the start, Section 8: Prejudice is what Section 8 should have been. The biggest difference between Section 8 and its sequel Prejudice is its price point and distribution. Section 8 launched on the Xbox 360 and PC in 2009 at full retail price while being released on the PlayStation Network for on $30. Players rightfully felt they were ripped off. Hell, I bought Section 8 for $15 when the price drop and I felt ripped off. I’m not an online guy and the solo campaign felt like online matches played with bots, which is a reason I was never a fan of Unreal Tournament.
Thankfully, Prejudice is what Section 8 should have been.
Let’s start with the solo campaign shall we? The story is centered around 8 Armored Infantry, a military group that drops everything, supplies and soldiers alike, from space onto the battlefield. Who needs space pods when you have guys in huge super suits, am I right? You play as Captain Alexander Corde as he, and the rest of Section 8, take part in a raging war against the Arm of Orion, another military group that throws shit, like soldiers, from space to the battlefield. The story is, without a doubt, forgettable in almost every instance. There not one single moment during the campaign in which I was shocked or even surprised. I was surprised that the story was lengthly, but that was about it.
AI definitely wasn’t at its best in Prejudice. Instead of feeling like I had a partner who had my back in a military shooter, I felt like I was protecting Ashley Graham from Resident Evil 4 all over again because I never saw him do much. I could shoot down a dozen enemies and while my partner does fire his weapon, he never kills anybody unless they close enough to the point where he can pull of a fatality, a decorated maneuver with a knife. There’s also a time in the beginning of the game where the enemy invades the base and shoots missles at the huge gunships that you need to protect. Not only am I sure that these gunships are heavily armored (if they have technology to drop soldiers from space, then their ships should be heavily armored) but I’m not entirely convinced that its arsenal wouldn’t have been good enough simply kill the grenadiers.
Throughout the game, combat is pretty much the same. You drop from space, shoot a bunch of bad guys and hack in to some terminals before moving on to your next mission. Jetpacks and super sprinting make their return to make players feel like genuine super soldiers.
I’m a sucker for customization, but not so much for first person shooters. Playing an FPS that features customization as a key element makes Jalen a happy boy. Through gaining experience from kills, healing and calling in equipment, players have a very long list of unlockable items on their hands. Want to shoot your assault rifle and set the enemy on fire, incendiary ammo is your friend. Want to get rid of turrets instead of destroying them and hacking them, EMP grenades are here to save the day. There are also two equipment slots in which you can put combat knives, repair tools or even mortars if you please. You can even upgrade your armor to improve your shield capabilities. Section 8: Prejudice does its best not to restrict its players with specific weapons and equipment during each mission.
If you’re a big fan of multiplayer, you might take a special liking in this game. Prejudice has four multiplayer modes, Conquest, Swarm, Skrimish and Assault, the matches can hold up to 32 players maximum. When I first tried multiplayer, I looked at the scoreboard and was a bit amazed that the scoreboard was full. After killing a few soldiers on the opposing team, I checked back at the scoreboard and I realized that more than half of the players had spaces in their names. Then there were bars next to some players’ names that showed how good their connection was. Only four real people were playing, the other 28 were bots. It was at that moment that I realized that no one really bought the game and that multiplayer for this game was essentially just like the solo campaign for Section 8.
Conquest, the mode in which I found out I was playing with bots, is your classic capture-and-hold mode. There are four control points spread across a huge map and the first team to reach 1,000 points secures the victory. It may sound like your typical multiplayer mode, but Prejudice has its own featue called Dynamic Control Mission (DCM) which activates during the match and are special missions that rewards teams with extra points and bonuses.
Swarm is a cooperative mode (my personal favorite) in which you, alongside your team of heavily armored badasses, must protect a control point from being hacked by the enemy. Essentially, Swarm is your typical Horde mode. Deploying vehicles, supply drops (dropped from space) and maintaining turrets are crucial in defending the objective after the enemies get more and more aggressive as the waves continue to pour in.
You can’t have a multiplayer shooter without having Team Deathmatch. That’s what Skirmish is just that, but comes fully equipped with DCM like other multiplayer modes. Assault is similar to Conquest, but also like Rush from Bad Company 2. There’s the Attacker team and the Defender team. Once the Attacker team gets a control point, its theirs forever. Their objective is to take all of the control points to win the game. The defenders must hold the line in order to win. Each side has an edge in the match. Defenders have a head start in the match to set up turrets and other defenses while attackers can observe the area with the camera in order to spot enemy locations.
As a $60 game, Section 8 looked like a late PS2 game while Prejudice looks far more acceptable. Textures and effects are acceptable as are the character models and animation. The background music fits in every aspect. Voice acting was good and sound effects were realistic. Section 8: Prejudice is an obvious and welcome improvement to Section 8: Prejudice, it suffers the same fat as many FPS games and that is being a tad bit Halo-esque for some tastes. Single player is good, but forgettable and the multiplayer is a nice addition, but empty (sorta).
- Big improvement from its predecessor
- Combat is swell
- Voice acting is acceptable
- Graphics are up to par
- Single player is given some much needed attention
- A large amount of customization options
- Real players aren’t really playing
- Single player campaign is forgettable