Section 8: Prejudice ReviewDustin Hill
Section 8: Prejudice makes a shift towards a smart shooter'. When the first was released, I can't say that I liked it very much and promptly never played it again. However, with the advent of the second game, where the developers listened to the community as a whole and tweaked the experience, the result is something much different an intelligent shooter that merges real-time strategy and team-based combat to form an intriguing experience.
If you haven't played the first game, Section 8 casts you as a member of a Sci-fi corps of cast-away soldier. Section 8 is an actual military term for discharge for soldiers that are mentally unstable and therefore unfit for combat. Rather than discharge them however, the game-world of Section 8: Prejudice sends them to battle.
Section 8: Prejudice is built around the framework of multiplayer first. There is a single-player campaign, though it's crafted primarily as a primer for multiplayer and is worth playing through. Multiplayer matches are based around the accumulation of victory points that can be achieved from for doing side-missions, capturing control points and (yes, you guessed it) killing enemies. Though killing enemies is lower on the totem pole in points you can get plenty of points by just repairing turrets and letting them kill the enemies, and you generally get shot less. Also it might be worth mentioning that the ability to sprint and jet-pack around is given to every soldier for enhanced movement, and fun, rather than having to use a skill' or class' slot to do so.
Here's the part where Section 8: Prejudice stands out from the crowd. The main multiplayer mode is a Conquest-style affair where your team attempts to capture and hold control points (bases). Strategic elements have been added in the form of purchase points you gain while completing objectives and killing enemies. These points can be used to air-drop in turrets, supply depots, Mech-suits and even tanks. These facets of a real-time strategy game allow players to heavily fortify spots on the map crucial to their success. There's also DCMs, (Dynamic Combat Missions) that are perfect for breaking a stalemate on the map. These missions are vital to winning match in Section 8 as their successful completion gives you victory points (to win the match), purchase points (to buy more tanks) and even provide map-wide benefits like enhanced radar, a massive tank, an NPC General or even eliminating all of the defenses of an enemy base. Combining just these two elements creates truly epic Sci-fi moments that will be talked about for a long time and an always different experience even on the same map against the exact same team of players.
Rather than finding weapons on the map, you chose your load out before and during matches. The combinations that can be created using Section 8's combination of suit modifications, weapons selections and modifications, skills and equipment is highly impressive. You can be a well-rounded fighter on the field, able to take on enemies and vehicles in the same effectiveness or you can specialize. You can also create a soldier who can provide powerful boons to your team when the time is right for example; being able to sneak into a base undetected, placing explosive charges on key points, taking out the tank as it tries to steam roll your team mates or even specializing in simply eliminating other players.
Though Section 8 focuses mainly on game play features to make the game fun, they also took great pains to make the levels, characters and weapons all look great. The graphics and sound on Section 8 may be standard Sci-fi fare but, they are well done.
Section 8 does a lot of things right from mouth dropping heroic moments to great guns and experiences. However, there are some features I didn't care for as well. The actual task of aiming your weapon is slightly inaccurate. Even with the look sensitivity jammed to the max, it's hard to get an exact level of control over your reticule that is needed for higher-end competitive play.
I've found also that it's difficult to gather a squad of friends together due to there not being a pre-game lobby. You have to join a game, hope there are enough empty slots to then invite your friends. This makes playing with more than a single friend a chore.
Though it's a minor point, to the experience as a whole, but I wish that there were more options to customize your armor outside of a handful of pre-made suits.
Overall, this is a stellar game. Between movie-moments and dynamic battlefields, Section 8: Prejudice provides a great experience. I saved the best part for last; you get all of the above for a mere $15 instead of the usual $60. Just over the price of renting a new game for a week, you can have Section 8 for yourself.
Section 8: Prejudice has slick gameplay, is genre merging and contains a large amount of inventive content.
If you'd like to read more about Section 8: Prejudice from developers, check out Realm of Gaming's exclusive interview with Design Director Brett Norton.
Disclosure: We are provided copies of games from the game companies for some games that we review.