A bigger game with a smaller price.
When the original Section 8 was released back in 2009, I have to admit to passing on the experience. It was not that the game didn’t look good, but rather that there were other games around at the time that were taking my attention and I couldn’t justify paying for a full price game that would likely only keep me entertained for a short while. I have never really been a huge fan of the “jump all over the place like a crazy person” type shooters when it comes to multiplayer either which, given the similarities to Halo, was where I assumed that Section 8 was heading.
However, Section 8: Prejudice is on the horizon and besides the obvious improvements that come with a sequel, the most interesting thing about the game is that it is going to be offered as a download only title at a very reasonable price. Surely offering the content and quality of a full priced boxed game in this way will get people to sit up and take notice? I certainly have.
Having spent a little time with the game, I was quite shocked at the amount of content that was going to be available. Usually, download only titles tend to be smaller and more casual. But there has just recently been a number of games that have comparable quality and quantity of content to the full priced boxed equivalent. Section 8: Prejudice seems to be one of those titles, offering not only a complete single player campaign, but also a couple of interesting looking online modes. Let’s take a look -
So this time around, players will be treated to an impressive story that should last for around five hours, according to developers Timegate. Starting as you would expect, the game introduces the player to basics through a quick, yet concise, tutorial. Here the player will learn how to shoot, how to run real fast, throw grenades, use tools and operate the short burst jetpacks. It will also give the player a quick introduction to what is, to me at least, one of the most impressive ways to enter a battlefield. Basically, the player is dropped from high in the air, hurtles towards the ground and then slams the brakes on at the last minute to provide a safe yet stylish landing. It may not be much, and it doesn’t really have any bearing on the gameplay, but it is very cool nonetheless.
Anyway, no sooner has the player become accustomed to the controls of the game, than all hell breaks loose as the base comes under attack. It is then time to put that training into practice. From a visual and sound point of view, there is nothing here to complain about. It may not be jaw-droppingly beautiful, but it is certainly functional and appears to have a reasonably high production value.
However, as with the first, the emphasis is again on the multiplayer game. The first mode that I checked out was the Conquest mode. With up to 40 players on PC, teams are given objectives to capture and hold against each other. Interestingly, there are also the occasional sub-missions that pops up during the course of a game. These sub-missions appear in both of the online modes and force the players to think on their feet. Players are able, through the course of a match, to purchase additional hardware to aid their cause, such as turrets and some impressive looking mech suits.
For me, a co-op gamer at heart, the Swarm mode was the real draw. Four players team up to defend a target against wave after wave of AI enemies. These type of game modes seem to be popping up in every game just lately, and they are great fun. Swarm seems to offer a higher calibre of enemy, making it that bit more challenging. Every five minutes or so, a massive airstrike takes place that wipes out all of the enemies on screen, giving the players a brief moment of respite and a chance to take stock and do any necessary repairs to turrets and such. Both of these online modes also offer the chance for single player practice with bots, which is handy for learning the maps and getting to grips with the fast-paced gameplay.
There have been a number of download only shooters just recently that have offered decent online multiplayer. But the fact that Section 8: Prejudice offers this alongside an interesting single player game certainly raises the bar. With two decent online modes, a single player story and the promise of DLC in the future, fans of Halo like shooters should definetly keep their eyes open for the arrival of Section 8: Prejudice.