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Section 8: Prejudice Review

May 3rd, 2011 by

It’s only when you are Crash landing into a battlefield full of enemies, taking turret control points and sniping people from across the other side of the map, when you fully appreciate how mind bogglingly cool Section 8 : Prejudice is.  The previous title in the series, Section 8, failed to capture the shooter market with its mediocre plot and a multiplayer mode that was robust but failed to hold players in for the long term. it was a game that was quickly forgotten and swept under the mat of the “multiplayer first person shooter” – a victim to the current genre saturation of shooters that are of amazing quality but get burned by the constant flow of AAA titles taking their flag and replacing the emblem with the same old mechanics with almost no innovation, leaving the hidden gems in the dust.

Section 8: Prejudice attempts to reinvigorate itself with a new pricing structure, maps and campaign. For under a tenner you get a fantastic amount of content with robust gameplay that rivals the likes of Battlefield and Halo.  It’s a typical arena based shooter a la Tribes but on a Battlefield scale. You have a number of different tools available which can be used to capture turrets, repair yourself and throw grenades. Talking of turrets, the game can be entirely won with the strategic capture of turrets throughout a map, and is a massive positive tick in favour of this game scope of options.
It makes you think in a mindset of capturing turret points to mow down the opposition rather than mowing them down yourself.

The ways you get around in this game make you feel like a real badass. When entering the map or spawning you crash land into the map head first, allowing you to spawn anywhere – watch out snipers. Additionally you also have an “overdrive” mode, which is pretty much a glorified run button that zips you across the map ridiculously fast. With the maps being around the same size as the ones you see in the Battlefield titles, you can tell this feature is used a lot and is extremely helpful for getting yourself around a map easy and fast. You also get a jetpack for aerial assault and, as we all know, jetpacks are always appreciated.

You have seven basic weapons with six other items to help you in the game, with a tool that can help repair turrets, team mates and yourself, mortars and more.  Upgrades can also be used that enhance damage, recharge times and armour efficiency. You are able to unlock a slew of other armours and customise your weapon loadout, which is an integral part of the experience.

Swarm Mode is a Multiplayer Co-operative mode where you and your buddy team up and kit yourselves out to defend against waves of enemies for 15 minutes. It’s hard as nails and will take you hours to master. Conquest mode takes the form of a more “free” structure, with primarily competitive play. It combines elements of different gameplay into one well rounded game mode, setting you objectives and rewarding you with Victory Points which are both integral for strategic equipment drops that affect the game massively. There are quite a few of these missions, Aptly named Combat Dynamic missions or CDM’s in short,  this not only gives the games more modes to experiment with but it also enhances the replayability.

It’s strange for a cheaply priced, downloadable game to have a fully fledged campaign, you can see how much the developer Timegate spent into cramming this game with features, however the campaign is definitely not one of the game’s strongest points. The narrative is incredibly weak, with voice acting like you’ve pulled someone off the side of the road and had them talk very unnaturally into a mic. However it is redeemed by its ridiculously cool structure, bringing you set piece after set piece, however the bits in between – getting from place to place – were horrific, and very much felt like preparation of the multiplayer. It feels rushed and pointless, especially compared to the stellar multiplayer. The game would have been enough with a simple tutorial and all the multiplayer modes. Adding in a campaign just for the sake of it was unnecessary.

Timegate has not pulled any punches when it came to making a downloadable multiplayer shooter. The amount of content included can rival full retail releases and puts many other download-only titles on the market to shame. It’s got an immense amount of bang for your buck and is a fantastic multiplayer shooter with modes that feel fresh and dynamic every single time you play it. While the campaign is nothing to shout about it’s a robust shooter and I’m honestly surprised that Timegate has released it as a downloadable title and not as a full retail release, because it can sure as hell stand on its own against the likes of Battlefield and Halo. If you are into multiplayer shooters, this game is fantastic and chock full of content. It has the styling and polish of a AAA title in a tiny package.

MLG Rating: 8/10
Platform: PC/XBLA/PSN Release Date: 20/04/2011 (XBLA) 04/05/2011 (PC) Summer 2011 (PSN)
Disclosure: Midlife Gamer were provided with a digital copy of Section 8: Prejudice for review purposes. The title was reviewed over the course of one week on PC. For more information on what our scores mean, plus details of our reviews policy, click here.

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