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Section 8: Prejudice Review

Section 8: Prejudice Review

TimeGate is back in service with Section 8: Prejudice, the sequel to the less-than-spectacular shooter that came around sometime in 2009. Back then it hit store shelves for full retail price, while only offering some standard multiplayer stuff and a non-existent single player campaign. Section 8 didn't perform all too well back then, but the troops are back and ready for more, this time decked out with more goods for a surprisingly low price. But that's enough about that, let's find how out well the game plays and if it's any fun at all.

You sir, are Section 8. An elite unit of soldiers literally equipped with cutting edge weapons and technology from head to toe. I'm not kidding, unless there's a story event going on, you're covered in a cybernetic suit designed to serve up some pain. At any rate, the story is a short one and quite the summer action flick cliche. It's not necessarily a bad thing, although it would've been great if there was some substance to it.

Apparently, the Senate and Section 8's predecessors managed to piss off the wrong people: the original Armoured Infantry unit, now Section 8, were soldiers who were genetically enhanced in order to wipe out any species that stood in the way of human colonization out on the final frontier, "without prejudice," no less. Now they're back and thirsty for blood. What starts out as a jailbreak quickly turns into a chaotic scramble for survival. While the story isn't that amazing, TimeGate have managed to create some pretty high octane pacing that's only broken up by loading screens between missions.

I did say it was like a summer action flick, the only thing missing is some Arnie, but Sergeant Graves does make up for that. Somewhat.

The single player acts as a tutorial to get players up to speed on what to expect in the multiplayer. Objectives are thrown at you on the fly with markers and waypoints to lead the way. You'll be running a lot between points, sometimes even backtracking. Most of the time, you'll be tasked with destroying key objectives, hacking terminals, fixing something or dropping batteries from the sky. At times, a lot of ground needs to be covered and this is where Overdrive comes in. Sprint for so long and you can trigger Overdrive (or set it to do it automatically). You'll be dashing towards any objective at Flash Gordon speeds in no time.

When it comes to shooters, the gameplay mechanics had damn well better be good. Section 8 falls somewhat flat in this regard. It's not terrible by any means, but it can certainly be better. If anything, the game shoots a lot like Halo and maybe even some old school Quake Team Arena, albeit slightly sluggishly and with less impact. There's just no kick to any of the weapons, be they assault rifles, machine guns or even the flipping rocket launchers. They literally go "pew, pew, pew." There's also an lock-on feature that lets you lock onto any moving target for a few seconds, making it especially easier to hit flying targets. To be honest, the knife is the saving grace. Fatal kills pull the camera back from first person into third person view, showcasing your melee kill, not unlike the assassinations seen in Halo 3 (these aren't exclusive to the knife, you can pull off a Fatality with a mech as well, it's rather brutal).

Nevertheless, the overall core gameplay can be rather enjoyable. The whole drop-shock concept returns and you'll be blasting your way into the planet's atmosphere from orbital dropships in the sky. It's a neat mechanic and one that makes you feel like you're in an epic sci-fi flick. If you're accurate enough, you can land on someone down below, effectively killing them without firing a single round. Unfortunately, the whole human-canon mechanic gets old rather quickly, especially in the online multiplayer. To be fair, there is no cooldown for respawns, so the drop-in kind of replaces that.

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