PAX East Impressions: Section 8: Prejudice
On the second day of PAX East, I headed over to the Microsoft booth to get my hands on an upcoming XBLA and PSN title, Section 8: Prejudice. If you haven’t played Section 8, I highly recommend checking it out. There’s still an active player community and Brad and I hop on from time to time to rock the mechanical socks off of noobs. Check out his review, he rather likes it. I played Section 8 a few days before going to Boston in order to brush up on my skills, and what I found in its sequel was genuinely impressive.
Section 8 is a sci-fi First Person Shooter that features a ton of customization options in order to fit a wide variety of play styles. The sequel, Prejudice, coats the original in a layer of polish while also adding a lot of new content. Visually, it looks like a combination of Halo and Blacklight: Tango Down. It plays, however, like a game all its own. The standard shoot and ‘nade FPS fare is present and in working order, but the myriad of badass gameplay features sets this game apart from others.
The original Section 8 had a storyline that played like a multiplayer tutorial. It introduced the player to all of the tools in his arsenal and basically said, “take what you have learned and use it to smash and bang opponents online.” Prejudice is said to include a full-fledged singleplayer campaign that lasts about 6 hours. There are multiple multiplayer modes wherein up to 32 players duke it out for supremacy. None of the maps from the previous games will be returning. Some may look similar, said the TimeGate rep I talked to, but none are exactly the same. I played a few matches on a few different maps and they all looked great. I also had a look at a brand new game mode: Swarm. In short, Swarm is a 4-player co-op horde mode in which players fight to hold a control point as enemies spawn and siege it. Check out this developer walkthrough of the new mode:
It’s great. As in the original game, you can free-spawn wherever you want on the map. In Prejudice, however, the drop animation is in third person, so you get to watch your mech do crazy backflips and acrobatic awesomeness in the air while he vaults towards the battlefield. Another feature that’s been improved is the ability to call in deployable turrets and vehicles wherever you need them. A few new items are included in the arsenal, and those making a second appearance have been balanced to ensure fair play. The aim mechanic has also been nerfed, making it less of an overpowered crutch and more of a strategic, useful tool. Dynamic Combat Missions are also back, which is a good thing. At any time while capping control points and dominating enemies, a mission crops up and gives you the opportunity to score major points by completing it. These vary from launching air strikes, escorting VIPs, collecting data, and more. It keeps players on their toes and makes for a different experience every round. The number of unlockables has increased from about 10 in the original game to over 60 in Prejudice. The icing on the cake is TimeGate’s plan to aggressively support the game with post-release DLC. The guy I spoke with told me that paid DLC will likely happen sometimes, but they’d love to patch in full game modes, weapons, and map packs for free as much as they can. The bottom line is I’m going to play Section 8 until this game comes out. Then, I’m going to play Section 8: Prejudice. It’s only $15 dollars, and it is filled to the brim with (FUN) content. It should be out in the next couple of months. Simultaneous release isn’t 100% confirmed, but the person I spoke with said both versions (XBLA and PSN) will be ready to release at the same time. If it is a timed exclusive, let’s hope it doesn’t take them long to bring it to the PSN.