Review: Section 8: Prejudice
I’ve finally done it. I’ve finally set the controller down in order to write the review for Section 8: Prejudice. For the last week I’ve been playing nothing but Prejudice, save for a LIMBO or Alice break here and there. I’m somewhere around level 40 (out of 100), and have put about 15 hours into the game. Most of my time was spent playing the various multiplayer modes, but I’ll get to that in a bit. If you’re wondering whether or not you should consider buying Section 8: Prejudice, ask yourself the following questions:
1) Do you like Section 8?
2) Do you like Halo?
3) Do you like Tribes?
If you answered yes to any of them, you should probably play Prejudice. If not, stick around, because you may just find something that you like.
Section 8: Prejudice is a sci-fi first person shooter. You play as heavily armored soldiers who are outfitted with a bunch of cool stuff. For one thing, you’ve got guns. There are a lot of different guns and ammo types to outfit your character with; each will be more or less effective in certain situations. Next, you can run really fast. Getting from point A to point B in Prejudice often a simple task. After running for a few seconds, the camera pulls back and your character goes into an all out sprint referred to as ‘overdrive.’ If someone gets in your way, smash into him. It’ll deal a lot of damage and potentially dispose of him. Another way to crush your opponent comes in the form of the free-fall spawn system. Instead of just appearing in a safe place the way many FPS games deal with spawning, Prejudice allows you to choose where you drop in. Point your cursor and select where on the map you’d like to drop in. The map shows important information such as capture points, enemies, and potentially deadly anti-air turrets. Where you spawn usually depends upon what game time you’re playing.
In Conquest, two teams (Section 8 and Arm (Read: Red vs Blue)) face off against each other to score a certain amount of points. There are a maximum of 4 capture points on each map (the map size scales based on how many players are in the game at the beginning of a match), and Dynamic Combat Missions trigger when certain point totals are reached (I think). Capturing bases, successfully completing DCMs, and destroying enemies/enemy structures gains points. I spent most of my time playing Conquest because the games last longer than in the other modes and it seems to balance itself better over time.
Assault mode is essentially Conquest, except instead of points, the focus is on capturing bases. In a set amount of time, one team is set to defend their cap points while the other team tries to take them. If you’re on offense and take a base, that base is locked, meaning it can’t be taken back by the original owner. After time expires, the roles switch. Assault is fun but I was only able to play a few good games. The fact that nobody on the PSN uses a microphone to communicate with teammates makes this mode (and others) frustrating to play. It’s extremely difficult to set up strategies, especially since there’s no other way to communicate besides for voice chat. Something as simple as “focus fire cap point 1” will never take shape because only the people in your squad can hear you, and they don’t even have their headsets on. This is partly a problem with the PSN’s community and not the game, but another means of communication would have been much appreciated (pinging the map, issuing commands, etc.).
Skirmish is the closest you’ll get to Deathmatch in Section 8: Prejudice. There are capture points, but you can’t take any of the bases. Most of the points in this mode will be acquired by completing DCMs and killing enemies. It’s fun, but I felt like it was missing something. The other modes put a lot of weight behind base capturing and DCMs. This means that the action will always be funneled into any of those hot spots. In Skirmish, these hot spots don’t exist unless you set one up in the middle of the map and work with your teammates to stick together (two things that rarely ever happen). The result is a more dull game type, in my opinion.
Swarm is Prejudice’s answer to CoD’s zombie mode. You and three other players fight to defend one base as waves of enemies constantly assault it. The waves get stronger over time, and you’ll usually be thankful each time one of the three timed airstrikes comes through and blows the enemy away. Swarm is fun because it places more focus on one of the cooler aspects of Section 8: Purchasing deployable structures. I meant to mention this before now, but doing positive things nets you money. When you have enough money, you can press the up button on the D-Pad and scroll through a handful of deployables. The structures range from the cheap supply depot (heals nearby units/structures, allows you to change loadouts), which will only run you $20, to the highly destructive tank, which costs $180. Just point to where you want the item to drop and if there’s aerial clearance, it’ll be there in a few seconds.
A couple of things bothered me while playing Section 8: Prejudice. For one thing, the PSN community is filled with lone wolves who hunt on their own. Any attempt at working as a team or running a certain strategy is lost in the void. This game could be so much deeper if people worked together. I never thought I’d say this, but this game is probably better on the XBox360 if only for the fact that people talk to each other on that platform. The only time I successfully communicated with anyone besides for Brad was when a 16 year old kid kept whining about mechs and how he hates this game because mechs are invincible. I spawned with a rocket launcher, killed the enemy mech, then told him to stop whining and learn2play. A short while later I turned off my headset and haven’t donned it since. I had the bulk of my fun in Conquest mode, with some stints in Assault and Swarm. Skirmish never drew me much, mostly because the subtle direction in the other multiplayer modes acts as a sort of glue. When that glue disappears, things fall apart.
Section 8: Prejudice does a lot of things right. The fact that you can fully customize up to six or so loadouts is really nice. Leveling up unlocks new ammo types for different guns as well as new modules to spec into (you have 10 points to spend on things such as increased armor, bullet damage, stealth, etc.). The third-person drop-in spawn animation gets a bit old after a while, but it’s still miles better than the typical appear-from-thin-air system implemented in virtually every other FPS. I did notice that the maps this time around weren’t as interesting. In the first game, there were tunnels and other environmental features that made different points of a map play/feel/look different. Prejudice’s maps can be described as “a circle in the snow”, “a circle on a lava planet”, “a circle with some greenery”. They’re not poorly designed, but a few of them are bland to play on for long periods of time.
There’s a campaign in Section 8: Prejudice. I’ve played through most of it on hard difficulty and can say that it is almost certainly a long, arduous tutorial. It took me a few missions in to realize that I’m basically completing DCMs offline. The difference here is that the AI is godawful. My invincible companions must get a hundred dollars for each bullet they save during a mission, because they sure seem like they’re conserving ammunition. Some cool things happen here and there (running across an ice bridge and a plane swoops overhead, shooting around you), but the parts in between are fairly frustrating. I can say that the voice acting is rather good, and the game supports custom soundtracks both online and offline. Section 8: Prejudice is a very fun game with a team behind it (TimeGate Studios) that supports the crap out of it. Their website holds comprehensive statistical data, dozens of leaderboards, and more. There are even weekly contests to win swag. For instance, entering last week’s contest required that you get 250 kills between Friday and Sunday. It’s a fun game that gives you many reasons to play. I highly recommend it, and hope that you bring a headset along for the ride.
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes. For more info on our review policy click here. This review is for the PlayStation 3 version of the game.
To join PSNStores’s official Section 8: Prejudice clan, click here. FBC FTW!
What I Like:
- In-depth stat tracking and clan support
- Customizable loadouts
- Spawning wherever
What I Dislike:
- PSN community