April 4th, 2016

Time Played: 6 Hours

Last Played: 4/4/2016

Section 8: Prejudice – Unfortunately dead

If you’ve never heard of the Section 8 franchise I wouldn’t be shocked. It was a bit of a sleeper on the Xbox and PS3 back in 2009. And had a sequel, Section 8: Prejudice, in 2011. But it never really made a name for itself.

Section 8 is a first person shooter that is, genuinely, pretty fun and does a very respectable job of offering an engaging experience. But sadly it never really seemed to catch on with people as a multiplayer game. Currently on the Steam forums there are about twenty-five people that actively want to play the game with each other. It also doesn’t help that the PC version is hamstrung by Games For Windows Live. Which, is essentially the black plague of video games. Very few were good enough to survive it’s life sucking parasitism. 
That being said, Section 8: Prejudice has a fully fledged offline component with a single player campaign and decent bots. So If you were to buy this game right now there would still be content for you to enjoy. Which is nice!

Sadly I found the single player campaign to be pretty dull and it didn’t grab me at all. But, to be honest I didn’t buy this game for the single player and really had no interest in it. So take that for what it’s worth.

The real thing that attracted me to this game was that it appeared to be a cross between Battlefield, Halo, and Warhammer 40k. And guess what… That’s almost exactly what it is! The main game mode I play is called conquest. Which places you in a big sandbox map with various objectives on the map for you to fight over. This will require you to run from one side to the other many times over. But with up to thirty two players at a time, it’s usually pretty lively at all times.

I love me a battlefield game. And they don’t even have to be named Battlefield either. I loved Big Team Battle in Halo 2, Battlefield 2142, Power Struggle in Crysis, Red Orchestra 2, Quake Wars, etc. I have a soft spot for big ass multiplayer war sand boxes. There’s just something to them that I love.

Chaos, it’s probably all the chaos.

Now, what differentiates Section 8 from all of the other games that I mentioned? Well… That’s probably the game’s biggest weakness. Because there isn’t really that much too make it stand out. It’s a little bit generic. It doesn’t have a particularly strong flavor to it. It’s a Sci-Fi battlefield game where in you shoot dudes, drive tanks, pilot mechs, and drop in from orbit… That’s it.

Now, this isn’t a bad thing at all. Section 8 does what it does well. It just doesn’t do it better than anyone else. And I think that might be why the player base dried up. Which is unfortunate.

I have a game night with my friends every week where we play multiplayer games. And I brought Section 8 up because it’s cheap and something we could all play. My friend asked me what made Section 8 worth playing. All I said to him was “Nothing in particular, it’s just fun.”

Honestly, and sadly, I think that describes this game really well. It’s not particularly special. But it’s just fun. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

Now, if you’re still interested let me tell you more about the general flow of the game.
You move pretty slow, and are relatively fragile in Section 8. Which is an interesting combination. There are many occasions where once I start getting shot by the time I can react, break the enemy’s shield and start damaging their health… I’m already dead. This requires you to be diligent. And you really have to use the environment to your advantage.

Thankfully there is a sprint that allows you to cover ground faster, but is relatively slow. In order to really get somewhere you have to run for a short period of time before you really start to go ham. But this also makes you put your weapon away meaning if you’re caught sprinting it could go bad for you.

All of this to say, I find the movement to be a little too sluggish for my taste. But it does make the game a bit more interesting. Most of the maps are rather large, and usually have about four points to capture. So you really have to commit to where you’re going. By the time you get there, the enemy might have started taking another point– or even killed all of your allies. This is partly circumvented by the fact that you can literally pick your spawn point anywhere on the map. The game has your ‘reinforcements’ in orbit aboard a massive battlebarge dropping troops from orbit. This makes things really interesting, because no point is safe. And there is almost always constant pressure from all sides! I would say this is definitely Section 8’s defining characteristic.

There are also a decent variety of weapons in the game. You have the standards, Assault rifle, Sniper, Rocket Launcher, and shotgun present. As well as a more powerful ‘Machine Gun’, as well as a ‘Pulse Cannon’– Which is kinda like a grenade launcher.

None of the weapons feel as powerful as I would have liked, but they’re all usable and effective. One cool aspect of the loadouts is that you can choose various ammo types for certain guns. The shotgun for instance can fire slugs, or incendiary ammo. And that’s pretty dope.

As I said, Section 8 has a decent amount of content to offer. But it doesn’t do anything better than anyone else. It’s a fun game to play here and there. But I can’t imagine really devoting a large amount of time to it.

Maybe if it had a larger player base, or didn’t suffer from Games For Windows Live-itus.
If you really want to play a battlefield-like, and want a game that’s similar to BF2142 Section 8 might fill that role.

But I doubt you’ll be able to really play it with anyone other than the AI. Although the game is only $10 I don’t feel that it’s a worthwhile time sink unless you have friends. And for that reason I would say give it a pass.

What do you think?

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