It is not every day that a downloadable title is released that is filled to the brim with game modes, unlockables and content that rival most full price retail games.
TimeGate Studios knew it had an upward battle when they decided to transition from retail releases to full-fledged downloadable titles, but if they keep churning out titles at the same quality level as Section 8: Prejudice, they are sure to have a very profitable future.
At heart Section 8 Prejudice is top-notch online multiplayer experience with different game modes that are vastly different from each other. A full 5-hour long story driven single-player campaign mode is also included, but it plays more like a glorified tutorial more than anything. I do recommend playing through the campaign, as it will prepare you for the online multiplayer component. Jumping straight into an online match is a sure-fire way to get killed over and over again. This will frustrate some players and may even turn them off from playing any further. Hopefully you head my advice and at least play through part of the single-player campaign.
Once you do decide to hop into a multiplayer match there are tons of content to explore. Bots can be turned on and off, to fill spots in a match till players join to take their place. You can join dedicated servers or join official servers run by TimeGate Studios. The official servers have been able to keep lag at a bare minimum and I can’t even recall a match where I noticed any lag at all. The four multiplayer game modes are as follows:
Conquest: This is the bread and butter of the game. Large-scale multiplayer matches for up to 32 players with control points. Take control of control points and prevent the other team from capturing them.
Swarm: Survive wave after wave in this four-player co-op survival mode where shooter gameplay meets town defense.
Skirmish: Team-versus-team death match where Control Points cannot be captured and Victory Points are awarded for kills and completed missions.
Assault: Team-versus-team game mode where teams race to capture all Control Points in the fastest time
Section 8: Prejudice utilizes a truly free spawning system. Players can choose where to launch themselves from orbit onto the battlefield by selecting their placement on the map. Players can also decide to spawn next to squad-mates instead. While being launched through the air, the camera turns to a third-person view to watch your character descend to the battlefield. If the enemy has deployed any anti-air turrets in the selected area you will be ripped apart 99.9% of the time. You will be nothing more but bits and pieces raining down on the battlefield.
While plummeting to the ground, you can slow your descent by braking. This comes in handle due to the fact you now have complete control on where you will land. This makes it easier if you are trying to land on top of a specific building inside a base. Not braking at all will slam you into the ground hard leaving you open to enemy attack, which lasts for a few seconds.
During the matches players earn currency by taking out enemy players, taking control of control points or completing dynamic combat missions. These missions will pop up randomly during matches and may have you protect an outpost, or eliminate an enemy VIP for example. You can spend the currency on deploying supply points, turrets, vehicles, tanks and mechs. Building up a strong defense at a control point is paramount on holding the line against enemy attackers.
The game does has a temporary lock-on feature, which will confuse a lot of people on why it is included. Depressing the left stick will lock-on to a targeted enemy player for a few seconds. While it is not that long, if you have a clear shot it is enough to take out an enemy shield or armor depending on the ammo type that you have equipped (more on that later on in the review). Keeping it from being completely over powered is the long recharge attached to it as well as not working in areas that have a jamming device active. Not only can you not lock-on if you are being jammed, but you also will not be able to scan enemy players, which usually shows their shield and armor levels.
There are a handful of different types of weapons that can be equipped. Each player can have two weapons equipped at one time. What game doesn’t use the rule of 2 these days? These different types of weapons include machine guns, pistols, assault rifles and more heavy equipment like missile launches. While you don’t unlock new guns, you do unlock new ammo types to use with all the different weapons.
The EMP rounds for example will shred through enemy shields, but has a low damage output to armor. Slug rounds on the other hand will blast through armor, but has a hard time getting through shields. If you are able to play together with a bunch of friends, setting a game plan with different ammo types and weapons will help be a dominate team.
Along with your main weapon load out, you get to choose 2 from the secondary equipment sets such as grenades, mortar strikes, and knives. There is nothing more satisfying as successfully pulling off a knife fatality, or even better pulling it off on an enemy mech.
Utilizing Unreal technology the game does look much better than other downloadable titles. I would even go as far as saying that it can hold its own against most retail titles as well. There is the occasional textures load in that you should be accustomed to now from games running on the Unreal engine, but it typically only when you spawn. In the audio department, the guns don’t have a powerful oomph behind them, and tend to send
There are fierce battles to be had with Section 8: Prejudice. If you are looking for a single player experience I would look elsewhere but if you want a top notch online experience with plenty of unlockables this downloaded title is more than is needed. The combat is not as fast as a twitch shooter, but I have yet to find a game that equals some of the epic battles that I have been a part of in this game.
Note: The Section 8: Prejudice review was written based on the PS3 version of the game provided by the publisher.