Game Review: Section 8: Prejudice
Release: July 26, 2011
Genre: First Person Shooter
Available Platforms: PSN / PC / XBLA
ESRB Rating: T for Teens
Website: Official Website
In case you didn’t know, Section 8: Prejudice is actually a sequel to a 2 year old retail game that featured classic FPS multiplayer action (as well as a minuscule single player effort) encased in some Halo–like appearance. The game was not bad by any means; the market was just too crowded and the original Section 8 had little to nothing new to offer shooter enthusiasts. Prejudice, however, tries to amend everything that went wrong last time, with a lot more content, an actual and decent campaign and, above all, a price that will prove difficult to resist. Section 8: Prejudice is not going to blow your mind, nor it’s going to revolutionize the world, but it’s a competent endeavor and a mildly ambitious project for a downloadable title.
Let’s start by saying the looks of this game bear a striking resemblance to Halo 3, which means, they’re pretty basic, even for a downloadable title. They get the job done, though, and it must be said things like characters and starships, albeit somehow bland, have attractive designs that give life to an otherwise boring looking game. There’s also some decent work in the audio department, namely an epic yet a bit uninspired score that still manages to drive the campaign missions in an exciting way, and some very good voice work attached to less than stellar lines of dialogue (which suffer from an equally shallow story). The real problem with the technical aspect of the game is the actual performance, which is inconsistent in terms of texture work and framerate (specially in those huge 32 player matches), which in turn may affect your accuracy in the heat of battle (although that happens in very rare occasions).
Besides looking like Halo, Prejudice borrows some of the player’s abilities from Bungie’s game too, although for the most part, it has enough personality in this regard. The player will be able to sprint, use a jetpack, deploy lock-ons on enemies, carry up to two main weapons, hijack enemy terminals, drive vehicles and so on. One interesting aspect lets you use supply pots where you can customize a fair number of things, like the type of weapons you’re carrying, the accessories (knives, repair tools) and certain slots that, when filled, will boost your abilities the way you want them. That last part is actually the one that will affect the most the outcome of the campaign missions, as you can adjust your abilities depending on the situation of the battlefield, giving it a nice role-playing touch to this shooting game.
The campaign starts out kind of slow, but as you go on it gets progressively fun. It’s nothing groundbreaking and you will probably forget about it completely once you finish it, but it’s clear a fair amount of honest work was put into this section of the game. The selling point of Section 8, however, is its multiplayer component, which is surprisingly robust and offers a nice amount of options, sorted in two modes (competitive Conquest and cooperative Swarm) that should keep you busy for a fairly long time. Online gaming works just fine for the most part; Swarm is the quintessential (albeit bordering in cliche) Horde mode, and Prejudice does a competent job in delivering a fun experience in this regard. Conquest, on the other hand, is total chaos, specially when played with other 31 individuals. In this mode the objective is simply to control and hold as many points as possible, but once players start putting defenses in place, simply spawning may result in an instant and frustrating death. The more players involved, the messier the game becomes, which should be a definite drawback. Except it isn’t. See, the game still manages to be fun, and its chaotic nature (which will scare some players, truth be told) helps to a feeling of mindless fun that’s arguably appealing.
Julian’s Final Say
Section 8: Prejudice is a hard game to talk about. On the plus side, it’s genuinely fun, it features adequate FPS mechanics, its scope is surprisingly ambitious and it offers good content and many hours of gameplay for a very cheap price. Conversely, the game is not polished enough to be recommended to FPS veterans, leaving the question of how supported it will be in the coming months.
- Classic FPS action with a few neat additions and customization options
- Campaign is shallow, but good fun, and its production values are surprisingly high
- Conquest is a mess. A fun mess, but a mess nonetheless. This should alienate players
- It really has a lot of content for a $15 downloadable title
- Halo-esque visuals and design. Competent score and sound effects
- Framerate issues might prove annoying. General performance is inconsistent
Final Score: 7 out of 10