Section 8: Prejudice Preview
In 2009 TimeGate Studios released Section 8, the first original shooter IP from the developer of several F.E.A.R. expansions. Having played the first Section 8, I can say that is was a pretty strong showing for Timegate, and that I was looking forward to seeing what Timegate would do with the sequel. Over the weekend, I was able to get my hands on a preview build of Section 8: Prejudice. How would it hold up in 2011?
If you’ve played any recent first-person shooters, Prejudice will feel very familiar. You’ve got a single-player campaign based on completing objectives in a linear progression, much like Call of Duty. The story centers on the soldiers of the 8th Armored Infantry, commonly called Section 8 in the game‘s vernacular.
You’ll have access to the standard variety of weaponry, including assault rifles, missile launchers, light machine guns, and sniper rifles. This isn’t anything new. The weapons feel good, have nice looking models, and seem to work fairly well. You’ll also get the option to choose upgraded ammo types for each weapon that will allow you to deal more damage or fire faster.
In fact, the upgrade system in Prejudice covers all facets of your character. You’ll be able to increase your health, armor, ammo capacity, or even your accuracy with firearms. The same system allows you to change loadouts at any supply station, as well as saving your preferred loadouts for you. If this sounds familiar to you, it did to me too. It reminds me a lot of Tribes.
Prejudice’s singleplayer is fairly straightforward, but still fun. Still, my real enjoyment came once I jumped into multiplayer. The preview build we were provided shipped with two multiplayer modes: Swarm and Conquest.
Swarm is a fairly straightforward mode that has four players teaming up to defend a point against waves of enemies, almost like survival mode in Left 4 Dead. When you die, you get to spawn in true Section 8 fashion: you drop in from orbit. It’s quite enjoyable, and the smaller map size keeps the action very hectic.
Conquest mode was my favorite part of Prejudice. Teams of up to 32 players vie for control of four points. Holding points adds to your team’s score. On top of that, each team will be assigned missions. Some are collections, some require defending a certain point, and others are of the ‘kill X enemy’ type. As you kill players, capture points, or complete missions, you’ll earn money that can be spent for deployables, vehicles and other goodies. Again, this is very reminiscent of Tribes.
I have yet to mention the most important point about Prejudice. When it hits PC, PSN and XBox Live Arcade, it’ll run you $15. That’s right, for the cost of a Call of Duty map pack you can get a fully-featured, Unreal Engine 3 shooter with a full campaign and 32-player multi. That’s almost unbelievable. Looking at it, you’d swear you’d paid $60 to bring it home.
Section 8: Prejudice passes the most important test for me: it’s fun. It remains to be seen how long the campaign will be (we only got to play 2 missions), but from what we’ve seen so far, it will definitely be worth your $15. You can expect the game to launch in Spring of this year, and we’ll have a full review for you then.