Section 8: Prejudice (PS3)

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If you like your team-based shooters, then you probably have quite a few games in your collection by now, and one of them is probably Section 8. So what does Section 8: Prejudice, the semi-sequel to Section 8, provide that you don’t already have? Not much, but that doesn’t mean you should overlook it.

Section 8: Prejudice Screenshot 1

Section 8 (read the review here) and its semi-sequel, Section 8: Prejudice, share a lot. In fact, they share so much that the term sequel is used lightly here, hence the “semi-sequel.” They are both futuristic team-based shooters where soldiers are dropped from orbiting drop-ships onto the battlefield. The soldiers all look like most other traditional space marines, except they are a little sleeker, almost like the main character from Vanquish.

Various classes and weapons are available and each play an integral role in the ongoing battles, and mastering a specific class takes a lot of skill and practice, yet they’re all easy enough to simply pick up and play. Many players will probably just choose the default character and start playing. Battles in the game are won by commanding control points dotted throughout the game’s expansive (and very well designed) levels – the more areas of the map that you control, the more points you get. The first team with the required number of points wins the match.

Section 8: Prejudice Screenshot 2

In order to defend the points you control, you can summon turrets and vehicles from your drop-ship (including rocket turrets, tanks and hover bikes) if you have the required funds available. There is a slight delay between summoning your gear and it being delivered, and this is normally when you get killed. I often found myself dying and dropping back into the action only to find my brand new tank taken over by enemies!

Besides the ‘drop in anywhere’ features to spice up the gameplay, which allows you to pick areas of the map in which to respawn and continue the battle, you also get DCM’s, or Dynamic Combat Missions, which are little side quests that give you extra points for completion. These missions vary from VIP protection to information collection and target destruction. DCMs add great variety to an otherwise well-worn genre that could have become tiresome very quickly.

There is also an enjoyable singleplayer campaign, allowing you to get familiar with the controls and weapons, while also serving as a bit of an introduction to the world of Section 8.

Section 8: Prejudice Screenshot 3

Now you may think that up to now I haven’t really distinguished between the two games, the original Section 8 and Section 8: Prejudice, so let’s make that distinction right now. Section 8: Prejudice contains all of the above, and more, and on top of that it is also available for the price of an expansion, yet you do not require the original game to play. This is a great deal!

Section 8: Prejudice contains more modes to engage in, with the Swarm mode easily the most fun if you have a limited number of friends, who can join you online to help defend a control point against increasing waves of computer controlled opponents. The waves get more frequent and more aggressive every time and dying is not a question of ‘if,’ but rather ‘when’ and ‘how.’ If you have no friends online I take pity on you. Fortunately, so too does the game and the characters from the singleplayer campaign will fill up numbers as bots in this mode.

The singleplayer campaign in Section 8: Prejudice is also more fully realised and fleshed out than the original game, and does a good job of being a worthy addition, rather than an afterthought. The characters and plot go further than just the singleplayer campaign and make appearances in multiplayer as VIP’s or team-mates when playing with bots, which is a nice touch.

Section 8: Prejudice Screenshot 1

My recommendation is to try to play Section 8: Prejudice on PC, as this version sports smoother controls and better graphics, and there also appears to be more players available online. I was very surprised, however, by the quality of the PS3 version, so if this is your chosen gaming platform you won’t go wrong here either.

Now if you will excuse me, I need just a few more kills before bedtime!

- The Good: High quality, high value, low cost
- The Bad: Section 8 owners have seen (most of) this before; PS3 controls not as smooth as PC version
- The Ugly: Those thieving punks stole my tank!