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Old 02-22-2014   #1
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Saph Reviews: Section 8 Prejudice

Disclaimer: The online is fairly dead. The game supposedly supports up to 16v16 battles, but only adds bots up to 8 per team, and even at the most active I've seen it, there's always bots. But the game is still a blast with bots. The bot AI is actually USUALLY pretty good, and especially with bots set to hard they can actually wreck you unless you have an optimized loadout.

Have you ever found yourself playing a game like Halo and thinking "This power armor doesn't feel powerful?" If so, GET SECTION 8 PREJUDICE NOW. If not, you're missing out.

Section 8 is truly how to do a Sci Fi Shooter RIGHT. The controls aren't as tight as Halo, per se, but it works well with all the features, and forces you to play more tactically. For example, you can call down turrets from orbit to defend key positions, and you can use Concussive rounds to slow enemies while your turrets havemore time to kill them, so the game rewards keen accuracy far more than "jump and run duels."

What makes the armor so great? It has 3 features that set it apart. First is the Overdrive. Ever wanted to sprint faster than a car? Go nuts. Targets rammed take substantial damage and are ripe for finishing with shotguns and knives. Second, you have a jetpack for handling annoying terrain. And lastly, your armor even has a lock on, albeit a very limited duration with a long recharge, to keep heavier inccurate guns on target at medium-long range, or to deal with jetpacking foes. .

You have 6 fully customizeable loadouts to choose from, with new options unlocking as you make progress, either via collecting "stars" in ofline/non ranked matches, or ranking up in ranked matches. Each loadout has 2 weapons, 2 "tools" (Grenades, knives, shoulder mounted mortar launchers, sensor jammer beacons, etc) and points to assign to passive upgrade bundles, like Stealth Shielding (Resist enemy lock on, not showing up on the radar as fast, and 3% shield boost per rank.) or Reactive Plating (Specifically an anti-turret upgrade, allowing you to drop in zones fortified by AA turrets and laughing off enemy turrets in general.)

Each weapon coms in multiple variats as well. The Assault Rifle, for example, comes in Rail Rounds (average damage all around) Slug rounds (Low shield, high armor) Burst fire (Rail rounds, more accurate, 3 round bursts) and the Automation Mod (Rail at long range, slug at close range.) Some examples of other mods for weapons include Crash Rounds (high damage to vehicles/structures low damage to infantry) EMP rounds (Very high shield damage, very low armor damage, drains Overdrive and Jetpack) Incindiary rounds (Very high armor damage, very low shield damage, deals damage over time.)

There's 4 modes you can play online. (The single player campaign doesn't award requisition points, so no turrets/ vehicles unless you need them for a specific segment, argh) Conquest has both teams vying for control of bases. Bases award points over time. Pretty standard mode. Next is skirmish, where bases are locked, and is basically team deathmatch. Then is Assault, where one team defends and the other has 5 minutes to capture all the bases. (I dislike Assault as it's best of 3, too long winded!) Lastly is swarm, with just you and 3 allies defending one base from hordes of encroaching enemies. Swarm is mad fun since you can't get dicked over as easily by jerks, because friendly fire only affects shields, so you can die easier but they can't kill you.

As for the battles themselves, the DCMs (Dynamic Combat Missions) help spice things up. "The enemy general is landing, kill them!" Enemies gain an NPC called "VIP" that stays with them until killed. If he reaches their base, they get bonus victory points, vice versa if you kill him before that. Other examples include Convoy missions, where a character needs to drive the convoy to the destination without it getting destroyed by the enemy seeking to blast it, Outpost missions, which is a forward base with AA guns and a built in supply depot but no ground turrets, Elimination missions, where you need to kill each individual member of the enemy team once before the time runs out (or protect your own!) There's a good 8 or so varieties, and they're determined based on points leaders and their "favorites" list for DCMs. For example, I never need to do any kind of "retrieve this item" missions unless someon else triggers them, because the AI are goddamn retards with these missions, refusing to use overdrive and letting the enemy surround them and killing them and anyone who dares to grab the item.

As for how the whole package comes together? S8P is very much a tactical shooter. There's just something so GRATIFYING about seeing people die trying to hack that control point and not seeing your turrets until it's too late, or seeing them trying to take out your turrets but lacking the firepower to do so becaue you're standing behind it with a repair tool boosted to the extreme with your loadout, And if you can destroy the enemy's AA gun and replace it with your own... right over their base you can't hack in Skirmish... hilarity ensues. Charging in will kill you. Being smart will net you 30 kills and 0 deaths, and I'm NOT talking about sniping!

EVALUATION: (Remember that my 5/10 is AVERAGE)

Gameplay: 8/10. This is TRULY how to do a sci fi shooter right. Power armor which is actually powerful, ability to shoot while hacking so long as you stay within a close proximity to the hack point (I'm looking at you, Dust514, and all the troll campers who just hide and kill anyone who sarts hacking) being able to deploy turrets, supply depots, and vehicles, and a TON of loadout options just make this game an utter BLAST to play. What holds it back from a 9 is the Engineering Interface, a high level upgrade that boosts both Req Points (aka how much you can call in, and it's the ONLY upgrade that boosts this!) obtained AND Syphon Tool Damage, which leads to most of the "old pros" rocking the exact same Pulse Cannon/ Syphon tool setup. It gets old fast. (I myself DO have these options, but only use them as a last resort to go "see, it's annoying, huh?")

Audio: 2/10: There's ALMOST no music in the game. Battles, either singleplayer or online, are silent outside of gunfire and voices notifying you of DCMs or info on vehicles/ deployables, etc ("Nearby infantry needs repair!" "Deployable destroyed!" etc....) Or plot, in singleplayer. The one piece of music I remember hearing is in the main menu/ matchmaking/ etc, and it was hardly memorable. But the REAL problem comes from issues with voice chat. I almost need to SHOUT into my mic for it to register me. My friends and I actually use Skype when plaing this!

Community: 6/10: The online is basically dead (all active players pile into the same one room and it STILL has bots, which are only added up to 8 per side!) but a lot of the remaining players are pretty okay. One example is how people will host servers and then AFK. They still count as an active player towards the minimum of 3 for ranking stats being enabled, and they'll be on one side, allowing two players to rank up by killing AIs, on the opposite team. There IS the occasional massive douche (Case in point: earlier I played with a guy who went around firing concussive rounds at all his teammates during an elimination mission to take out their shields and preventing them from avoiding enemy fire, before disconnecting) but these guys are few and far between.

Extras: 7/10: So mnay unlockables. It's great. "I was getting bored of Machine Gun Slug Rounds, but yay, I unlocked Incindiary!" You get new toys to try fairly often. But the old are not obsolete either! (I still rock EMP Machine Guns with Incindiary Shotguns on my tanky "juggernaut" base capturing/defender build, which are low level options!) If you play ranked, you even get Officer Pauldrons, which allow more points for upgrading the passives like Reactive Plating, etc!

OVERALL: Section 8 Prejudice gets a respectable 7/10, because who needs music in a shooter (though it CAN get you hyped) and honestly the voice chat issue is a good shield against music blasting retards who have no reason to have their mics on but to piss me off, so that gripe is equally beneficial in the end. The gameplay is that good. I'm unsure if a more active community would be good or bad, honestly, as I usually have more fun against the bots, unless I make a specific player my bitch for the round (as a base defender specialist, this happens a LOT when people refuse to give up on taking my base) or get pissed off at one and go on a vendetta driven revenge streak and make them my bitch that way. The score could be higher or lower depending on how a larger match would actually play out, I've never experienced it.
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