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Available on

Xbox Live Arcade!

 

Platform

Xbox 360

 

Genre

Shooter

 

Publisher

TimeGate Studios

 

Developer

TimeGate Studios

 

ESRB

M (Mature)

 

Released

April 6, 2011

 

 

- Extremely enjoyable multiplayer, especially Conquest matches with up to 32 people seamlessly fighting on the battlefield at once
- Although familiar (capture the flag, team deathmatch; the usual crew of modes) to the FPS veteran gamers, there’s plenty of modes (including newest, Assault) to entertain the shooting masses

 

 

- Single-player really too short and not very memorable

 

 

Review: Brink (360)

Review: Red Faction: Armageddon (360)

Review: BioShock 2 (360)

 

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Section 8: Prejudice

Score: 8.5 / 10

 

section 8 prejudice          section 8 prejudice

 

After downloading and beginning my very first foray into the new downloadable-only Xbox Live Arcade title, Section 8: Prejudice, I had two of my daughters at two separate times come past me and the Xbox 360 and ask if that was a new Halo game I was playing. One said it looked not only like Halo, but also Crackdown. That’s a good, accurate description of exactly was type of appearance and gameplay to expect in the first-person shooter that isn’t ashamed to “borrow” somewhat from other franchises while bringing a solid, robust online experience all its own at an extremely wallet-friendly bargain price – 15 bucks.

Section 8: Prejudice is an interesting sequel to 2009’s Section 8, a full-price, boxed retail Xbox 360 title. While the gameplay was much the same as in its sequel, the

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original title didn’t exactly entice gamers away from its inspiration, Halo, and all the other “big-name” FPS games such as the ultimate juggernaut, Call of Duty.

So developer Timegate Studios took a bold approach with its follow-up. Instead of trying to tackle the unenviable task of putting another full-price boxed retail FPS game side-by-side next to the latest Call of Duty and Halo, it cut out

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the publishing costs that go along with churning out actual discs and boxes and shipping them to retail and instead placed it into the digital download marketplace at a price that would be sure to attract more purchasers (and profit) than the original full-price boxed retail game. And apparently the gamble has paid off nicely, for although many gamers may not have even given the first game a cursory glance, Timegate Studios has delivered on its promise of a free new online mode – Assault – with the reaching of 10 million collective online Xbox Live kills. To reach 10 million in such a short time following its release, the sequel is proving to be much more popular than the original ever was.

Already mentioned is the appearance of Section 8: Prejudice, unashamedly looking similar to the latter Halo games, with a hint of Crackdown, too. The game looks very good, although not a visually detailed as it Halo borrowings. However, unlike some other notable FPS titles, there’s a “distant future” single-player storyline that isn’t very good. Of course, it employs the standard “humanity needs someone to save it from a enemy hell-bent on eliminating the human species” plot. Not very memorable, and pretty much its nothing more than a “get from Point A to Point B and advance to the next mission” 3-hour tutorial. This is definitely not a game that anybody without Xbox Live should be investing their 15 bucks into. However, for gamers that do have Xbox Live, Section 8: Prejudice’s online offering is an extremely entertaining and viable alternative to Call of Duty: Black Ops or Halo Reach.

 

section 8 prejudice          section 8 prejudice

 

Online fights cover the usual gauntlet of FPS fare: the team deathmatch/capture-the-flag Conquest to the Swarm survival mode against wave after wave of enemies to the mentioned-above Assault. Conquest matches are particularly massive, with up to 32 gamers divvied up into 16 vs. 16 teams, with the purpose being to capture control points throughout the map. After being dropped from the sky from a ship, gamers torpedo downward toward the battlefield, picking their preferred landing zone. Once on the ground, the goal is to not only rack up kills but to capture a control point. The longer that a team holds control, the more points the team gets, and the first team to 1,000 wins the match. There are missions initiated into the gameplay, such as escorting a VIP commander to home base (while the other team’s goal is to kill him before he reaches the final destination) or recovering intel (while again the opposition’s goal is to prevent the recovery undertaking). A variety of missions make the gameplay much more than kill-or-be-killed team deathmatch.

Giving support to the ferocity of the battles is an upgradeable cache of weapons, armor, vehicles and battlefield artillery. Weapons and armor are configured from the loadout menu. The more gamers move up in rank and “win” medals, the more weapons/armor that is unlocked for use in battle. From pulse cannons to shotguns and handguns, the expected bevy of guns is available. The sniper rifle features an already-steady aim. There’s also a fun-to-use jetpack (much like Halo’s jetpack) that each gamer has which flies them throughout the battlefield.

One feature that brings some element of strategy into the FPS action is the deployables that can be utilized. Individuals and teams killing enemies and securing capture points adds money to a gamer’s coffer. That money can be used to purchase vehicles – including my favorite, the mech suit – along with missile turrets and sensory arrays that can help turn the tide of a battle.

While it definitely has a “something borrowed” gameplay and visual style, and a instantly forgettable, brief single-player mode, its invigorating and intense Xbox Live multiplayer at such a well-worth-it bargain price provides gamers more than enough incentive to enlist into Section 8: Prejudice’s call of duty.

- Lee Cieniawa
lcieniawa@armchairempire.com

(June 11, 2011)

 

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