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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Section 8: Prejudice - Verdict

Title: Section 8 - Prejudice
Systems: Downloadable Game: Xbox Live
Format: HDTV available, Online Multiplayer, No Co-Op, Subtitles
Release Date: April 20th 2011

There's a certain passion I've had over the years for downloadable games. I mean, the addition of buying Games on Demand, for cheaper prices and not having to actually go to the store to pick it up sounds great. We're all lazy and don't want to leave our house, right? Well, so far there's been no victor for a singular downloadable game, in my opinion. The PS3 has games like Flower, and the 360 has games like Torchlight. Section 8: Prejudice, a sequel to the surprisingly impressive Section 8 from last year, fails to impress, and is an excellent example of a mixed bag.

I'll let this out right here: I like the story in Prejudice. Soldiers have been launched from a space cannon when they intergalatically traveled to tame it (how the fuck you do that though, I have no idea) from the Section 8 military section. And... that's it, though. It's too short, and I could see why: The first problem evident is that there's several unoriginal level design flaws. You go from Point A to B, shoot x number of AI enemies, with the annoying training modes that will pop up. Though it is lessened from the first game, there's no point to train for multiplayer that some gamers will probably play the minute they get the game.

And it's repetitive. Throughout the single player campaign, hordes of enemies will launch out at you, and homing missiles that will blow your genitals off. At least they walked towards something different from the last game: they went from mind-numbingly boring to mind-numbingly difficult. What an improvement. Every mission you take feels like the last one: it seems to follow the same flow with slightly different tasks. It feels like most of the missions were slapped on the package.

 The graphics are really good: from the snow, grass, and dirt. Playing this on an HDTV is amazing.

On the upside, there's some improvements made to your special suit. You can use the jetpack, which I think is really useful, and dash, which is barely tolerable, as additional weapons of mass destruction against the incredible amount of enemies that just SOMEHOW don't seem to stay damn dead. Unlike the tight, on-the-click button responses that games like Call of Duty and Battlefield have, but they're rather dragging onward, like it got injured along they way and limps instead of jogs, so to speak. (Terrible metaphor, I know.)
There's a ton of weapons available: assault rifles, machine guns, SMGs, shotguns, explosives, and different kinds of ammunition, like in Borderlands, and each have different properties and damage against the environment like vehicles, armor, and other baddies, but it doesn't have the desired effect.

Thankfully, however, the multiplayer is slightly amped up from the last game. Conquest comes in as a returning mode, the objective-based missions, like Stockpile in Halo or Domination in COD. If you complete a side objective, kill enemies, or defend this position enough, you're able to call in supply points for various weapons, like turrets, jeeps, aircraft, etc. This system, intertwined with the defend-the-position mode, sounds interesting enough on paper, but doesn't go through in the way most would expect. At times, the modes feel very repetitive (even in multiplayer), and aren't as exciting as other multiplayer matches online gamers have come to love.

Swarm is probably the redemption point in this game, and maybe alone worth the price of pay. In a last stand mode reminiscent of the survival mode in the Left 4 Dead series, with a select number of players against the environment, where you stockpile on weapons in a fight-or-flight. It's a really entertaining cooperative mode, and should keep you busy if you have downloaded the game.

 Swarm is a highly impressive mode, and a great addition to the series.

On a positive note, the graphics look really good. The textures are strong and the cinema is bolder. The digital system looks great in its 4:3 format, from the lush backgrounds. Many thanks to the ever-popular Unreal Engine, and it's a good surprise. The soundtrack and sound effects also kick off at a progressively good rate, the rattling gunfire sounds as good as you'd expect. But the voice acting is more drab than Vin Diesel's entire career.

If you have some money to spare, and you're looking for a game to download and waste the weeks on, I can't recommend Section 8: Prejudice entirely. I did have a lot of fun: Conquest is actually really nice, and Swarm is superior. But there's just not a lot of material and the single player mode is arguably worth skipping entirely. It has potential, but doesn't show it. I'd have to, nonetheless, give it a very mixed recommended.

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