Author Topic: [Video Game] Section 8  (Read 898 times)

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Offline setrataeso

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[Video Game] Section 8
« on: October 01, 2009, 12:07:07 PM »
Name: Section 8
Publisher: SouthPeak Games
Developer: TimeGate
Genre: First-person shooter

Now that the release season has begun, the majority of gamers begin their hunt for the few games to buy that will be worth their hard-earned cash. While the summer usually houses 1 or 2 decent titles, the fall-winter months are when developers release their big games. With games like Halo ODST, Modern Warfare 2, and Assassin's Creed 2 coming out in the fall, smaller games need to really up their game in order to compete with big releases and actually be noticed by the public. This brings us to Section 8; not a small release, yet not a big-name game either. Section 8 is a first-person shooter published by Southpeak Games, and developed by TimeGate, developers of the F.E.A.R Files expansion packs. Does it stand out enough to be seen among the heavy autumn releases? Read on to find out...

The first thing you should know about Section 8 is that it is very much a multiplayer-focused game. If you're looking for a singleplayer experience, then don't even bother looking at Section 8. If you are a hardcore multiplayer gamer, then you will find a very average first-person shooter here. It's a bit unfortunate, as Section 8 had potential to introduce us to really cool new universe. Instead, we get a half-baked campaign, and a bug-ridden online mode.

The singleplayer campaign follows a group of space marines, aptly titled Section 8, as they do battle on different planets. Sound familiar? Even though Halo ODST came out several weeks after Section 8, TimeGate felt the need to prep us for more first-person space marine shooting even before the bigger game comes out. The big issue with the campaign is its length. I managed to finish the game in one 3 hour sitting. With 8 brief missions to play, the offline gaming is hardly worth $10, let alone $70. The plot doesn't really make any sense. For one thing, the few cutscenes barely explain a thing. From what I can ascertain, there is a bad guy who wants to do evil things, and Section 8 must stop him. And the big twist? The bad guy used to be in Section 8! Didn't see that coming...

The actual gameplay is quite functional, just very dull. The weapons aren't particularly memorable, the controls are a little stiff, and most ideas are taken from other games. The interesting parts of the game are few. One neat thing is how you respawn when killed. When you come back to life, you drop from the sky in a pod, of sorts. You even have limited control over where you land. Even though Medal of Honor: Airborne has already used this idea, it feels right at home in a game like this. Your suit has a few neat abilities as well. You can activate jet packs for limited flying abilities. Also, if you sprint for enough time, you activate hyperdrive mode, which allows you to race across maps super-fast. In terms of actual gameplay features, I just mentioned the only interesting parts.

Multiplayer may be a little bit more exciting for gamers. The game borrows heavily from games like Unreal Tournament. The modes, themselves range from conquest to deathmatch, and a few others. Each server can hold up to 32 players and players can create or join all sorts of created matches. The multiplayers is pretty hardcore, so unless you're an FPS veteran, you'll have an extremely difficult time winning matches.

The slowdown becomes an irritation in singleplayer, as it pops up fairly frequently. In multiplayer, its more than an irritation; its an obstacle. Trying to do combat with 31 other players, while viewing the game as if it were a slideshow makes the game much less fun. The actual interface is not easy to use. Unlike Halo, which perfected the layout of online servers, Section 8 makes everything very difficult to access, and making custom games is damn near impossible.

The presentation is very middle-of-the-road here. The game looks last-gen, but a little cleaner. The music and sound effects aren't in any way memorable, and the VO is brutal. Mix that with the slowdown, and you have a bland looking game.

Section 8 could have been really cool. It takes a lot of ideas from other games, but then fails to use them properly. It lacks the cool weapons of Unreal Tournament, the compelling story of Bioshock, the online excellence of Halo, and the presentation values of Killzone. Section 8 is shorter than this review, it does nothing interesting with the universe it builds, and the multiplayer is buggy and dull. Overall, I can't recommend this game to anyone. You'll find better games almost anywhere else you look. Especially during the release season, Section 8 fails to live up to the competition, and provides a below-average experience across the board.

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Setra, I think that is the best statement I have read on this forum.  Very well said.