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The initial impressions of Section 8 will not be positive for many due to the slightly odd setup system, fairly complex character customization system, muddy controls and bland single player campaign. This is fair to a certain extent as all of these are valid issues but once you become accustomed to the game it really does offer an awful lot of value, especially with a $30 price tag.
The battlefields of TimeGate's multiplayer-focused shooter Section 8 are big and loaded with opportunities for action. There are contests for control points and turrets, dynamic combat missions that pop up all over, tanks and troops falling from the sky, and a readily customizable loadout of weapons, tools, and passive skills. If you'd prefer to sneak into enemy installations by bypassing sensor array detection or jetpack right into the heart of a fight with a machine gun roaring, you can do it in Section 8. It's a game that pulls its ideas from a wealth of other titles past, and does so effectively, but not without stumbling over some control and combat speedbumps. If you're willing to put in some time to learn the game's systems and are eager to work as part of a team, then it's easy to have a good time with this one.
But let's be realistic: if you're interested in picking this up, it's going to be because of the multiplayer. Section 8 feels like it's starting to tap into something, and if you're looking for something just a little different, yet instantly familiar, you'll definitely get your money's worth (on the PS3 anyway).
Section 8 is a pleasantly surprising sleeper in the crowded realm of multiplayer shooters. If anything, the campaign just contradicts what the game is supposed to be by teaching you something completely different. I realize I'm harping on an admittedly small and arguably negligible aspect of the game, but I feel that I have to because, even after the roughly 4 hour affair, it still took several live multiplayer matches for me to learn how to play (and unlearn what the campaign taught me). That there was no worthwhile narrative and the fact that it not only failed to teach me about the game's mechanics and rules, but actually deceived me in regard to them, made it a terrible introduction to what turned out to be a fine game. Section 8 has a lot going for it, but its occasionally muddled, aimless and even contradictory design makes it its own worst enemy in a genre that's not lacking for competition.
Section 8 simply didn't deserve to be shuffled out with no hype. Nor did it deserve the demotion to a being PSN game, rather than being released as disc-based one. Granted, it is quite clear from the gameplay that this would have been better as a single player campaign with multiplayer tacked on, but what's done is done and Section 8 is still plenty enjoyable. It isn't the best, most popular or prettiest FPS, but if you're sick of all the others, you could do a lot worse.
If you don’t enjoy online warfare then I’d steer clear of this game. It is perfect for those looking to fill the Halo void but don’t expect the story to be of the same standard. There are plenty of other games offering the same experience but if the campaign mode was removed and some niggles fixed, we could’ve had the next Warhawk. Albeit in first person.
Ultimately though, there is a lot of fun to be had in this package, especially for just a $30 download. Section 8 offers an enjoyable blend of frantic FPS action and strategic squad-based gameplay. Yes there are several faults with the visuals, weapons, vehicles, and some gameplay mechanics. And yes, teamwork is impacted because not many people are using microphones (more of a PS3 deficiency than a fault of the title). Still, despite all of the shortcomings, I’ve had more fun with Section 8 than I’ve had with many an online shooter. If it were to somehow manage to gain a hardcore following, this certainly has all the potential to be a sleeper hit for 2010. I don’t think I’d hold my breath waiting for that to happen though.
Beneath its generic exterior, Section 8 is a fun take on the ongoing battle between rival space marines. Though there is only one match type, the dynamic objectives keep the action feeling fresh and continually force you to switch your tactics to counter the changing battlefield. The expansive environments can get lonely if you find yourself far away from everyone else, but they are well constructed, giving many different ways to try to capture control points or ambush your hapless enemies. And if you can't find enough players to fill all 32 spots, you can add as many bots as you want. The bots present worthy adversaries and allies, not only in their battle acumen, but in the way they approach objectives or just hang back to defend your base. With a few more weapon types and vehicles that actually worked, Section 8 could have been a lot more exciting. As it is, this is a satisfying take on the genre that makes up in fun what it lacks in innovation.
While Section 8 takes a bit of getting used to, it is worth growing into and finding a groove to play within. That's where the game fits, despite everything marketing has done to compliment the drab style it emits from the boxart to menu screens. There are shortcomings, yes, and it's by no means perfect, but as far as online-only games go (which is what I'm considering this to be), it's got some new tricks up its sleeve. It's too bad that without word of mouth or a prettier face, it will most likely be overlooked. If anything, it's an interesting take on FPS titles, inspired a bit by the RTS development team behind it.
Själva spelkontrollen är väldigt traditionell och spelkänslan är väldigt lik den i Frontlines: Fuel of War. Tyvärr har Time Gate misslyckats med känslan i vapnen som känns som fjösiga vattenpistoler snarare än högteknologiska dunderbrakare med massor av eldkraft. Detta tillsammans med den bristfälliga bandesignen gör Section 8 till ett knappt dugligt multiplayerspel som kan tänkas roa för stunden, men som absolut inte kan konkurrera med spel som Halo 3: ODST, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 och Battlefield: Bad Company.