On the face of it, TimeGate Studios’ Section 8: Prejudice seems rather generic. There’s an unmistakable Halo-ness to the art direction that suggests a game all too willing to encourage a little reflected glory.
You play Alex Corde, a super-tough man-of-war type in a power suit with a bunch of guns and a threat to humanity’s continued progress on his hands. It immediately feels like a million other things, and that’s a problem. Fortunately, in the context of what you get and what it costs, it’s easy to forgive these little transgressions.
Section 8: Prejudice has a single-player campaign, a four player mode co-op mode, and a 32-player death-match. And it costs ten quid. It isn’t the best game out there, but to achieve this much and charge so little is genuinely astonishing.
The modes aren’t particularly original in terms of concept, but surprisingly effective feature called Dynamic Combat Missions helps immensely. You might be playing a standard deathmatch or capture the flag mission, but DCM generates optional side missions – recovering wreckage, escorting a VIP, etc. – which players can complete for additional rewards. It’s simple, it’s original, it works and very few multiplayer experiences deserve such a compliment.
There are plenty of weapons, upgrades and variants to choose from. Don't like your loadout? Change it to something else. Don't like any of the loadouts? Customise your own so you have exactly the weapons you want. Need a turret or a vehicle? If you've made enough money you don't have to wait for one to respawn, you can just buy your own and it will drop from the sky.
The best part of Prejudice, however, is the gameplay. This is pure popcorn fare. If Jerry Bruckheimer made a game it would play just like this. In fact, I wouldn't doubt that Nicolas Cage had the rights to Prejudice already. Throw in some dramatic flair: jet packs, offline bots so players can experience all game modes, a super fast sprint ability called Overdrive, and gamers will have their hands full.
There are problems. The arcade feel that works so well for shooting doesn't translate well when commanding a vehicle. The driving controls are counterintuitive, so instead of feeling more powerful behind the wheel, you feel like a sitting duck.
The enemy AI isn't particularly fearsome either. They are tough, particularly on the hardest setting, but when your target doesn’t take cover, work as a team, or on occasion even notice they're getting shot, it doesn’t exactly instil a sense of fear.
The single player mode in Prejudice can be completed in about four to six hours, but the real meat of this game lies in its constantly adapting multiplayer modes. Both Swarm and Conquest are sure to keep gamers busy for a long time, making this a better purchase than a huge amount of disappointing blockbusters that cost £50 and sell in the millions. Just get to it before Nic Cage ruins it.
A good shooter at an astonishingly reasonable price. If you have a PC that can run it, you owe it to yourself to give Section 8: Prejudice a try.