With big titles such as Portal 2 and Mortal Kombat gracing our 360s many people forget how much fun simple XBLA games can be - like TimeGate's Section 8: Prejudice
Section 8: Prejudice finds Alex Corde dealing with the questions left behind after an uprising by the separatist group known as the Arm of Orion. Arm leadership refuse to give answers, leaving Corde and the other members of Section 8 without any trails to follow. Until the Arm strike back. The 8th Armored Infantry are again commanded to pursue and investigate the remnants of the Arm of Orion, only to uncover a more widespread conspiracy than any of them could have imagined.
When I first started playing Prejudice I had high expectations, but I was a bit wary that it would look and play like every other space themed FPS. However, one feature that sets Prejudice apart from other FPS's, just like its predecessor Section 8, is the special suit that grants the wearer superhuman abilities such as Overdrive, the ability to run at tremendous speeds, the jetpack which allows the user to reach obstacles out of normal reach and the Orbital Drop, which is essentially being shot from a giant cannon from space to reach the battlefield. These may sound unoriginal, especially with Crysis 2 being released last month, but really they're very well represented in Prejudice, the Orbital Drop in particular. Seeing the ground hurtling towards you as you break through the planet's atmosphere at incredible speeds is actually quite thrilling, this is also the method of choice for spawning in multiplayer but we'll get to that soon.
Prejudice starts off just as every FPS does, in a military barracks where you hone your superhuman abilities and master the art of computer hacking. After rigorous training, and an impressive Orbital Drop, the barracks goes to hell after an attack from the Arm of Orion. You are then introduced to Commander Thorne and his Orion army, then its your job to hunt him down and take him out.
The campaign itself wasn't as long as I hoped; I'd say around 5-6 hours perhaps. It deals with the player having to complete 8 objective based missions over 4 different environments. Prejudice has every type of mission you’d expect from a modern FPS, there’s the stealth sniper mission where you pave a path for you partner, the vehicle mission and the protection mission and then finally the boss fights. All of which are enjoyable and challenging but can get repetitive. The campaign also features numerous twists that really took me by surprise, but for most of the time it's just straight forward run n' gun tactics.
In my own opinion, this game seemed to rely on the multiplayer aspect more than the campaign. The multiplayer is good fun but quite hard to get used to. The maps are massive to accommodate up to 32 players Overdriving around the map at once. There is only one game mode called Conquest and it's a bit of a mess. There are four buildings on the map with terminals which you have to hack into in order to claim that building as your own but as you Overdrive your way towards it you are often diverted into other sub-objectives. These may include obtaining pieces of wreckage, defending a convoy, setting up an outpost and protecting a VIP, all of which could have been their own separate game modes instead of being piled together in one, but it keeps you busy and keeps you entertained. Also, as you successfully complete these sub-missions you earn money which you can then spend on fortifications for bases under your control or topurchase vehicles and mech suits to aid you in defending your bases or attacking the enemy forces.
There is also a co-operative mode called Swarm, which sadly I didn't get a chance to try out but with a few mates by your side I'm sure it could be good fun fending off wave after wave of Orion soldiers. The main objective of Swarm is to hold down a single control point for 15 minutes and for every five minutes you survive you are granted a special airstrike which takes out all enemies on the screen, quite similar to the nuke in Nazi Zombies on Black Ops.
I may seem like I hate this game but overall Section 8 is just an average FPS, it delivers on all aspects of a FPS that we all come to expect nowadays. It offers a challenging campaign with a well written, but sometimes predictable, storyline, a competitive multiplayer, which with abit ofpractice could end up being great fun, and lastly a co-op mode for you and your buddies.