The Lowdown: While highly anticipated, Section 8 manages to not only disappoint, but fall flat on its face. Weak presentation and mechanics leave this title behind the competition. If you have no intention of playing this game online, then it’s value lies around $5.
THE FACT SHEET
RELEASE DATE: September 1, 2009
PUBLISHERS: SouthPeak Games
DEVELOPER: TimeGate Studios
ESRB RATING: “T” for Teen
GENRE: First-Person Shooter
Section 8 is a large-scale, sci-fi first person shooter where fast-paced action meets military strategy in the far reaches of the galaxy. Join the epic battle between the 8th Armored Infantry and the Arm of Orion by taking part in fierce squad-based combat across majestic alien worlds.
- Select your own weapons, armor and other customizations to determine your role in combat rather than being assigned to a specific class
- Watch a massive battlefield unfurl below you as you burn in from 15,000 feet, then hit your air brakes and decide where to land
- Secure your territory or gain a tactical advantage by calling in deployables like tanks and walking war machines
- Explore dynamic combat missions that test your wits with unpredictability that changes the flow of battle
- Complete a full single-player campaign that reveals the story of trooper Alex Corde
- Blast into battle with up to 31 additional players online via incredible multiplayer combat complete with clan, team and individual stat tracking
The single player campaign revolves around the story of the main character, Corde, leading a squad of Section 8 soldiers to take down a Section 8 defector, Soren. Not only was the campaign incredibly short, it was uninspired mission objective one after another. For once, I was happy for a short single player campaign. The deployables were supposed to be a big part of the game, but you never have enough money to really use them in many missions. Everything about this mode is completely forgettable.
Part of the appeal of this game was the amazing visuals it was supposed to provide. The trailers gave a false glimpse at the polish and visuals you were to expect. However, when I finally booted the game up, it was the first of many disappointments. The environments are not very diverse or well textured. Not to say that the graphics were poor. Far from it, but at the same time I was not impressed by any means. I did like the design of the armor on both the soldiers and mech suits, but that’s about it.
For a shooter, the mechanics in this game are extremely stiff, even after ramping up the sensitivity. It doesn’t help that you have an extremely limited number of weapons at your disposal. Only 6 different guns and various gadgets do not cut it in a shooter. Movement felt very clunky and limited in a number of ways. There were also a number of annoying factors like not being able to move while you were repairing yourself, the weak knifing mechanics, and the incredibly annoying ‘sprint’. The armor has this boost ability that you hold down the run button and you’ll charge up a super fast sprint. Since the maps are pretty large, I understand the need for a turbo like boost for running long distances. However, when you’re in a firefight and want to run for some cover, you have to wait for the meter to fill up before you can really get any speed. Too late because you’ll be dead by that time.
I was shocked to see how bad the AI really was in this game. By far one of the worst I’ve ever seen. Keep in mind that I played on the hardest difficulty level. There were times when I was reloading and running right toward an enemy, only paces away to have him just stare blankly at me and not shoot or move. I’ve even jumped behind an enemy and shot at other targets further away and not have the unit next to me even take notice. They also don’t seem to have any real tactics, just rush in blindly and shoot. Completely oblivious AI, apparently just like the developers.
The only redeeming aspect of the presentation lie in the action cut scenes. I stress only the action cut scenes, and not all the cut scenes as a whole. It is in these clips that you get a glimpse of what you should be able to play like, compared to the bumbling mess you are limited to in the game. All of the so-called ‘acting’ portrayed throughout are terribly animated with voice work to match. Even the female voice that comes through the comm system to tell you of warnings, objectives, etc. is incredibly annoying.
So, the only real draw in this game is the multi-player. I had some fun with it, actually getting to use deployables and face off against other people. Battling in mech suits is pretty fun. Sort of like an advanced version of Rock’em Sock’em Robots. The ability to drop into an area of your choosing and controlling your landing is a great feature, instead of respawning at a randomly designated point. So the only mode is basically Conquest, with a mix of others thrown into it. You’re main objective will be to capture control points and kill enemy soldiers. They also throw in dynamic combat missions like stealing enemy intelligence from their base, which definitely make things more interesting. Multi-player may be the only thing they actually got right. While it is an extremely important part of any game, the number of other poor aspects seen throughout do not outweigh this one mode.
Conclusion: So, I realize I’m pretty late on this review, but for good reason. I just had no interest in the game after my first mission. Section 8 is a massive disappointment in nearly every aspect. It appears as if they spent 10% of their time working on the single player, maybe 60% on the multi-player, and the other 30% scratching their asses. The best part of this game may be the multi-player, but I just can’t imagine seeing enough people playing this game to give it any real replay value. Also the people dubbing this the next ‘Halo Killer’ were completely wrong. While I was never a huge Halo fan, I would prefer to play through Halo 1 again than Section 8 any day of the week.
- Mech Suits
Single Player: 3/10 | Multi-Player: 7/10