Section 8: Prejudice: one man army

, | Game diaries

The original Section 8 didn’t really have a single player mode. It was a multiplayer skrimish mode tied together with a few cutscenes. This time around Section 8: Prejudice boasts a full-featured single player mode called the Campaign.

After the jump, how the Campaign stacks up (or doesn’t)

Unfortunately the campaign mode takes away almost all of the uniqueness of the game to provide a bog-standard, linear path broken up by fights, scripted events, and cutscenes. It’s done competently. You’ve got your imposing architecture, ominous fleets embedded in the skybox shooting at the ground and vice versa, and a nice variety of worlds (ice, lava, pastoral, desert). The set-pieces provide a little variety and a bit of wow factor. But the only thing left that you can point to and say, “That’s Section 8” are the loadouts.

Campaign mode taught me the benefits of the numerous weapons, ammo, mods, and equipment. Each checkpoint generously scattered around the linear progression of levels includes a supply depot which allows you to heal up and change your loadout. Campaign mode is also very generous with ammo and equipment unlocks. I really wish I had the assault rifle auto selection ammo in my Conquest games, but that’s a ways down the progression trail.

Each checkpoint will provide a firefight that’s meant to be played a certain way. One checkpoint may be an escort of defend scenario, so bring extra armor and a repair tool. Another may be get from point A to B (sometime avoiding a fight all together) so improve your mobility and bring weapons that work well with run-and-gun. You may be up against vehicles and turrets instead of infantry so bring your rocket launcher and crash ammo.

Everyone should play at least the first mission of the Campaign. It’s a fine introduction to the controls of Section 8: Prejudice which are more complex than your other shooters. You learn about zoom and lock on for shooting, and sprinting, overdrive and jetpacks for movement. It hints to you to switch weapons for more efficiency and even provides an intro to the high altitude drop.

And there’s my biggest problem with Campaign mode. You never get to drop in on the map, and you don’t get to requisition turrets and vehicles (except in singular scripted cases) which are key to the experience. You never get to explore or approach any fights with planning and positioning with the awesome wide open maps. Instead you move from point A to B fighting on the way with your one or two invincible bot squadmates mowing down numerous enemies or wind up defending a location for some set time or number of bad guys. You can do that in pretty much any shooter on the market today.

If you only play the Campaign mode, you’re doing yourself a disservice. So I’m not going to write anything else about the single player for this game.

Up next: the good stuff
Click here for the previous Section 8 entry.

Paul “Rorschach” Tobia is a big fan of games. When he’s not taking care of his family or day job he runs websites about games, podcasts about games, and occasionally plays games.