One of the graphically impressive features of Section 8: Prejudice is the way that you spawn in multiplayer. Instead of magically materializing at a location you drop from a ship 5,000 meters (~16,000 feet, ~3 miles) onto the map. This is done in third person (pictured) so you can see all the cool streaking effects and how your battle-hardened avatar casually sways side to side as you plummet.
But it not only looks good, there’s some gameplay in this mechanic beyond a respawn timer.
After the jump, it’s not just for show
As you’re dropping in after about 5 seconds the altitude meter on the right side enters the yellow zone. If you decide to brake anywhere in the yellow zone your space marine acrobatically flips into a skydive position and you gain mouse control. Your travel time increases as you more soar than plummet but you can finesse your landing, covering quite a wide bit of the map if you brake right at 5 seconds.
If you don’t brake then you hammer into the ground exactly where you selected on the TACNET map. You’re stunned for a few seconds and the camera swings back into first person which means you’re vulnerable during that transition.
So you’ve got significant decisions that have some nuance to them even before you hit the battlefield. I usually choose drop points that are away from the action so I wait until the last possible moment to brake. It doesn’t give me the ability to change my landing point, but it gets me down the quickest and I can react immediately when I hit the ground.
Then there’s the Anti-Air. You can’t drop in anywhere on the map. Each control point has an attached AA emplacement and everyone can call in their own AA deployable. I love AA. I love the idea that I can close off whole sections of a map from deployables as well as spawning enemies with one turret. I love hunting AA, opening up direct drops onto a contested capture point. You can even create a loadout that will survive a drop into AA coverage, but that’s an advanced move and you won’t feel to good when you hit the ground.
It’s this level of detail, this combination of gameplay and graphics, that makes Section 8: Prejudice stand out above most other shooters. I could go on about the interplay of ammo types (concussion slows you down, EMP discharges your jetpack and overdrive), the strategies of building a base with deployables (chaining supply depots), and a dozen other things but I’d rather you find your own way and get the thrill of discovery that I did.
Did I mention the game is $15?
Up Next: surviving the swarm
Click here for the previous Section 8 game diary.