Section 8


posted 11/5/2009 by Nathan Murray
other articles by Nathan Murray
One Page Platforms: 360
Online Multiplayer matches are often fast paced and hectic thanks to an interesting use of achievements. No, not the kind that gets you gamer points. Section 8 has its own multiplayer achievements which are shared within a team and used to start new mission objectives during a multiplayer match. As a match progresses more achievements are unlocked and more secondary objectives are activated until things get to a point where there are 4 secondary objectives going on, two control points are being hacked, while each team has it’s own tank and several soldiers in heavy armor. The natural steady progression that online matches take are incredibly fun to participate in. For actual achievement points I didn’t do too bad in my limited time with the game, scoring almost half my points in the super short single player campaign.

Despite the games complex customizable options Section 8 is a first person shooter at heart. Maps contain 2 to 4 control points and are designed to be defensible with their own regenerating turrets and support structures. The design of each map is focused around the control points, forcing players to approach from certain directions by placing the control terminals inside buildings or on top of structures. So despite a players ability to drop in anywhere on the battlefield their options are still limited by the area covered by AA guns. There is still plenty of room to maneuver on foot using the super sprint function on your armored suit and the landscape is generally flat allowing for the liberal use of vehicles and sprinting. Natural landscapes blend in well with the high the super structures that the control points occupy. Nothing looks functional or practical to use outside the parameters of the game giving the impression that everything was recent built for the purpose of warfare.

The look of the game is fantastic and the art style of the different structures, weapons, and vehicles are sleek and futuristic however nothing ever feels “lived in”. Sometimes while I would play a match and look around at the different structures I would pretend that humans didn’t actually exist in this world and we were all playing the parts of machines fighting a perpetual battle that would never truly be won. Then the game would start to chug and my immersion would break, reminding me that I was playing with a whole bunch of humans in a simulated environment that depended on an internet connection. The sound track is appropriately heart pounding orchestra music that seemed to be taken directly out of the Lord of the Rings films and the voicing acting was solid, if unnecessary.

Section 8 is a generic shooter featuring a short single player story and an expansive multiplayer experience. While the depth of the multiplayer certainly is impressive there isn’t enough content on the disc to justify paying full price for this title. Because this is a new game and the single player campaign isn’t worth the price of admission the multiplayer suffers from droughts of any online competition. I had a lot of fun with this game and I would recommend it to anyone with a Xbox 360 and a gold membership, if only so that I have someone else to play with.

Wait for this game to come down in price and then hope there are still some people left playing online. The multiplayer of Section 8 is worth playing but with a major lack of single player content, don't expect a large healthy online community in the coming months. Most players will have moved on to bigger and better things before this game's price matches its value.

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