Publisher: TimeGate Studios
Developer: TimeGate Studios
ESRB rating: Teen
Release date: April 20, 2011
Section 8: Prejudice was released today at the Xbox Live Marketplace. In a week full of top-tier game releases, it would seem that TimeGate Studios was setting itself up for failure by releasing it in such close proximity to these other titles. There’s plenty in this title, however, that make it deserving to rank amongst the best releases of 2011. And the best part is the price. For 1200 MS points (roughly $15), you can have a game that is as good as any Halo iteration I’ve played.
I’ve already detailed most of the backstory in my preview, so I’ll spare everyone the recap. Instead, I’ll jump right into the pros/cons of the game. I want to start off by saying that even though I was tempted, I tried my hardest not to let the price tag alter how I viewed the game. In other words, if something didn’t meet my expectations, I wouldn’t use the “but it’s just a $15 game” excuse. TimeGate was making some big claims about Prejudice, and I was determined to make sure that it could stand up to FPS games with standard pricing.
With the above in mind, my first thought while watching the opening cinematic on my 720p TV was, “the graphics are pretty impressive for a $15 game.” While S8: P is visually appealing, and definitely polished enough to fit in with most of the current crop of releases, it’s not going to drop jaws or compete with something like Crysis 2. The explosions were underwhelming. When a giant cargo ship explodes from being overloaded with 10k pounds of fuel, I want an explosion that threatens my continence. Aside from my desire to be blown away by explosions (excuse the pun), however, I thought the character animations and modeling were pretty slick. Just seeing Alex Corde in his armored suit left me a little tingly, and I knew stuff was about to hit the fan. He looked ready to stockpile some corpses, and that brings me to the game’s weaponry.
Section 8: Prejudice doesn’t feature dismemberment, gratuitous blood, or decapitations, but there are some entertaining ways of killing your enemy. These special fatality moves are kept novel by limiting your exposure to them in typical combat. They can’t be performed every other kill, so you’ll look forward to seeing the message “press RB for fatality.” Of the fatalities I performed, my favorites were slicing throats with my knife and picking up enemies in my mech suit and repeatedly slamming them into the ground. Initially, the aiming mechanic felt off, but messing around with the sensitivity eliminate some of my awkwardness. These tools of destruction seem both balanced and accurate, and firing the different weapons actually feels different based on the vibration feedback and how the recoil affected the aiming. I’ve played $60 games where the aiming sucked, and luckily TimeGate seems to have paid close attention to making their weapons satisfying. Did I mention the mech suit?
Let’s talk about vehicles. It seems like every FPS needs to have vehicles now. When I first played Battlefield 1942, I knew I was the type of gamer that wanted vehicles in all my shooters. There’s nothing revolutionary about the game’s vehicles, but they are a butt-load of fun to drive and attack with. And the hover bike and mech suit are better than any of the Halo vehicles (except perhaps the Banshee).
Overall, Section 8: Prejudice is very impressive. With some additional depth added to the story, it could rival established franchises like Halo. And at just $15, it could be one of the game changers for a stagnant industry.