Back at the beginning of May, we reviewed the XBox 360 version of Section 8 Prejudice, with Dean pointing out that it represented a fantastic multiplayer experience with a half-arsed single player campaign blobbed on top. Since that review (which you can find here) the game has also been released on the PS3, so we decided to take a look and see how it shaped up. And besides, it can’t hurt to get a second opinion, right?
The first thing to note is that the PS3 version is basically the same game. That means the single player campaign is still only just on the right side of worthwhile, with generic locations leading to other generic locations, wrapped in a largely forgettable storyline. It serves as slightly more than a basic tutorial, and you’ll want to play through to get the hang of the weapons available and the best way to use your jetpack and overdrive running. There is a story to follow, but it’s fairly standard fare and doesn’t shout anything new or overly original.
But if you’re spending the biggest part of £10, you need more than half a campaign, and as Dean mentioned previously the main bulk of the game is the online mode. There aren’t many game modes to choose from, but (with the exception of the co-op Swarm mode) during each game various objectives (or DCMs – Dynamic Combat Missions) pop up which certainly give the games some variety and interest, but make your first few games more confusing that your average Welsh speaking convention. Unless you’re Welsh, obviously. It’s not out of the question to get dropped (literally) into a game with 31 other players, all of whom know exactly what they’re doing and end up running around for 10 minutes, shooting at people randomly and ending up at the bottom of the scoreboards. But get your head round what’s going on and things start to click and you can earn your XP quite a bit quicker. Once you start getting a few kills and buying some kit (like turrets and AA guns) you’ll also get automatic kills, which helps to fill up your XP-ometer with a bit more speed.
The aforementioned Swarm mode is quite good fun, pitting you and 3 others against a 15 minute barrage of attackers while you defend an outpost. It’s fiendishly hard, especially with randoms who have no interest in you, but playing with friends is rewarding, enjoyable and never short of frantic.
You can use your method of entering the fray to your advantage – before you spawn you can choose whichever weapons you like, then enter the map in any position you choose. You’re then shot out of a hovering airship, plunging at high speed before braking and adjusting your position as required before landing. Want to drop into a quiet spot and sneak up on the enemies, or dive straight into the thick of it to help your squad? You can do either, although anti-air turrets will limit your scope when dropping near the opposing team’s bases. Landing in the middle of a huddle of enemies is suicidal, but good fun for a few seconds if you’ve got a rocket launcher to hand.
The weapons are a little odd, with the shotgun not being as beefy as you’d hope, and the rocket launcher being almost useless against human opponents further than 3m away due it’s pathetic peripheral damage. It’s fine against a non-moving target such as a turret, but anything moving at more than a snail’s pace will suffer next to no damage whatsoever, which is a bit rubbish. You’ll soon learn which weapons actually work though, and setting up your own loadouts is easy enough. You’ve also got a couple of vehicles to drive too, but the hoverbike thing is tough to control and the tank is a bloody nightmare to do anything useful with. The mechs are quite cool though if you can get hold of one, and pack some serious firepower.
And so, Section 8 Prejudice is actually pretty good. A little generic at times yes, but if you’re after an online shooter with a bit of variety and you’ve got a couple of friends to squad up with then you could do quite a bit worse. There are better FPS games out there, that’s for sure, but this could keep you quiet for some time if the gaming drought has bitten you.