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Section 8: Prejudice review

Great
AT A GLANCE
  • Non-stop action
  • Deep customization
  • Extensive arsenal
  • Afterthought campaign mode
  • Familiar visuals
  • Retread mechanics

The online shooter space has become seriously crowded in recent years, with developers rushing to fill the gaps between Modern Warfare and Battlefield. The end result of all this scrapping for your online dollar is a whole lot of garbage and a few select gems. Section 8: Prejudice is, for the most part, one of the gems. It may not revolutionize the shooter as we know it, but it’s got enough solid hooks and interesting tweaks to be a refreshing alternative to some of the tried and tested behemoths. Here’s the kicker: it’s as big as a full-on retail release, but it costs fifteen bucks.


Technically there’s a campaign mode, though it’s really just an hors d’oeuvre for the main course of the game, the multiplayer. The campaign’s story features some bad guys, intent on doing terrible things, whom you’re required to shoot in the face/body. While it does a fair job of introducing the game’s mechanics and vast array of near-future weaponry, it feels really tacked on. The voice acting is awful, the writing is bland, and even the most hectic flashpoints are sabotaged by poor AI and unfortunate timing. While it may have been mildly entertaining to plow through with a buddy in a co-op, that option doesn’t exist, and as a single-player experience it’s very underwhelming.

The real star of the show is Conquest, an online mode where two teams battle for four control points littered across the map. Though the premise doesn’t innovate, the experience is chaotic and entertaining. Players select spawn points from areas that aren’t protected by hostile anti-air, and then rocket into play from dizzying altitudes (with a cool visual effect where you watch your soldier in third-person as he screams down from the sky). The back and forth of destroying enemy AA turrets to open up the map and deploying your own to deny access to your opponents adds another strategic layer to the constant brawling around control points.


Above: "Come on, Ted, you know we hate having our picture taken"

Aside from holding CPs, teams can earn victory points by completing mid-match missions ranging from convoy escort to calling down massive airstrikes. These sub-missions inside the larger context of a match add some diversity and individuality to each game, and though they’re completely optional, smart teams will take advantage of these opportunities to ring up big chunks of points. Toss in mechs, jet-bikes and siege tanks, as well as deployable turrets and a host of other purchasable goodies, and the action reaches a delightful fever pitch of chaos and carnage. 

Performing well in a match not only earns requisition cash for summoning vehicles and turrets but also accrues experience towards leveling your in-game avatar. As you level up you’ll unlock new weapon variants and ammo types, as well as upgrade options to customize your soldier’s performance. Though gaining experience to unlock character perks is a well-trod mechanic at this point, the breadth and depth of options in Prejudice are enough to keep you invested between matches.


Above: More proof Craigslist personals are a bad idea 

The other multiplayer mode on offer is Swarm mode, where players defend a single control point against waves of AI enemies. Again, not breaking new ground here, but Prejudice’s array of defensive options makes beating back the horde a welcome distraction from the frenetic action of Conquest.

The game is fueled by the Unreal engine, which is starting to show its age. Though graphically competent, Prejudice’s steel bunkers and massive power armor look a little too familiar. The lackluster visuals get a slight boost from some gritty, suitably epic sound design, but Prejudice certainly isn’t the prettiest girl at the dance. That said, our online experience was almost universally lag-free, and the wait time between matches never felt excessive, nor was it difficult to find a game. If there aren’t enough human players to populate a match, Prejudice offers the option of filling out the ranks with bots which, while prone to typically stupid bot behavior at times, can also be surprisingly deadly. In fact, if you don’t like playing human opponents or just want some practice, you can populate the Conquest and Swam modes entirely with bots to extend your single-player experience.


Above: This planet is gorgeous!  Can’t wait to see what it looks like on fire! 

Prejudice won’t completely reshape the way you think about online shooters or alter the multiplayer landscape forever, but it doesn’t intend to. What it does do is deliver a feature-heavy, high energy experience that’ll satisfy shooter fans craving a new addiction. All for a measly 1200 points.

Apr 26, 2011

More Info

Release date: Apr 20 2011 - Xbox 360 (US)
Apr 20 2011 - Xbox 360 (UK)
Available Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, PC
Genre: Shooter
Published by: Timegate Studios
Developed by: Timegate Studios
ESRB Rating:
Teen: Blood, Language

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21 comments

  • Nodoudt - May 1, 2011 12:20 a.m.

    This game kind of fills the void for the Battlefront 3 we never got.
  • SerpentineZERO - April 28, 2011 3:06 a.m.

    I was looking forward to this game. It's a full on sequel for 1/4th the price. I never got around to playing the first one, but i read in a preview that the devs were taking feedback into consideration and actually trying to fix the problems the first one had. I'll be getting the trial. I do hope it's better than Breach, which for some reason, i'm associating with this solely for the fact that IGN scored both games two points lower than GR, and are both multiplayer focused shooters. Breach was only ok.
  • Spybreak8 - April 27, 2011 11:43 p.m.

    Awesome, maybe if this does so well more devs will price their games at reasonable options like this one.
  • EDfromRED - April 27, 2011 5:09 p.m.

    P.S.Heads up: When I first played Prejudice I downloaded it to a usb stick, where it ran soooo slow. I moved it to the 360 HD and have not have a hitch since
  • EDfromRED - April 27, 2011 5:04 p.m.

    It's a fantastic game, the multiplayer Conquest matches last a long time too, giving you time to acrue the credits to buy the badass gunmounts,mech-suits,hover bikes and Tanks. Very addicting!
  • Manguy17 - April 27, 2011 3:37 p.m.

    That last picture looks insanely similar to Reach
  • waitingforCharlietosnap - April 27, 2011 1:36 p.m.

    What an appropriate title for something released during the Week of Hate...
  • HeavyTank - April 27, 2011 12:53 p.m.

    An awesome price for an incredibly fun game.Hell yes!
  • drunkunicron - April 27, 2011 12:27 p.m.

    I've tried the conquest mode and I will admit that this is a lot of game for price. The only thing that hinders me is that I have played big shooters and I end up being part of the gun fodder factor.
  • Robx - April 27, 2011 10:03 a.m.

    I'm still doubting, the first one wasn't really good IMO.
  • FVDub - April 27, 2011 8:43 a.m.

    After enjoying the demo and reading GR's review, I am convinced. This will be my next XBLA purchase. I hope the online community is more than 300 people.
  • MassSaber - April 27, 2011 5:31 a.m.

    Get this game tell you're friends to buy this game trust it well worth and 10x better than Cod multiplayer could ever be
  • ThatGuyFromTV - April 27, 2011 2:23 a.m.

    i tried the 30 minute demo, probably won't buy it but i absolutely recommend it to anyone interested. few things are more satisfying than running up to an enemy mech, grenading its shields, jumping around it and finally scaring it into running into a lava pit. :D ThatGuyFromTV approves!
  • HankVenture - April 27, 2011 1:13 a.m.

    gotta say it's a great game, I enjoyed the first one but this one fixed most the issues, it's less of a new game and more just a major update
  • D0CCON - April 27, 2011 1:08 a.m.

    Lag-free? Great. I always get excited when I see a good looking online fps go up on xbla, yet I'm always afraid since they seem to be loaded with lag most of the time. It looks like a great deal and it could fill that gap that occurs when I don't feel like playing Halo Reach or Bad Company 2. And to think you could get a meh map pack for the same price.
  • SVC5 - April 27, 2011 1:07 a.m.

    I highly recommend this game. For $15 dollars you get a very solid game that can last you a long time.
  • CH3BURASHKA - April 27, 2011 12:59 a.m.

    Funny thing: I used to pronounce "hors d'ouevre" as "whores devurse". It was only after I saw a McDonalds commercial where they explicitly said it correctly that I realized how stupid I was. As for the review, sure, why not. I distinctly recall being incredibly stoked for the first game. The few trailers for the campaign made me think this would be a tour de force of video game narration, instead of the multi-player with bots it really was. I seem to have a habit of being irrationally excited for what turn out to be "okay" games: Section 8, Dark Sector, and Gun Loco. Granted, Gun Loco got cancelled, but it was obviously going to be a 7 game, fun but with too many quirks that got in the way.
  • IronHeaver - April 27, 2011 12:55 a.m.

    Seems interesting, I like how there honest about treading the beaten path, not claiming to be "revolutionary" and crap like that, just solid gameplay with a good multiplayer, and sometimes thats all you need.
  • NelosAngelos - April 27, 2011 12:49 a.m.

    Looks nice, the price is nothing short of very inviting...however I still have Halo Reach, Brink, Rage, Killzone 3, BioShock 2 to save up/play through...and bulletstorm, borderlands, gears of war 2 and 3 etc...
  • MattMk2 - April 27, 2011 12:35 a.m.

    Section 8 Prejudice is AWESOME! And why do so many reviews hateon the graphics? Its better looking then both Homefront and Call of Duty Black Ops

Showing 1-20 of 21 comments

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