Most people will pass Section 8, the game looks dated, the story is cliché, and it has some technical problems. As a network title though, Section 8 offers a good time with lots of value.
Section 8 has several interesting gameplay mechanics not typically seen in first person shooters. Waiting for a long respawn counter has been removed, and instead you can drop wherever you want on the battlefield, provided you’re not in range of enemy AA turrets. This is a lot of fun and also lends itself as a pivotal strategic maneuver.
It’s also a challenge to land on a moving target, a feat I have yet to accomplish. Section 8 also allows you to charge your sprint and bolt across the field of battle. It’s these types of gameplay refinements which help Section 8 stand out. Sprinting across the map, using my jet-pack, flipping in mid-air, and launching a rocket into my opponents face is one of my favorite experiences. The controls are responsive, and given the extra features included in the control scheme, they are deserving of some praise.
Players also have the ability to order turrets, radar, heavy armor, and tanks to the battlefield by spending cash. You can obtain cash by killing opponents and completing objectives. Getting the heavy armor mech suit is a blast, these unlocks are incredibly powerful and can change the outcome of a battle very quickly. If that wasn’t enough, you can also do fatalities, this allows you to grab the enemy and smash his body into the ground. It’s incredibly satisfying and a nice addition to the game play.
Speaking of enemies, the game has some great A.I; it’s not breathtaking however it acts realistically to the player’s actions. For instance, the A.I will switch weapons based on the situation, take cover behind and under cover, this may seem trivial, but several shooters fail to have decent A.I. The friendly A.I is also good, it heals you, repairs objects, and does a good job of giving cover fire.
Section 8 does feature a campaign; however it’s short and serves as a tutorial for the multiplayer. The story is lackluster, but doesn’t try to be anything different, and has some good cut scenes in-between the action. If you feel inclined, you could complete the campaign in a few hours.
As far as networking goes, it was hard to gauge if any significant latency problems existed. This was due to the low amount of people playing the game. It was difficult to get more than a couple of players in the same match at one time. Thankfully bots are included in the online multiplayer matches.
On the technical side, Section 8 has a few issues. The frame-rate can dip, although most of the time it’s stable. The infamous texture popping associated with the Unreal Engine is there as well, and in full force. Aside from those issues, Section 8 runs well.
Overall, Section 8 fits well into the current PSN library. As a retail game it’s hard to recommend, however with a reduced price on the PSN, it’s an easy recommendation. With a $30 price-point, Section 8 is a great game with a lot of value, and with a bigger budget could have became one of the better FPS’s on the market. The graphics may be out-dated, the story cliché, but the gameplay is a lot of fun, and it has a lot of things going for it. I suggest you give it a try.