Sunday, August 30, 2009

Section 8 Demo Impressions

Section 8 is an upcoming first-person sci-fi shooter being developed by Timegate Studios and published by Southpeak Interactive. I got my hands on the demo earlier, and I must say I was quite impressed.

The demo is multiplayer-only, however, there is an offline mode with bots, if you're into that kind of thing. I couldn't find any way to adjust the bots' difficulty, so that part seemed way too easy, and pretty pointless. The main focus of the demo is the online play, and it's surprisingly good. When you join a match, you select a spawnpoint on the map, much like the Battlefield games, except, instead of spawning there, you drop into the zone through the atmosphere. It's a pretty awesome looking sequence, and through my time with the demo it never got old. This also allows the teams to use some strategy. You're able to drop anywhere on the map when spawning, but the enemy can set up Anti-air guns to take you down before you even hit the ground.

The game plays mostly like a game of battlefield, you spend your time going to different computers and hacking them... which is pretty much just like capturing a control point in Battlefield. They also thrown in a few other objectives after a while, such as protecting a VIP, or protecting a convoy. It reminds me a bit of how the multiplayer in Killzone 2 was structured, except not quite as rock-solid.

The controls in the game are sufficient, and unique. Now, the thing about unique controls is they normally don't work, but here I found the learning curve to be quite low. The most interesting part of the game is that it has a lock on feature, letting you lock on to your opponents, provided you're at a close enough range. I feel kind of torn about it... while it doesn't take as much skill to take down an enemy, it also takes more skill to avoid being locked on to. If an enemy goes out of your sights, then you lose the lock on, and it takes a couple second to re-charge. Granted, they can still shoot at you manually, without being locked on, but this seems to add a bit more depth and strategy to the combat that isn't seen in many other multiplayer shooters.

The biggest problem with Section 8 is that it feels like a low-budget game. I had some framerate issues multiple times in the demo, and the graphics are just okay. I definitely don't think this game will replace any of our other beloved first-person shooters, but I definitely think people should give it a chance. Check out the demo, and keep a look out for the game when it's released for Xbox 360, PS3, and PC this September.

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