Past Entertainment

For the week of 2/8/10

Toggled Review

‘Section 8’ for the PC not the best of game ports

By Ezra Mann (Editor in Spoof)

Review also posted at the Pauls Valley Daily Democrat

Sometimes, no matter how much you want it to be true; some games just don’t get better the more you play them. In fact, depending on how badly it is designed, getting more frustrated is about the only result you’ll find.
Now I won’t place the latest title from SouthPeak Games and TimeGate on my worst of the worst, but I do think that the game needs a bit more tweaking, especially on the personal computer version. I actually had pretty high hopes for the game, which reminded me of a tribute to the “Tribes” series, but quickly found it not near as entertaining. “Section 8” feels like a game that was designed more for the console and was not given as much attention when reprogrammed outside of that.
My biggest problem with the game were the controls, which even with tweaking didn’t seem to want to sync up quite right. It actually only got worse if you needed to respond to multiple enemy threats, often getting choppy the more action there was.
At first I tried to play the game with keyboard and mouse like I did in computing days of yore, but after a while resorted to using an Xbox 360 controller instead. Even after this, it still did not feel smooth except somewhat when enemy forces weren’t all trying to dogpile me. This does not bode well when you combine the 2-40 people that can play simultaneously in multiplayer mode.
The story for the campaign also felt pretty bland, focusing on Alex Corde of the 8th Armored Infantry, whose mission is to restore order with a crew of other orbital drop fighters to a galaxy upset by a group called the ARM of Orion. You end up facing off with the leader of these ragtag ruffians after barely five or so hours of solid gameplay and this makes the campaign seem not even worth attempting.
I will admit that getting a frag against players from all over the globe is a blast, but when you sacrifice single player for deathmatch you hardly set your product apart from the mix. The graphics are actually pretty well done, which makes for decent visuals, but pretty is only part of what you need. I recommend that you really only purchase this if you are a hardcore FPS fan and need something before the next World War clone.
In the end, I wanted more than I got, but still had something to pass time for a couple of weeks. Being violent in nature, the teen rating is appropriate, though the gore factor is low.
The one thing that saved this game for me was the sniper mode because some of the other weapons just didn’t give as much bang for the buck. If a sequel is ever made I’d also recommend more vehicle play and more variety in said crafts. Since there was not so much wow in a market flooded with bullet mashers, I give “Section 8” for the PC two and a half toggles out of six.

Images are copyright of TimeGate and SouthPeak Games.

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