Section 8 Hands-On

We drop in for a quick multiplayer match in this mash-up of Battlefield and Tribes.

We had the opportunity to check out more of the multiplayer component of the futuristic first-person shooter Section 8 during a brief hands-on session at E3. Unfortunately, the single-player mode wasn't on display, but we do know that it focuses on the group called Section 8, which happens to be battling a splinter group of soldiers known as The Arm of Orion. Both are fighting for control of a colony called New Madrid. Section 8's multiplayer supports up to 16 players in a regular server match and up to 32 on a dedicated server. Our particular match seemed to have a mixture of bots and other players on the show floor.

Who's Making This Game: The development team behind Section 8, TimeGate Studios also worked on the expansions to the first-person shooter F.E.A.R., so they're pretty familiar with shooting stuff.

What The Game Looks Like: From a visual standpoint, Section 8 resembles a mixture of Battlefield, Tribes, and even Halo. The futuristic elements in the guns, player models, and vehicles all function as an interesting contrast to the relatively barren desert-like environment (save for the massive bases you're attempting to take) on display in this particular match. However, the few rock formations located in and around the base serve as more than just a bit of extra detail. You can actually use them to get into pretty good sniping positions.

What There Is To Do: Since the match we played was a straightforward team deathmatch action with Section 8 facing off against The Arm of Orion, the main objective was to rack up as many kills as possible while attempting to storm the base and take it over.

How The Game Is Played: Before the start of the match, we had the option to heavily customize a soldier. You can change everything from active options, such weapons and equipment (grenades, knives), to more passive options, such as shield plating and stealth capabilities. The idea is to customize your character in such a way that fits a particular style of play but with a limited number of points to disperse into the passive options. If you're trying to play as a quick hit-and-move style of soldier, then you probably want to beef up on the stealth ability and select weapons that can do a decent amount of damage in a short period of time. Conversely, if you want to create a tanklike soldier, then it would be a good idea to max out armor plating or the shield boosters and equip yourself with some heavy weaponry.

Once we adjusted everything to our liking, we jumped into the match. What's cool about the way soldiers spawn in Section 8 is that they drop in from the upper atmosphere. You can see other players coming down from the sky, and if you happen to be one of them, you can control the last few seconds of your drop. This proves to be incredibly useful if you're trying to get into a nice sniping position or if you're trying to take out a sniper. That's right--there are no one-hit kills in Section 8, at least not in the traditional sense, but you can kill other players by simply landing on their head, Mario-style.

Unfortunately, we didn't get to see this for ourselves, but the second we hit the ground, there was plenty of incoming fire, which gave us an opportunity to try out some maneuvering features. In addition to an incredibly useful jetpack (thankfully, standard equipment), you can also use something called overdrive, which lets you run around the map at breakneck speed for a short period of time, and considering how large some of the maps will be in Section 8, it should get plenty of use. After running around for a bit and taking out some enemies near the base, it was finally time to deploy some equipment and vehicles, ranging from AA cannons to massive tanks that can seat up to four other players. The equipment available to you depends on the number of credits you have (which are awarded based on your in-game performance) as well as your position relative to enemy weaponry and equipment. Also of note is that vehicles, like tanks, appear on the map via a dropship that flies in to unload them, but the dropship can be taken out before getting rid of the cargo, so it's not a good idea to ask for one near enemy antiaircraft guns. After some intense firefights, our team successfully took the base and started to put antiaircraft cannons around the outside areas as we moved on the defensive.

What They Say: TimeGate Studios is aiming to take some of the best parts of the Battlefield series (and other first-person shooters) and integrate them seamlessly into a multiplayer style setting.

What We Say: Maybe it's just how the jetpacks factor into combat, but Section 8 feels quite a bit like the Tribes games of old at this point. Sure, it may not be quite as involved as the Tribes games in that it doesn't seem like you need to have a serious coordinated effort to take over a base--brute force seems to work just fine--but there's definitely something good at work here. We just hope that it all comes together (and that we can check out the single-player campaign) before Section 8's release this fall.

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Discussion

77 comments
PSplayer09
PSplayer09

@GaRdybOy you can install linux then play it on your ps3.

AxSN1P3Zx
AxSN1P3Zx

This game is really not that great. Like extremely standard. Verry standard. The graphics are nothing special, the guns arent that fun to shoot because they take wayyyyyyyyy to many bullets to kill someone, like a few magazines. There are annoying computer controlled turrets everywhere.The only thing I could take out of it that really stood out were the quite above average sound effects.

GaRdYbOy
GaRdYbOy

So really now what the hell happend to the ps3 version of this game???

fieryardent
fieryardent

I played during most of the closed beta, and little bit of the open beta. This game rocks, period. One of the best games I've ever played.

plightstar
plightstar

Got to play this at the i-series on the weekend and took part in a LAN tournament Timegate had set up for us. It is a great time and first it reminded me of a cross between Planetside/Battlefield and Tribes. Its a great game to play with a couple of mates, the ability to change every aspect makes this game great, still playing the Beta and will def be buying when it comes out.

mason35
mason35

@aphexchris you are correct,been in beta test for a while, yes the devs got lots of issues to work out, but over all the game is not that good!! def not worth the price its going to go for in sept!!!!!

Afius
Afius

Is a dedicated server like a private server or what?

treoo0
treoo0

Holy Crap! Tribes on roids. Will be picking this one up day one! May bring me back into online play, which I haven't been into much since the days of Tribes.

OF-5
OF-5

Awesome! I loved Tribes so I'm really excited to see how this turns out!

cameeu
cameeu

I think the game looks excellent, at gametrailers.com there's afew good videos with some gameplay, and customization. Go check it out ^ ^

aymanstile
aymanstile

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

assassinatur54
assassinatur54

I haven't seen any gameplay, except the part where you drop and land, which will likely be your only way to get to the war or battle. Also, I'm just wondering why they cancelled it for PS3. I have a 360 as well, but I'm just wondering...

aphexchris
aphexchris

you should check the gameplay vid. looks pretty poor really.... :/

beesbreck
beesbreck

yeah looks good, erm, showing age here,,,,,whats a \m/ ?

xtremeflem2day
xtremeflem2day

NOBODY CAN TELL IF ITS GOOD YET but i bet this is gonna be a bad@ss game!!!

Xurtch
Xurtch

Can't W8 Pre-Odering soon 8)

metroidhunterx
metroidhunterx

KratosAurion7, I'm guessing they'd know more about whether the game sucks or not. I'm not exactly sure where you got the idea that watching a video trumps actually playing the game.

Cpalberg
Cpalberg

im still keepin my hopes up for this game even though the video didnt live up to my expectations

georgeorjose
georgeorjose

i saw the gameplay for this game. it takes forever to kill a robot guy. i think ill rent this game before i make the decision to buy it.

VisceriousZERO
VisceriousZERO

Saw I saw the video. Looks like major-league crap.

KratosAurion7
KratosAurion7

Did you guys even check the video from E3? It sucks BAD, based on the video I'd give it 4/10 no more.

dman123_1
dman123_1

awww it thought it was a game about low income housing....

nickske1
nickske1

2010 year of xbox 360 GAMES GAMES GAMES!! :D

neutralbias
neutralbias

No, it's not Halo (or any other game except Section 8). All the fanboys need to cool it and let new Xbox'ers establish the new norm for gaming. I'm sure the same was done to Gears, and now Gears has matched Halo : Combat Evolved's sales in half the time...wut!?!

JoeHart42
JoeHart42

I think this looks awesome, if I get some cash I may pre order.

djvostronius
djvostronius

When I first saw this I thought Iron Man

st82nd
st82nd

its bull crap that it canceled for the PS3

ikhzo
ikhzo

Awesome game..can't wait to play

Col-Neil
Col-Neil

:D This has my full attention lol

Shadowflask
Shadowflask

Looks like Halo/Fallen Empire: Legions/Crysis. This could definitely be one the few games I actually buy this year.

eddienom
eddienom

Awesome sound , great graphics, and multiplayer!

jupsto
jupsto

Awesome. sounds more like crysis or even global agenda than the games mentioned.

Cerebris
Cerebris

Um... what about single player? Multiplayer doesn't matter to me or a lot of people, Section 8 looked like it might have an interesting campaign, so what is the news on the single player experience?

exz5string
exz5string

Hopefully better than Halo, it seems to be played out to me. I want bloody games, not laser wepons

Echo-417
Echo-417

Somewhat like Halo 3, just waayyyy more sick! Hopefully, it lives up to its reputation.

Alex_09
Alex_09

Oh man... Some of you guys are actually saying, "Sleeper hit"?? Have you heard of FEAR Files or Extraction? They are considered complete crap by even the most diehard FEAR fans.

Top_dawg35
Top_dawg35

i'm still trying to find out if they are going to release it on the PS3, and i'm looking for anything that says why they cancelled that version.

dark_being
dark_being

The same people who are responsible to F.E.A.R's expansions are developing Section 8?! Epic fail!

GeigerdolylWodd
GeigerdolylWodd

The fact that they don't seem to be disclosing the singleplayer portion forth rite suggests to me that this may end up running out of time to even develop a true singleplayer campaign and it will end up shipping with just the multiplayer sans Shadowrun.

I'm calling it now atleast based on these early impressions. If they change this in any of the future updates I'll relinquish said comment but we shall see.