Last year's Section 8 was a large-scale, sci-fi multiplayer shooter that let you play as a futuristic super-soldier equipped with heavy-duty weapons, high-tech gadgets, and a power suit that let you run so quickly you could literally kill your enemies by running into them headfirst. While the first game was ambitious and its reach arguably exceeded its grasp, developer TimeGate Studios has already returned for round two with Section 8: Prejudice, a full-fledged sequel intended to improve on everything in the original game.
While the developer created the first game to be a multiplayer shooter, it readily admits that the first game's single-player campaign, which was basically a primer for multiplayer, left something to be desired. As such, the developer is building out a full story-based single-player campaign that covers the conflict between the elite soldiers of Section 8 and their sworn enemies, a militia force known as the Arm of Orion (which, as it turns out, is secretly controlled by a shadowy faction of elite troopers who might have been Section 8's predecessors). You can expect to see a full campaign about five hours in length, with nine missions that take place in different environments and voiced cinematic cutscenes between them.
We watched a few missions in the single-player game, including the tutorial mission (which starts off at the Section 8 firing range), as well as a mission that required us to destroy guarded antiair turrets on the ground by using the explosive satchel gadget to blow them up. We then skipped ahead to the very next mission, an airdrop deployment that was made possible by the removal of the AA guns on terra firma. This gave us a chance to see Section 8's drop gameplay in action. When you make a drop, you'll actually see your character from above, from a third-person perspective, as he plummets to the ground below. And because you can control the direction of his drop, if you're skilled enough, you may be able to frag an enemy by landing directly on his head (this applies in both single-player and multiplayer).
We then jumped over to watch the new Swarm mode in action--a cooperative multiplayer mode that requires you and your buddies to hold an outpost against hordes of increasingly tough enemies that start off on foot and then eventually bring heavy mechanized suits and even tanks into battle. Fortunately, so can you. Over the course of the match, and in other multiplayer matches, your character will earn experience points that actually carry over from match to match and let you choose different, higher-level deployable items, such as stationary turrets, tanks of your own, and the new hoverbike vehicle, which moves even faster than overdrive sprinting (and is just as deadly if you run over an enemy at top speeds).
In Swarm mode, your foes come swarming at the base from all sides for a chance at the outpost's command console--Swarm mode's key to victory or defeat. You and your buddies can use the console to change your weapon and gadget loadout during the match, but if the enemy captures this key point, you'll have a very short window of time to recapture the console until you and your teammates suffer the agony of defeat.
With Section 8: Prejudice, developer TimeGate clearly intends to fix any and all of the previous games issues and make a far better game, based both on the studio's own observations and tons of feedback culled from the community. The game will launch early next year.