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Gaming Evolution
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Gaming Evolution
Gaming Evolution
Published By: SouthPeak Games
Developed By: TimeGate Studios
Genre: First-Person Shooter
Players: 1-32
Rated: T (Teen)
Release Date: September 1, 2009
Screenshots: Link
Amazon: Buy Now!
Written By: Matthew Prunty

Whatís very interesting about TimeGate Studios and SouthPeak Games latest project, Section 8, is that it requires time and effort on your part to learn all the different aspects of the game. It can be argued that with a first-person shooter, you can easily pick it up and play through either the single-player campaign or the online multiplayer at will. While thatís true of the single-player campaign, jumping right into the online experience in Section 8 can prove to be a hassle. Simply put the online experience is all about team-based actions and counter-actions, so jumping right into the online experience like its Gears of War 2 or Killzone 2 can get you killed very quickly. Because of this, investing time within the single-player campaign is key to your survival and growth within Section 8.

The story within Section 8 revolves around Alex Corde, a new recruit within the infantry division the game is titled for,í Section 8í. In a similar fashion to Bad Company in Battlefield: Bad Company, fellow infantry divisions look down about the group of individuals as the last place you ever want to be. Most, if not all of the soldiers within Section 8 are unfit for service due to insanity, thus they are put on the front line on the battlefield as the first line of offense. With the 8th Armored Infantry being on the front lines, they must answer a new threat posed by the Arm of Orion, a faction of humanity that has been taking control of several planets around the US Empire by force. Sounds like a cakewalk for the guys within Section 8.

The single-player campaign is basically an offline version of the online multiplayer experience. While it will last upwards of 6-8 hours depending on your skills, itís really designed to help prepare you for the online multiplayer experience within this game. As you progress through the campaign, you will be required to complete and/or execute several different objectives in order to advance through the story. These objectives range from capturing control points, defending controlled point, stealing and delivering Intel, etc. These objectives and many more are referred to as Dynamic Combat Missions (DCM) and a huge part of the multiplayer campaign. Some may opt to completed the single-player campaign, however once you feel you have solid knowledge of the gameplay mechanics, you can go hop right into the online multiplayer for human on human action.

Once you connect to the online servers, you will experience one of the best ways to spawn into a battlefield of any FPS title. Known as Burning In, you will drop into the battle from a low orbiting dropship. Before you actually burning, you must first decide whether you want to Free Spawn or Squad Spawn. With free spawn, you can drop anywhere on the battlefield, which can be utilized for strategic purposes. However, squad spawn allows you to drop into the battlefield near your teammates for add security and to help device offensive strategies. Another nifty feature is being able to change your gear right before dropping into the battle. This definitely will come in handy when you go into a battle where your enemies are packing long rang weaponry and you are having trouble getting close to them.

Continuing to talk about the weaponry within Section 8, there is a nice diversity within the arsenal to choose from. Whether you like to hang back and shoot over long distances, or someone whoís all about running and gunning action, or those who like to sneak up on the enemy, there is something for everyone. While I didnít spend countless hours playing in the online multiplayer, I spent enough time in there to know that majority of the combatants wield assault rifles and machines guns and are constantly on the move. My weapon of choice is a sniper rifle. There is something about taking out your opponent without them seeing where you are. Though when you need to switch up your gear, the loadouts definitely can and will come in handy.

Whatís unique about the multiplayer experience within Section 8, not all about killing your foes in order to score Victory Points (VP). While killing your enemy to earn these points is good, there are several other objects that must be completed which include DCMs and are team focused. As you complete these objectives, you will gain additional points which then can be used to call in deployable items. This feature will continuously change the dynamic of the fight, resulting in combat not getting stale after awhile. Say you are in need of some additional ammo; you can call in a request for a supply depot, which can aid in turning the tide of the battle.

From a visual standpoint, Section 8 boast some solid visuals. TimeGate Studios wasnít trying to create a visually impressive game that rivals that of Killzone 2 simply because they wanted to focus on the various aspects of the multiplayer experience. All character models are nicely detailed, though a tad simplistic. The environments are a mixed bag. Some of the maps you battle on are detailed and visually impressive, while there are a few that seem too bland, as if you were fighting a big open field. For what itís worth, TimeGate Studios did a solid job conveying the visual presentation without it hampering other areas of gameplay.

For those fascinated with games like Quake and Unreal Tournament, you will feel right at home with Section 8. With its diversified gameplay mechanics both online and offline, you are always right in the thick of an ever-changing battlefield. For those looking for a great online, team-based experience, Section 8 should be within your radar. For those looking for a compelling single-player campaign, this isnít for you. While the online experience was truly memorable, there isnít a big enough online community behind this game yet so have epic battles at anytime during the day or night.


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