From the moment you skydive head-first into the battleground, you know that you made a wise choice to check out Section 8: Prejudice. With a decent single-player campaign, several multiplayer modes, and a mere $15 price point, there’s not much to hate on.
There’s not a whole lot here that you haven’t seen before in a shooter, but Prejudice combines much of what works well in other titles into one value package. You stomp around in your Halo-esque power armor, earning cash mid-session to buy support elements and hookers… at least, that’s what I kept looking for. You can play multiple roles, repairing vehicles or healing teammates, or you can ignore all that and fly guns-blazing at your enemies and likely help your team lose — multiplayer in Prejudice benefits greatly from actual teamwork. Imagine that!
The meat of the game lies in the Conquest mode, in which teams of 8-on-8 or 16-on-16 (depending on the map) face off in a race to 1000 points. Points are gained in a variety of ways, including the obvious “kill the other team” objective, but the innovation here is in the Dynamic Combat Missions (DCMs). DCMs are randomly generated mini-objectives that include killing (or protecting) a VIP, destroying (or defending) a piece of equipment, or collecting intelligence from the enemy’s base. These DCMs add that extra bit of strategy and team coordination to reward players for working well together instead of running around as a group of one-man armies, ignoring your teammates, only focused on the highest number of kills — aka dickheads.
If that’s all you’re interested in, there’s a mode for that called Skirmish, which is essentially just deathmatch. DCMs pop up in this mode just to give you something else to do when your trigger finger gets tired. The Assault mode, on the other hand, is on the opposite side of the face-shooting spectrum. Assault has you — what else — assaulting and defending control points.
The fourth and final multiplayer mode is called Swarm, and like you may have guessed, it is a Horde mode. Swarm is a 4-player co-op scenario in which you and your buddies take on waves of AI-controlled baddies. Swarm is a nice mode to practice teamwork with your buddies in an offline situation that doesn’t have all those other real people around to get in the way.
Actually, all of the modes feature AI-controlled bots to fill out the rosters. An 8-on-8 game will always be 8-on-8. If someone drops out, an AI bot will take his place. You will never again be the unfortunate victim of a bunch of douchey teammates leaving you mid-battle to face an outnumbered, impossible-to-win situation.
Prejudice also features regional dedicated servers — impressive for a downloadable game. Now crybabies can no longer complain about host advantage, and dickheads can no longer refuse to join games unless they have the host advantage. It’s win-win.
Before jumping into all this multiplayer, however, you may want to try the single player. Granted, it’s not all that long (5-10 hours, depending on your ADD) or fantastic, but it does give you the opportunity to get used to the controls and understand some of the nuances of the gameplay before you head online to show off your epic noobiness.
Your default abilities are limited in use. You can lock on to opponents, but it doesn’t last forever so you can’t just use it all the time. Same with the jetpack. It has a limited amount of use before it has to recharge, so deciding when to use it could make the difference between a kill and a death.
You earn stat points to customize your dude into whatever role you want to play. Juggernauts can boost their health and armor to survive to a bit longer. Ninjas can increase their speed and jetpack efficiency. Or, you can just opt to boost your weapon damage to kill your foes that much quicker. There’s a lot a variability here.
In addition to stat points, you also get weapon mods. Weapons have the ability to drain armor and/or shields, so deciding what you want your weapons to do is part of the overall strategy. You can have them do tons of damage to armor but next to nothing to shields or vice versa, you can do damage to both equally, etc. There are also mods like incendiary rounds that do damage over time.
Support elements, as mentioned earlier, also play a huge part. You can equip yourself with several different support items, such as a knife for melee attacks, repair kit, grenades, etc. You can also spend cash to call in support elements like tanks, hovercraft, mech suits, and turrets. How you spend your money is yet another piece of the strategic puzzle.
As great as this sounds, the only negative to Prejudice is the controls. There’s nothing necessarily wrong with them, but they just don’t feel as smooth as the AAA titles you may be used to. After a while, you’ll get used to them, so it’s by no means a deal-breaker. The graphics are also not super, but they are quite impressive for a downloadable game.
Overall, there’s really no reason an FPS-loving PS3 owner shouldn’t pick up Prejudice. It’s a blast to play, and that’s all that really matters in a video game. On top of that, it’s a full retail game’s worth of content in a downloadable package, all for a mere $15. It’s certainly not perfect, but Section 8: Prejudice is the best multiplayer experience you can have on PSN.
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