Announced: Much Awaited Sequel to Section 7
Product: Section 8
Company: Southpeak Interactive
Date: 06/19/2009
Avaliable On:

No, I know... Section 8 isn't a sequel. What it is, in fact, is an original FPS with some novel concepts that make it noteworthy.

It all started with Kohan. While TimeGate Studios were developing Kohan, management noticed that, to relax, the developers were playing some other games. Section 8 came about as a result of seeing what all of the staff were playing around the office - at the time, Tribes and Battlefield 1942. They wanted to give players the tools for dynamic gameplay, to improve on these games and to have everyone work on a game that they are really excited about playing and developing.

First of all, Section 8 tries to discourage "campers", by throwing out the traditional "spawn point", taking away the ability for players to camp and snipe players as they spawn. Instead of these spawn points, players re-entering the battlefield do so by dropping in from far above. In this way, you can choose where you want to drop in, then rapidly descend to the battlefield. Not only that, but if you drop directly on top of someone without attempting to slow down, you will kill them in one hit. (This is the only one-hit kill in Section 8, mind you.)

Then, TimeGate made the entire environment interactive. Pretty much, if you can see it, you can stand on top of it... and, since you drop in from out of the sky, it should be relatively easy to make it on top of pretty much anything. It seems to me that this will provide lots of interesting options for any disgruntled "campers" looking for a new home. Now, you simply have to camp high and shoot the soldiers as they quickly burn-in. That should be more of a challenge, anyway.

Section 8 is a large-scale, sci-fi themed FPS that combines close-up, fast-paced action with military strategy across a variety of varied alien worlds. You can choose your weapon and equipment loadouts (with access to all available weapons, regardless of class), request vehicle drops during the battle, and combine character aspects into a skill set you want, then play how you like, regardless of your character's actual "class". Classes are archetypes out of the box, but you can mold your character into what you want from there. You can spec out your characters with 10 points to choose from in the beginning. The battlefield is completely dynamic and player-driven, including dynamic conquest missions with optional secondary objectives; think Recon/Retrieval/Escort. If you succeed, you earn points to distribute and this will affect gameplay.

One interesting aspect of Section 8 on the 360 is that there will be a free downloadable "server" software that will allow you to host your own Section 8 games online, without going through Xbox LIVE. Mind you, these hosted games will only allow Xbox 360 vs. Xbox 360 play; 360 players can't play against PC players. This is the first time that anyone has tried to do this, evidently, so TimeGate is working with Microsoft on ironing out the details of how the game gets approved, for example.

On the Xbox 360, 16-32 players can play and the difference can be populated by A.I. The game will ship with 8 large maps and there will be a small map variant on most maps for playing with fewer people. Actually, you can also choose to play with a large number of people on a small map or a small number of people on a large map; it's up to the players. Section 8 is built on the Unreal 3 engine. It will come out for the 360 and PC in late August 2009.

Geck0 aka Robert Perkins

GameVortex PSIllustrated