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Section 8: Sign Up, Strap In, and Hold On

I am liking this trend of FPS games being more than just twitch killing. As much as I love, and I do mean love, Team Fortress: 2, I sometimes want more than basic CTF. And, before the hate mail begins, I am grossly overgeneralizing the game I know. When I have an opportunity to play games like Section 8, it reminds me there can be so much more to your gameplay. There have been a few games recently that have attempted to have a complex strategic level above the fast-paced trigger-mashing. If I were to construct a scale, for example, I would place CounterStrike at one end of the spectrum. On the other, I would place Quake Wars: Enemy Territory. At true center you would find Battlefield 1942. This is by no means a rating system, I am just speaking on how involved I feel the game is. My time with Section 8 has only been during their beta, but it is shaping up quickly to have the best balance of twitch, strategy and diverse gameplay I have seen in an FPS to date.

The story of Section 8 takes place in the far future as man has spread across the universe like the virus we always knew we were. Spread thin, dissension grows amongst the farthest reaches to separate themselves from Earth's tyranny and regulation. This movement is known as the Arm of Orion. To deal with this insurrection, Earth sends out the 8th Armored Infantry. This volunteer unit takes on the nastiest and most difficult battles in the universe and has earned itself the nickname Section 8. There is going to be a Single Player mode. This is most likely because the game is going to be available on PC, XBOX 360 and PS3. Details are not readily available about the story for the Single Player mode, but it is my hope that it will extend past the typical plot-driven tutorial.

There are so many toys to play with in this game that honestly, I have no idea where to begin. The first feature of this game, and a very impressive one at that, is how you get into battle. Instead of the traditional popping into existence somewhere on the map, you rocket into battle from drop-ships. Trust me, it is the only way to fly. You can land anywhere on the map within the "bounds" of the map. No more spawn camping. There are, of course, a few small caveats to this. If you do not pay attention to the icons on the map that indicate active AA sites, your entry into the map will be short-lived. Like many others before it, this game uses load-outs for specific tasks. These classes, if you will, allow for the typical soldier, heavy, sniper, or anti-vehicle types that you are used to in many other games. Each class has a primary and a secondary weapon, two equipment slots, and 9 possible passive modules. Here though, you can customize and save each of your load-outs along this formula. This equates to hundreds of ways to get the job done.

Besides the cool toys, you have a cool suit of armor. This armor is what allows you to burn in through the atmosphere and land without becoming part of the landscape. It has other benefits besides its entry rate. The armor will allow you to enter a boost sprint mode, has a jet pack, and also targeting assistance with a limited lock-on ability.

What you can't carry with you into battle with Section 8, you can order for convenient drop-shipping. Tanks, heavy armor, AA guns, sensors, and supplies can be requisitioned in the heat of battle. Every man or piece of equipment you kill on the battlefield earns you requisition points. These requisition points can then be used to call in these supplies. Besides just earning these requisition points, you will earn feats. These feats add up until you can activate Dynamic Combat Missions. These missions, when complete, count heavily towards your victory points that decide the battle.

I have given you just a little taste of what is to come when Section 8 releases. There is so much more to the game. Admittedly, the game's concepts are not all entirely new, but Section 8 takes the best of what modern FPS's have become and combines them into a great game, or demo, actually. Again, it can be found in PC, XBOX 360, and PS3 formats. If you know me, then you know I am not really looking forward to console play on this game, but I will be ready for battle with the PC version. This is going to be crazy to cover all of the aspects and nuances of the battle whenever the servers go live.

-WUMPUSJAGGER, GameVortex Communications
AKA Bryon Lloyd

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