Preview: Section 8

TimeGate Studios isn’t known for developing FPS titles. They’re the developers of the popular RTS series Kohan, but aside from the expansions to the original F.E.A.R., they’ve shied away from creating FPS titles – until now, that is. Section 8 is TimeGate’s first attempt at creating an original FPS that hopes to bring major changes to the way we frag people online.

Section 8 is a futuristic sci-fi shooter that deals with the conflict between two warring factions: the Arm of Orion – a group of militant separatists who are looking to throw a wrench in the works of the human government – and the 8th Armoured Infantry division, a bunch of space cowboys that’ll be handling the government’s retaliation against the Arm of Orion’s actions. The members of the 8th Armoured Infantry have the ability to perform insane jumps from orbiting dropships and crash-land on their foes below, something which Halo fans may recognise as being similar to the ODSTs (Orbital Drop Shock Troopers) from that series. The developers are calling this technique “burning in” and it’ll be a huge part of Section 8‘s gameplay, since it’s the primary way for players to enter the battlefield. Players will be able to select a spot on the map and their pod will launch headed directly for that spot – from 15 000 feet in the air. As you plummet to the ground, you can hit the brakes to slow down the pod to fine-tune your exact landing spot, or you can simply watch as the ground rushes towards you at lightning speed before landing with the appropriate reaction from whichever poor sod you managed to land on (yes – we’re hoping you’ll be able to land directly on top of another player, gibbing them in the process). Burning in isn’t all fun and games, however, since there’ll be obstacles such as anti-aircraft weaponry to avoid on your descent if you happen to choose the wrong spot over which to drop.

The game will have a single-player campaign, but we’re more interested in the multiplayer at the moment. The developers promise a multiplayer experience complete with vehicles, deployables (such as anti-aircraft weaponry, machine gun emplacements, and more that can be called in once you’ve racked up enough points) and customisable load-outs. The objective in standard multiplayer matches is a capture-and-hold-the-point affair, similar to the Battlefield series. Section 8 will mix things up a bit by throwing in “dynamic combat missions”, which are in essence secondary objectives which you can complete if you so choose. These secondary tasks will change dynamically as matches progress, so don’t be too surprised if you’re suddenly ordered to attack or defend (depending on which team you’re on) a convoy that’s moving across the map while you’re in the middle of a firefight in the enemy’s base. We’re hopeful that Section 8 will provide a thrilling experience in both single-player and multiplayer modes, but only time will tell what comes of this promising title.

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