by Davneet Minhas
reviewed on PC
Dodge This (cntd)
Balancing the hit points, jetpacks, and speed boost is the timed auto-aim ability. While zoomed-in, every player has the option to turn on auto-aiming, locking onto an opponent and connecting with every single bullet for a short period of time. When first using this ability, I was slightly ashamed. Auto-aim is the stuff of hackers. After repeated use however, I have to admit that TimeGate’s implementation is very smart and useful.
During one instance of my playtime, I found myself in a prolonged one-on-one battle. My opponent and I circled around cover as we slowly weakened each other. Unfortunately, a couple of his teammates burned in close to our location. Faced with a three-on-one situation, I knew I would not last long. Thinking quickly, I activated my jetpack and flew through the air, turned on auto-aim to finish off my original opponent, landed behind some cover further away from the remaining enemies, and made a hasty retreat all the way back to my base with speed boost. It was very satisfying.
Play With Me
With such satisfying and intense tactical gunplay, why is Section 8 so disappointing? As stated, TimeGate’s game is a team-based multiplayer shooter. This is emphasized by the fact that a number of the dynamic combat objectives, those missions that need to be accomplished during a match, depend on multiple teammates working in tandem. The convoy mission requires one player to drive a vehicle to a certain point within a limited amount of time. Of course while one team is attempting to complete the mission, the opposing team is attempting to prevent its completion, requiring friendly teammates to protect the vehicle. The VIP mission provides a similar dynamic, as teammates must defend the VIP as he travels to a secure location.
Unfortunately, during my admittedly limited time playing Section 8, I did not witness any of the necessary teamwork among other players. During multiple convoy missions, none of my teammates made an attempt to even drive the vehicle, much less defend it. During multiple VIP missions, the VIP was able to simply walk unopposed to the necessary destination, as everyone on the opposing team was content to engage in some other activity. What should be a tactical team- and objective-based game almost always deteriorated into a simple and stale deathmatch experience, with various one-on-one battles occurring across the map.
Is this the developers’ fault, or the players’ fault? Did I simply stumble onto servers populated by unusually apathetic and independent players, or have the developers not provided enough incentive to properly play the game? These questions reveal a dichotomy that can be applied to any videogame, but is particularly relevant to my experience of Section 8. In joining a server, I was ready and willing to play a certain game, but was never able to actually do so. Fortunately bots are provided.
There are a few other issues that prove to be frustrating in Section 8. Certain deployable vehicles and weapons seem too overpowered. The heavy armor is absolutely devastating, and once in use, always translates to instant death for surrounding opponents. Further, the default movement speed is agonizingly slow.
However, all of the highs and lows provided in Section 8 pale in comparison to the fact that this team-based multiplayer game simply is not played in a team-based fashion. This is particularly unfortunate considering all of the highs that this game possesses.
It is fairly clear that a lot of time and thought went into the development of Section 8; there is a lot of potential in the game. Unfortunately, that potential is never fulfilled, for whatever reason. Perhaps in the future more dedicated players will emerge throughout the servers, or more incentives will be provided for a team-based atmosphere. As it stands however, Section 8 is a game that really wants to be enjoyed, but it is hard to do so.
Refreshing respawn option and great character customization.
The team spirit is hard to find in its current player base.