Publisher: Southpeak (360,PC) TimeGate (PS3)
Developer: Timegate Studios
MSRP: $49.99 (360/PC), $29.99 (PS3)
by: Katrina Pawlowski
What do you get if you mix Halo and Starcraft? Well, nothing - you can't really mix those things, but Section 8 comes pretty darn close. Section 8 is the closest thing to a first person shooter strategy game to date, blending the first person shooter fast action with strategic weapons, supplies, turrets, and tanks to be purchased and placed on the battlefield. Your unit is a soldier wearing some of the sweetest armor to date, with all of the speed, finesse, and tactical advantages expected of a futuristic warrior.
Your mission in the game is to infiltrate a variety of enemy settlements as a soldier named Alex Corde and his team. There are three other units to your team, each working together to complete missions such as supply rendezvous, search and rescue, and destroying enemy strongholds to liberate your home of New Madrid. If I have one complaint, it's that I can't experience this phenomenal shooter with my friends (co-op, duh).
Section 8's shooter elements are even varied depending on your play style. Pick an engineer if you like to focus on healing, fixing, and supporting other units. Or, infantry if you want to run in guns blazing to the fray. There are other classes, and other abilities to customize your characters weapons and fighting style to match the way you've always wanted to play shooters.
When you die, which does happen quite a lot, you are able to respawn immediately. You can either change your class on the respawn screen, or wait until you find a supply point. If you don't like to die, you can also wait for your shields to recharge - I just happen to be the most wreckless shooter-player on the planet (making that respawn especially important).
Another awesome element for Section 8 is your jet packs, and running boost. Hold down the run button for a few seconds and you get a sudden burst of energy that will allow you to cover a lot of ground, and use your jetpack to enter, escape, and explore the lush environments. Speaking of environments, the game will change as the story progresses, taking you through a vast desert, detailed forests, and beyond.
Beyond the single player campaign of the game, which has a fairly solid story, there is also an immense multiplayer mode. Those that really dig team-based versus modes should definitely check out the up-to 16-vs-16 teams online. The pace will be awesome, the strategy will rock - but this isn't exactly my cup-o-tea, so I can't tell you much more on that aspect.
Section 8 is a truly top-notch shooter with all of the elements I've wanted in a shooter for my entire experience playing them - well, except co-op. Still, the game is phenomenal, and the added strategy elements and variety really give this game a lot of class. The recent PSN release has taken the full-Xbox 360 title and made it more affordable, and truly utilized the PS3's potential for the game.