A long time ago, in a gaming galaxy far far away, there was a game called Starsiege Tribes.  It was a high flying futuristic multiplayer fragfest of the most awesome kind.  Not only that, but it was easy to learn, easy to play and downright addictive.  Tribes and it’s sequels remained popular amongst it’s hardcore fans for over 10 years – but since 2004 there has not been a true sequel or even a spiritual successor to the series . . . until now.

Section 8: Prejudice is Time Gate studios follow-up to it’s well received 2009 release, Section 8.  It’s a futuristic FPS that focuses on high flying tower defense and using a slew of interchangable armor and weapons systems to destroy your enemies.  Sound familiar?  The original Section 8 was a full priced release but many people didn’t think it warranted a purchase until it became a cheaper downloadable title.  I mean, how could it compete with other full priced shooters like Halo and Call of Duty?

Well, Time Gate is looking to under-promise and over-deliver this time because they’re releasing Section 8: Prejudice as a strictly downloadable title on PC, XBLA and PSN – for just $15.  Not only that, but the game is more refined and packed with even more content than it’s predecessor.

I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Time Gate to talk about S8P as well as spend some quality time with the game myself.  Better yet, I’m going to tell you why it’s not only worth your hard earned $15, but why for Tribes fans – it’ll feel like home.

As I walked into my meeting with Time Gate studios, I was elated – perhaps it was because I’d seen how much this game resembled one of my all time favorite franchises, or perhaps it was the double espresso I’d had on the way.  Regardless, I quickly made it a point to ask them one very direct question.  “So, is this Tribes or what!?” Time Gate president Adel Chaveleh and game designer Mark Yetter both smiled, looked at each other, then looked back at me and smirked as they said.  “Let’s just say we’re big fans of the franchise”  Well, that was all I needed to hear as I picked up a controller and went to town.

If you know me, then you should know that the amount of fun I’m having with a game is directly proportional to the amount of times I scream, “Get Some!!” at the screen while playing it.  Well, lets just say that this was pretty much me during my time with Section 8: Prejudice:

Yeah, I was having a good time – and it did feel like Tribes.  Maybe not as high flying . . . but the elements were all there.  The changing of the multitude of armor and weapons, the jetpacking, the hacking, the tower defense, the frantic gunplay, tight controls – these guys had clearly played a lot of Tribes and these guys knew I was loving every minute of Section 8: Prejudice.

The campaign is a continuation of Section 8, but I’m not going to bore you with details about Captain Alex Corde and the 8th Armored Infantry division.  It’s pretty standard space marine stuff and let’s just say it will help to play the campaign mode first before diving into the multiplayer.  That’s not to say the campaign isn’t fun – it’s a ton of fun.  However, I don’t want to spoil any of it for you – so quit asking!  I only had a short time to test out the multiplayer during my appointment with Time Gate – but wouldn’t you know it, they gave me a PC build of S8P to take home with me for my own testing.  Luckily for you, that means you get to see gameplay.  But first, lets talk a  bit about what I’m going to show you.

First up is the 4 player co-op “Swarm” mode. Swarm mode will pit you and your teammates against waves of enemies as you fight to defend your control tower.  You will have access to an array of weapons and armor and will be able to call in deployables like turrets, missile launchers, mechs and hoverbikes to assist you.  You can purchase these deployables with cash awarded for enemy kills and feats of strength.  Oh, and if you’re not familiar with the way you spawn or, “Burn In” in Section 8 – then prepare to love it, because it’s one of the coolest parts of the game:

I’m sure you noticed a few things.  Yes, that’s how you spawn in the game every time you die.  Yes, you can change your loadout and suit stats at any time.  Yes, that lock-on feature is OP when it’s off cooldown.  And yes, you can run guys over with your hoverbike.

Next up is “Conquest” mode. It’s a domination mode where teams will fight to hold down several control points for as long as they can.  This mode is playable by up to 32 players (40 on PC) and makes for some very strategic offensive and defensive gameplay choices.  Having a strong defensive hold is almost as important as taking on the enemy base and players as you fight to hack, hold and often times race to diffuse the control towers.  Moreover, you’d better be careful of all those enemy AA cannons as you burn in, or you and your deployables will be shot right out of the sky:

As you undoubtetly noticed, the gameplay can get pretty hectic as you race to overtake the control points.  Teams are going to have to decide quickly which roles players will take on if they want to succeed and having a well balanced team is the only way to achieve complete domination in Section 8: Prejudice.

It’s hard to describe just how much this game “feels” like Tribes – so I’m not going to bother.  I’ll only tell you that it does, and that makes me damn glad.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with either franchise – don’t worry, Section 8: Prejudice will provide tons of quality FPS content at a fraction of the price of other shooters.  Clearly, I’m impressed – for $15, Time Gate is giving you a lot of game.  If gamers don’t jump in this time around, then I don’t know what else you want from a game like S8P.  Dedicated servers across all three platforms? Well actually, yeah – it’s got that too.

When I asked if there’ll also be DLC for Section 8: Prejudice – Adel looked at me and said, “Of course, and it’ll also be priced right.  You sure as hell won’t see us releasing any $15 map packs”

Section 8: Prejudice will be available soon on PSN, XBLA and PC.  Want to know more about S8P or see my unedited gameplay footage?  Shoot me an email at Dave@RipTen.com