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Video Game / Section 8

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"The Arm started this war. But Section 8 is going to finish it."
Alex Corde

"Evolution. What a joke. Yeah, sure, the technology gets better. The weapons get more powerful. As soldiers, we get smarter; better trained, and more efficient at what we do. But what we do is still the same. We fight. There's nothing 'evolved' about fighting, no matter what flag we wave. It's been the same since the beginning of time. We fight to protect what's ours, and take that's theirs. So, yeah; we keep fighting. We fight over differences. Out of fear. Out of prejudice."

On the war-torn planets of tomorrow, Mankind's greatest battle is about to begin.

Section 8 is a tactical first-person shooter released in 2009 by developers Timegate and Southpeak Games. Set an indeterminate amount of time in The Future, 8th Armored Infantry, a division of 1st Recon of the United States Imperial Forces (USIF) is sent to a reclaim a section of space known as New Madrid from the Arm of Orion.

The game has been compared to the Tribes series, with its character customization options, and also to Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory / Enemy Territory: Quake Wars.

The game has little to no backstory and a criminally short single-player campaign, focusing on a multiplayer experience. You play Captain Alex Corde, member of 1st Recon, sent to see what the hell is going on in New Madrid. You find it taken over by rebels, and soon enough you are spearheading the offensive to reclaim your territory from The Arm of Orion.

It's not entirely clear who are the bad guys and who are the good guys here, but it is mentioned that the Arm was going to nuke a civilian population center, so I guess they're the bad guys.

Has nothing to do with government programs instituted to provide housing to underprivileged citizens, although those people probably got mowed down in the war ages ago.

The sequel, Section 8: Prejudice, was released 2011 as an Xbox Live Arcade title and for PC on GFWL and Steam. 1st Recon has learned that the Arm has information on the USIF it should not have had access to. When a mysterious enemy attacks their forward base "Atlas" and carries out a jailbreak of Arm prisoners, including a high-ranking Arm officer, Corde finds himself digging into the dark past and dirty secrets of his nation.

This game contains examples of the following:

  • Absent Aliens: The milky way galaxy is apparently entirely devoid of alien lifeforms in the universe in which Section 8 takes place. It's simply presented without being remarked on in the first game, but Section 8: Prejudice actually gives an actual explanation for it. See The Extremist Was Right below.
  • Ace Custom:
    • Commander Soren drives a modified Powered Armor with a lot more health and a flashier paint scheme.
    • The final boss of the sequel, General Salvador, has a customized combat suit which is apparently a Super Prototype of the armor worn by all the soldiers in the series.
  • Actionized Sequel: Prejudice simplifies several elements of the gameplay, such as by adding regenerating health, doing away with the limb damage system, and removing the deployment purchasing mechanic from the single-player campaign.
  • Anti-Air: An available deployable structure is an anti-air turret, which considering the fact that the game's mayor gimmick is the players' capacity to air-drop anywhere on the map is a necessary measure for defending teams to prevent hostiles from falling anywhere they don't want to.
  • Artificial Stupidity: The NPC allies have the worst aim ever
  • A Space Marine Is You: You and everyone else, actually.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Ramming enemies while in Overdrive. On the impractical side, you're ramming into enemies at supersonic speeds in what is basically a shooter. On the awesome side, you're ramming into enemies at supersonic speeds in what is basically a shooter.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: In keeping with the game's hardcore warrior-culture themes; the higher ranking an enemy soldier is, the tougher they are in combat. Commander Soren and General Salvador lead their armies and are also the toughest fighters in their armies (although Soren had the advantage of an Ace Custom mech suit). Decimus Priscus, Salvador's number two in Prejudice, is tough enough that he manages to put up a decent boss fight even though he's on foot and you and your NPC partner are driving a pair of Powered Armor mechs. Even Commander Thorne, who's only a mediocre fighter, still has a ton of health compared to the regular troops.
  • Beehive Barrier: The shields of the Powered Armor have this look.
  • Black-and-Grey Morality: There are two factions in this game: the brutal, repressive, militaristic empire, and the bad guys.
  • Body Armor as Hit Points: The first game averts this, as bullets can damage your health even when you still have some or even most of your shields left, depending on the weapon used, the body part where you take damage, and the condition of your armor. This also applies to enemies. The second game plays it straight with a more traditional shield/health system, where you only take health damage once your shield is fully drained.
  • Cold Sniper: Matthews.
  • Critical Existence Failure: Played straight, with the visual effect of the sequel darkening the screen as your health goes low. Possibly justified, since health is called "armor". When your armour depletes, it means your fragile body actually just got harmed (fatally) by the futuristic weapons you're up against.
  • Crosshair Aware: Done by the bomber Thorne employs in Prejudice.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: In the first game, dying just means you respawn (via atmosphere drop) back at the respawn point, without even interrupting the mission. Prejudice uses a more traditional checkpoint system where dying resets the game back to the last saved checkpoint.
  • Dual Boss: In Prejudice, the two special Engineers in the last level, just before the final boss fight. Besides having an insanely high amount of health, one of them can spawn turrets and a healing supply depot, and the other one can spawn enemy Mechs!
  • Dynamic Entry: Two different versions. It's possible to kill players by running into them while your Overdrive is active. You can also kill players by landing on them after dropping from orbit.
  • Eagleland: Type 2. Way, way, waaaay into Type 2. The United States has apparently taken over the entire Earth and most of the other habitable planets in the galaxy, has abolished democracy and adopted a militaristic feudal system, grants its citizens few civil rights, is generally intolerant of dissent, and has started outright calling itself an Empire; it's also built on a foundation of genocide so severe it makes Hitler look like an amateur.
  • Elite Mooks: Section 8 has Commandoes, who have a lot of health and shields and are usually deployed as small kill-teams when you capture a particularly important objective. They're considered dangerous enough that the game automatically marks each one on your HUD with a special icon when they enter the battle. Prejudice has the Crimson Guards, who only appear in the last level of the game. They have really high health, and can also heal each other as well as drain your own shields to recharge theirs. Both Elite Mooks take a good several dozen assault rifle rounds to put down.
  • EMP: A number of weapons and equipment for the sequel has variants that can do this - it does extra damage to shields and drains jetpacks, equipment and overdrive bars.
  • Excuse Plot: The first game's single-player campaign is essentially just an extended tutorial for the game's multiplayer mode.
  • The Extremist Was Right: Section 8: Prejudice reveals that the widespread human colonization of the galaxy was made possible by mass genocide on a galactic scale, as the U.S. Empire secretly sent an advance wave of supersoldiers from planet to planet to kill off any competing lifeforms or civilizations to pave the way for human colonization. It may seem harsh, but it's all ancient history by the time the games take place, and as a human it's somewhat unavoidably hypocritical to fault the results.
  • Finishing Move: Hold down the button for fatal melee strikes in Prejudice to do a "fatality" animation.
  • Gameplay Ally Immortality: Your named teammates (i.e. Graves and Matthews) are invincible, which can be very useful in the later levels when the game starts throwing insane numbers of powerful enemies at you.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Salvador, as Corde points out that despite the U.S. empire being built on the slaughter of millions, Salvador's plans to kill millions more of citizens isn't the answer.
  • Helmets Are Hardly Heroic: Inverted; Corde and some allies almost always wear their helmets, while villains like Thorne and Salvador usually don't.
  • Human Shield: Salvador holds Graves as this. Unlike most examples, he is not at any sort of disadvantage since his forces have killed all enemy soldiers there anyway - he simply talks a bit this way then slits Graves' throat, easily getting away later because of his shields.
  • Incredibly Durable Enemies: As a result of everyone wearing Powered Armor, it takes quite a lot of shots to kill anyone. Even a basic enemy soldier takes a good 20+ rounds of assault rifle fire to bring down, and officers and Elite Mooks are even tougher.
  • It's Raining Men: All players spawn by dropping in from orbit, but there is a lot of tactical flexibly in this mechanic. You can drop in anywhere, but so can the enemy. You can deploy air brakes and slow yourself down to maneuver to the right position or drop straight in, lose some shields, and get there fast. You can also call down anti-air turrets to shoot other players out of the sky as they drop, but their range is limited. Similarly, all call-ins are airdropped. Like players, don't do that in range of enemy AA turrets.
  • Jetpack: Everyone has one.
  • Killed Off for Real: Graves.
  • Kill It with Fire: Prejudice contains incendiary variants of many weapons and equipment. They do more extra damage over time and are effective against armour.
  • La RĂ©sistance: The enemy in the story mode, but both sides are functionally identical in multiplayer.
  • Large and in Charge: General Salvador is over a full head taller than anyone else in the game; bear in mind that everyone's wearing Powered Armor that already makes them larger than a regular person.
  • Magic Tool: The repair tool, quite definitely.
  • Meaningful Name: For a while, being discharged from the US military for being "mentally unfit" (AKA crazy) was known as a "Section 8". Being willing to have yourself launched out of the bottom of an aircraft wearing only armor would certainly qualify as crazy...
  • Mini-Mecha: The Heavy Armor mech suits, which are over double the size of a regular Powered Armor wearing soldier, and feature miniguns for arms, are heavy resistant against bullets, and require multiple rockets to bring down.
  • My Country, Right or Wrong: The ending narration for Prejudice indicates that Corde believes General Salvador's version of events rather than the official story given by General Stone, but remains loyal to the Empire due to military pride/loyalty, as well as the fact Salvador was unable to offer any alternatives other than "kill a whole bunch of civilians pretty much at random".
  • Nitro Boost: After sprinting for a certain amount of time, this (called "Overdrive") kicks in, allowing you to shoot across the large landscapes and maps fairly timely.
  • Obviously Evil: Salvador in Prejudice. A bald, ugly blue-skinned giant wearing blood red armour... Who would have guessed?
  • Powered Armor: Everyone, all the time. Taken further with the deployable assault mechs.
  • Pretty Little Headshots: Thorne's death.
  • Regenerating Health: In the original game, you have Regenerating Shield, Static Health. To restore health, you need to either heal manually with the repair tool, or rely on mobile depots or squadmates to heal you. Prejudice adds more typical FPS regenerating health in addition to the regenerating shield.
  • Shout-Out: So many in the Achievements for Prejudice.
  • Standard FPS Guns: The assault rifle, machine gun, missile launcher, pistol, shotgun, and Sniper Rifle make up all the primary weapons. Det packs, grenades (unlike other examples, grenades explode automatically when enemies are in range of it, or eventually if no enemy is. Only in the sequel does the game have a variant that has a fuse which must tick down like a conventional grenade), knifes, mortars, repair tools, micro sensors and sensor blockers make up the secondary weapons. You can carry two of each.
  • Super-Soldier: Everyone, really, since even the lowliest Mook is equipped with a suit of Powered Armor of SPARTAN or Crysis caliber. The Spear in Prejudice are outright referred to as supersoldiers in-game, being genetically engineered supermen in addition to possessing the aforementioned Power Armor.
  • The Medic: Graves. Yes, we can only imagine what the recruiter had to say.
  • Trick Bomb: In the sequel, grenades and detpacks can be of EMP and incendiary variants.
  • United Space of America: America seems to have subjugated all of known space. But it's mutated into something virtually unrecognizable...and unpleasant.
  • We Have Reserves: In Prejudice, Thorne's bomber can kill some of his men, upon which one of your allies will mention this about him.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: It turns out that The Arm of Orion, and their secret backers, The Spear, actually have an extremely legitimate grievance with the U.S. Empire. However, they are unable to present any solution other than "kill a whole bunch of mostly innocent people pretty much indiscriminately". Corde throws this fact in General Salvador's face during the final battle.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: The source of The Spear's beef with the Empire. It seems that once The Spear was done purging the galaxy of alien lifeforms, the Empire decided to purge The Spear as the Empire considered them to be no longer human themselves. This leads to a Genocide Backfire, as the Imperial force sent after The Spear proved wholly inadequate for wiping out an army of genetically engineered supersoldiers, and only served to piss them off. This is also what Salvador does to Thorne.
  • You Rebel Scum!