Should you play Brink or Section 8: Prejudice?

Title Should you play Brink or Section 8: Prejudice?
Author Tom Chick
Posted in Features
When May 10, 2011

Brink and Section 8: Prejudice are both new; they're both team-based; they're both very multiplayer but with excellent bots; and they're both all about objectives and loadouts and special abilities and delicious asymmetry..

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I haven't spent much time with Brink yet, and all of it has been single player, but so far I've only had minimal performance issues running it on high settings on a mid-range video card. Absolutely gorgeous game, fantastic, frenetic play, but there's another knock against it on the PC: it costs $50. Prejudice is a steal at $15.

Nicely done Tom, for a non-CoD player (not that there's anything wrong with that) I'm really enjoying some FPS.

That last one is kind of a big issue, though. Are you suggesting people buy the game right now, or wait until the issues are fixed and the price goes down? Brink is a full retail game, so up to 4 times as expensive as Section 8.

That last one is kind of a big issue, though. Are you suggesting people buy the game right now, or wait until the issues are fixed and the price goes down? Brink is a full retail game, so up to 4 times as expensive as Section 8.

Yeah, that's an excellent point, Omega! However, I tend to think the more valuable investment in a game is the time spent rather than the money. I know that's not the case for all folks, but I tend to gloss over pricing issues because so many of us have such different priorities. But no matter how you feel about the issue, Section 8 is a heck of a value for $15.

"with excellent bots" Really? A lot of critisms aimed at brink were that it's bots are terrible. I haven't been able to play it yet, so I can't speak to it myself. Although I will say in Section 8 the bots are pretty good.

Yep, excellent bots. They fill in just fine for human players. They know the map, they use the tools of their class, and they don't do stupid things. They make Brink a viable single player game, and they make it easy to play with only a few friends and bots filling out the server, just like Section 8. What are the criticisms about them beyond "the bots are terrible"?

Jeff Gerstmann thinks the bots are one of the worst parts of the game, and the guns are a bit crap, too (Amongst many other problems).

I've not played the game at all, so I have no opinion. It's hard to see how two people could come to such very different opinions. It's not even subjective things like you'd expect.

Many reviews have given the AI a poor review, saying it incopentent, dumb and often gets in the way. Jeff Gerstmann has probably been the harshest on that aspect saying the AI can't play it's own game. I was surprised to hear some positive stuff about it, is all.

One thing I would like to point with Section 8 Prejudice, at least on console, you can't play a match with a friend or two against bots without the stupid game autobalancing you and your friends and splitting you up to opposite teams. The last game did this as well and it's a real head scratcher.

There is this other mode called swarm that you can do this with, but it's not very good. Kind of like a horde mode where you just hang out at one control point the whole time fending off enemy bots.

Speaking of bots (not to go too far off topic here), Tom did you know that Treyarch has been improving bot matches in Black Ops? Now you can do hardcore deathmatch/team deathmatch games (no HUD, bullets do more damage), and the bots can now call in care packages, drive RC cars and plant claymores.

The bots in the game are horrible. You either play multiplayer or not at all. I spent more time cussing out the idiot bots than enjoying the game.

Interestingly, I was just listening to the Giantbomb podcast ( at around the 32 minute mark), where Gerstmann laid out his issues with Brink again, and he brought up Section 8: Prejudice. (He starts talking about it While he doesn't think that game is great, he thinks it's better than Brink, and has a similar amount of content, for only $15 rather than $60. He seems to think it's not worthy of a full-game price tag, even if what was there was really good. In some ways that sounds like the first Section 8.

The singleplayer campaign is, according to him, just the multiplayer maps loosely tied together by cutscenes and populated by bots. Bots which run into walls, don't complete objectives, stare at you for several seconds before shooting, etc. The only thing they are good at, he says, is reviving you when you fall. But even then it's to a fault. They make a beeline for you, regardless of enemies, often getting killed. The guns are samey and lack punch and he doesn't like the grenades. The way the multiplayer is set up is odd (having to choose a map first when trying to play the mp campaign, thus dividing up the playerbase into twelve.)

Actually just listen to it and maybe read the review. He makes more points than I can fit here.

I have it on my Gamefly queue. I'll go into it with an open mind and see how I like it.


I demand an edit button! Ignore the "(He starts talking about it". That was a cut and paste fail.

Neuromancer, good to hear they're working on better bots for Black Ops. I felt really cheated by how limited bot support was. But mostly, I don't like how they're segregated from the rest of the game and the whole leveling up system. And, yeah, it's disappointing that Section 8: Prejudice doesn't give you the same level of control over bots as the last Section 8. I hope they'll address that.

Mr. JA, I can't really speak to Gerstmann's experience; you'll have to take that up with him. I've spent the last four days playing against bots and I'm pleased with how well they work. For what it's worth, Splash Damage did similarly solid bots with Quake Wars, their last game. Did you play that? If so, you can see that Splash Damage knows how to adapt an AI to their game design.

A missing similarity of both games: They have freeze bugs! S8P since the launch, still waiting for the final patch (I don't have much lock-ups as some users in the forums) and Brink, too, according to forum posts and at least one review.

@Neuromancer: The splitting of friends is an issue, but according to the developer, they already tweaked this a bit (see Title Updates and Hotfixes). I think it's more a problem that you have to play at least one match to put together in a team/squad (if it works, only tested it once).

When I look at the Brink reviews so far, I am quite disappointed that after Homefront there's another "just good" shooter. Well, I like S8P, besides the freezes and some other smaller issues.

I didn't mean to cast aspersions. Your experience was your experience. And I haven't played it yet. It was just surprising to hear praised the one thing every review I'd read previous to this (Gametrailers, Giantbomb, Joystiq, to be precise) had problems with.

I can say that even if the bots are fine, all the other issues I'm hearing about would prevent me from paying $60, especially the lack of content. Luckily I'm renting it. I'll give it a fair shake, and perhaps purchase it if it turns out ok. I bought S8:P after reading your write-ups, even though I disliked the first Section 8, and I definitely don't regret it. Fifteen bucks well spent, there.

Curious -- were you playing with the bots in the actual campaign, or are you referring to the bots that are used to fill up empty slots in multiplayer? I haven't touched the latter yet, but my experience with the singleplayer bots on the default difficulty last night was rather... underwhelming. I'd often rush past teammates who were just standing motionless in the middle of the map, seemingly paralyzed by some sort of existential dilemma; many of them seemed to care more about the secondary objective than the primary one; medics rarely actually healed anyone, preferring to wait until they were downed to hand them a syringe; etcetera.

That said, I do like the other elements I've seen, so I'm anxious to get in some multiplayer when I get the time. I'm quite looking forward to what appear to be some nicely vertical maps in Brink after years of the largely horizontal expanses of TF2.

I don't think there's any difference, roamunit.

I wonder if some folks glomming onto this "the bots are bad" idea don't understand how the game works. If you see bots just standing there, is it because they're waiting for their health to recover? If you're dead and a medic doesn't revive you, is it because he doesn't have the supply? Because if you're convinced these things are AI glitches, they're going to stand out much more in your mind than the times a bot was actually playing the game well.