Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Brink Review

I recall sitting in front of the television last June watching E3; my mouth gaping from the demo of Brink. I couldn't wait to get my hands on this steam punk world Splash Damage has created. After a years wait, Brink is finally on shelves. Does it live up to the hype? Or is it on the Brink of failure?

Brink is set in a future world where civilization rests on a floating city over the Pacific called The Ark. This isn't the utopia you may imagine, for inside the city many are dying from the lack of resources. The slums are not ready to settle for this cruelty, thus starting a resistance. This cold hearted resistance has begun a war between them and the security of the Ark. You may think this means an epic campaign with various plot twists and relatable characters; unfortunately this is wrong.

Brink's multiplayer is the games main point, being the only "real" thing in the game. It consists of 8 on 8 strategic game types. There are two modes in multiplayer, Stopwatch and Objective.

Objective mode is similar to MAG in many ways. There are various objectives throughout a large-scaled map that must be completed. These obje ctives consist of planting charges, stealing supply points, and guarding information. These objectives also have an alternate side for the other team; for example, if the resistance must plant a charge on a door, the security must guard the door. These missions are extremely interesting at first glance, but soon become monotonous as you progress. Stopwatch is this same strategy, except you are timed. Big difference.

Multiplayer is laggy and unbearable (at least on the 360). It's almost pointless to try to play online. Fortunately, you can hold private games with your friends that does not lag.

There are 4 different classes in Brink. Medic, the support-type class. Engineer, the building and defending class. Operative, the sneaking and attacking class, much like the spy in Team Fortress 2. And the soldier, an all around assault class. Each class plays very similar to the next, with only a few different changes such as the scout can place turrets while the soldier can distribute ammo. Overall each class uses the same weapons, so you really don't feel a difference between them. The only decent thing about the different classes is the different objectives that are entitled to them. Each class has their own list of objectives they must complete; for example, the medic may have to escort someone while the operative must hack into the enemies intelligence. If you get together enough friends to fill out these 4 classes, you can really feel like your part of a team and your mission is specific to you. It's actually a really cool feeling.

The characters is where Brink really hits home. In Brink you create your own character that you use throughout all modes. There are many different clothing options, each with their own set of color pallets. Every character ends up unique in their own way. Weight class is also an option. Larger characters run slow but can carry a vast amount of weapons while lighter ones, even though more agile, are weaker and have a small choice of weapons. It all comes down to your playing style and what you prefer. The different weight classes do make a difference on gameplay and do have a "weight" on how you play, no pun intended.

Campaign is really irrelevant to the game's core. There is no epic story, or story even. The campaign is all the multiplayer maps and objectives smashed together into an 8 level-long excuse for a campaign. Literally, the campaign is the same exact thing as multiplayer, except you and 7 of your friends are playing against bots instead of other players. A major disappointment in my book, for I was looking forward to learning about these characters and the world in which the game takes place.

Challenge mode is a decent addition to the game though. Challenge mode is a set of various missions a player and 3 of his friends can work at. Things such as races, tower defense, and escorting are all here. Completing these tasks unlocks weapons and upgrades for your character to use. Unfortunately, you can bust all of these objectives out in an hour, unlocking all of the guns and attachments.

This brings us to the guns. The guns in Brink are nothing really new and exciting. There are 24 guns in all, each with different stats and styles. They're all similar in stats; you have your fast guns and slower ones of course, but they each kill efficiently. The gun's don't have the weight that other first person shooter have. They all feel unbalanced and sloppy. The attachments are the best part about the weapons. Each gun has an array of options for it's attachments. You can have one attachment for each segment of the gun, like barrel and ammo attachments. There are a lot of options, each poking fun at other shooter games. For example, instead of the Reflex scope, like in Black Ops, Brink has the D-Flex scope, a worthy competitor. These examples just show the humor Brink has, but the lack of seriousness in which it needs.

Like the guns, Brink's gameplay is nothing new. Run, shoot, capture objective. The gameplay seems repetitive and washed-up. But hey, what do you expect from a FPS?

The new SMART system does add an interesting factor to gameplay though. SMART is the new running system in Brink. Standing for Smooth Movement Across Random Terrain, SMART allows players to pull off parkour moves with the tap of a button. Similar to Mirrors Edge and Assassins Creed, SMART is an A.I. running system. Leaping over obstacles and sliding under barriers is easy to pull off by just holding the sprint button, but feel rewarding when you do so. Nothing is like the feeling you get when you just sprinted up a wall, jumped unto a ledge, and slid towards your enemy killing him in the process. The system is extremely fun and new to a shooter, but not enough for Brink to fall back on.

Overall, Brink is a fun shooter with it's problems here and there. It has a wide-spread of customization options that provide entertainment for a few hours. It has a decent multiplayer even though laggy, and is fun to play with a squad. The SMART system is a cool addition, but isn't too important. The graphics are lackluster, and shady at times. And the gameplay is fun, while it lasts. Brink is enjoyable for the first few hours, but seems to fall flat once you've played every level. Hopefully Splash Damage will release some DLC to spruce up the re-playability of the game; but until then, I don't see Brink being in my console tray for long. I won't say Brink was a let down because it is fun at times. But at it's core Brink is a mindless shooter that won't keep me coming back for more. Once I max out to level 20, I'm done with Brink and unto the next FPS that's thrown at me. Long live the revolution!

Brink gets a 7 out of 10.


  1. Pretty cool review thage

  2. i liked brink very good game 9.5/10