May 10, 2011
Developer: Splash Damage
A name of a game can say a lot. Just look at Duke Nukem Forever, that game took forever to come out, and fact of the matter is…it is still not complete. Or, take a game like Madden. It is a great game named after the long time announcer and coach John Madden. Similar to the man, the game needs more competition. John Madden didn’t become a bad coach or announcer; other people just rose to the top. The same comes with Brink. Brink is a solid game that is on the brink of becoming something amazing. It is a first person shooter with RPG elements similar to Borderlands but without the adventure elements. What Brink does is trying to blur the line between online multiplayer and single player campaigns. Every game seems to encourage drop in/drop out co-op, but not all of them make you feel as if you need it to finish the game.
The gameplay of Brink lacks a lot of polish. What it does right in one area, it does wrong in another. While Splash Damage did a fantastic job in programming enemy AI, they completely missed the boat in teammate AI. Opponents are strong and try to flank you; they strategically attack objectives and do so in groups and not individually. Your teammates do the complete opposite. You will often notice many of them standing around, they will attack objectives as individuals, and you never feel as if you have a teammate or even a team. On top of this, your team as well as you will die after being shot one to two times while your enemy AI takes one to two clips of ammo to kill. The entire game is plagued by this false sense of difficulty and makes it completely obvious that Splash Damage intended for Brink to be solely played as a multiplayer game.
Brink throws you in to a story already in progress and forces you to choose which side to fight for. You can be a security member or a resistance member. The truth is your decision is based on a short video that tries to explain this fight over The Ark. The Ark is a manufactured town built off of the west coast of America. The problem is they do not explain why the resistance wants to leave The Ark, they just tell you that they are trying to leave and the security does not want you to. Once you have made the decision though, it is just a click of a button to switch sides. There is no reward for choosing either side, it is just your default setting for how you play the game and how your character appears.
Now the story does not go anywhere. Each mission is essentially the same. You capture a point, blow something up, and then escort something to another location. Then, when you play on the security side they make you defend almost everything. Essentially though each side plays the same, and the short cut scenes are filled with one person complaining about the mission and one person saying why it is important. These scenes do nothing to improve the story or make it more entertaining and fill the void where a loading screen would typically be.
The graphics of Brink seem to be the best part. It looks very pretty in some of the early cut scenes with a bright blue sky and crystal clear water in the background. The character models are longer than normal and seem to have been stretched out. The closest comparison that comes to mind is the art style found in Team Fortress 2. Unfortunately most of the levels are dark with a lot of browns and greys. This really disappointed me because it felt as if Brink’s opening cut scenes really showed the potential for something great. There are not a lot of graphical hiccups in Brink and the frame rate stays smooth and consistent for even the most graphically demanding scenes.
Multiplayer in Brink consists of two kinds, Co-op play and versus. Each of these modes take place through the same campaign you play offline so the game is not any different. It would have been nice to see some different objectives for online. This is still where the game takes the cake and can be the most enjoyable part. However the game still fills open slots with bots that take over the game and completely ruin the experience.
While Brink can be extremely exciting and enjoyable it suffers in so many areas. Firstly the AI bots are worthless on your side and the opposition is incredibly difficult. The game forces you to fight the other team by yourself and even though you might be able to control a large portion of the match, the last two minutes of each objective is almost unbearable. You end up surrounded by the entire team, you die in one to two shots, and you run out of ammo just trying to kill a single opponent. The same thing happens in multiplayer due to many of the slots being filled by bots. The game runs smooth, the challenges are a good adventure and overall the game is a good challenge. You can level up and change certain perks to your player as well as their appearance. For those of you who like achievements or trophies, this game will take about 2-3 full days to get most of them. If you only play online, it should be easy to get every single achievement in a period of two days. Overall Brink brings a new twist to the genre and it could be a lot better than it is. If you have a lot of friends who own this game and play it regularly, this is an excellent pickup. They intended you to play with friends and enjoy this as a community and not an individual. If you need something comparable to this, just think of the PlayStation exclusive MAG. Both games are better if you have a group or team to play with. Brink gets 7.5 out of 10.
Gameplay: Fluid play. Brings new ideas to the table. Can be overwhelming and extremely frustrating.
Story: Weak and makes you start in the middle of it without a lot of background.
Online: Heart and soul of the game, and the only way it is intended to be played.
Graphics: Smooth, and very good looking. Too many dark levels. Characters similar to TF2.