Brink is a near-future FPS set on the Ark, a floating city being fought over by two warring factions. Designed as a utopian paradise, the Ark fell victim to its own success; it’s now overpopulated and sits on the brink of collapse. The totalitarian Security forces try to maintain order while the guerrilla Resistance faction attempt to escape back out to the mainland.
No ships have been seen for some 20 years and The Ark’s bosses, convinced this fact heralds the end of humanity outside city limits, have stopped anyone leaving. That might be OK if The Ark wasn’t over-populated, with the have-nots living in derelict slums and the haves living in posh splendour. This situation breeds discontent, and is the main reason for the start of the Resistances revolution.
The idea of Brink is different and I can’t remember any other games that have used a similar storyline. The developers ‘Splash Damage’ have definitely brought a new idea to the table without moving too far from the standard playability of any other FPS.
The weapons are loud and sound realistic enough apart from the sub machine guns that sound less powerful close combat weapon and more tinny in nature. The background music is relatively limited, however this is not really noticed above the volume of the gunshots and grenades going off around your head.
Your voice and those of your allies sound much like those of other FPS games, but they don’t show much in the way of actual emotion when you hear them.
I do like the sound, but I feel they could have tried a little harder to aid immersion, could just be that I’m picky and have started to notice these things more since I got told off during the teams ‘Portal 1′ reviews 🙂
Brink uses the ‘id Tech 4′ graphics engine, which has been used in Doom 3, Quake 4 and other ‘id Software’ titles such as Wolfenstein and Prey. As I tell you this it will become evident that Brink is not really going to be vastly different to most other FPS games out there.
You’ll spend most of your time in medium to small sized maps which the ‘Tech 4′ engine excels at. Some may think these area’s a little small, but it just helps to keep any combat and objectives on track and action oriented, which is never a bad thing.
The best place, I think to judge the games graphics would be the Character creator. The sheer amount of detail and colours is great to see, although if I had to criticise something, it would be that they need to add more different types of clothing. Some people may think I’m being greedy but… …well I guess I am a bit greedy actually.
During multiplayer some people with lower spec systems may notice a little drop in fps, but it shouldn’t affect them to a noticeable extent.
Before actually playing the game you need to create a character. This does not only involve clothing/haircut etc. but also body type once you have earned enough in game experience.
One thing about the game, which depending on preference may annoy some people, is that fact that you are currently unable to create female characters just yet. To some this may seem a small issue, but to those that value freedom of play, it could be annoying.
The body types mentioned earlier come in 3 types and dictate how quickly and easily you navigate the maps. With the heavy body type being slower and able to absorb more damage, to the light type that is easier to kill but far quicker and more agile.
There are 4 different classes to choose from on each map, which can be swapped as much as you like during any one level. They are the Soldier, Medic, Engineer and Operative. Each class has specific objectives that only they can interact with, so it’s important to have a good mix or some objectives are impossible. Once your class is chosen, you have your typical selection of weapons and unlockables via experience, and special abilities that can be purchased for each class as you level up. These range from extra ammo capacity for special abilities, to a variety of turrets for the Engineer class.
Last and most importantly, I have to mention the S.M.A.R.T. system. Smooth Movement Across Random Terrain is Brinks most prominent and interesting feature. Anytime you’re moving towards objects, terrain, or trying to get over or under things, it’s all done automatically with the push of a button. The system can lead to some epic escapes and entrances, and above all else it’s a hell of a lot more fun than just having crouching, prone, and standing as your movement options.
Playing the game in multiplayer is fun, but you do have the option of playing solo, in which case you will be joined by several bots. These bots, I’m afraid to say are hit and miss. Sometimes they are very good at covering/healing you and other times, they choose to ignore you completely. This needless to say can make certain objectives difficult to complete, so if you can, I’d suggest playing alongside a friend (if you don’t have any of these, you may have bigger problems than your bots not helping you out!).
Multiplayer is definitely the way to play Brink. Since the singleplayer and multiplayer use the same maps, you’re going to get the same experience both ways with regards to missions and objectives. This unfortunately is the area the game lacks in the most. It only has a grand total of 7 maps which is a major limit to diversity. The maps change when using different classes and completing the random objectives, but this doesn’t really do enough to take your mind off of this glaring downside to an otherwise brilliant game.
It’s a shame that the single player experience feels so disjointed, as it may put off anyone that prefers to play solo. Mainly because Brink is ultimately a very good multiplayer shooter (map quantity and sound issues notwithstanding. The varied game play and teamwork needed to progress through each mission make for some exciting battles, while the extensive customisation options and unlockables provide an incentive to keep playing.
An interesting alternative to Call of Duty/Battlefield for anyone looking for a little more story/substance. If you spend more time playing online than off, Brink is probably for you.