Published on June 1st, 2011 | by Gabriel


Review: Brink

Review: Brink Gabriel

Summary: Gabriel takes a look at Brink, is it any good? read the review to find out!


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Set in the future, Brink presents us with the ongoing battle between two factions, the Resistance and Security, as they battle on an island called The Ark, set in the waters of a flooded earth. The Ark was a model for sustainable living, a utopia set  apart from the rest of the earth. But soon after, the impending danger of a global environmental crisis that some had stated was coming became real: glaciers melted, sea levels rose, and the earth became flooded. Humanity, trying to survie, fled to the floating island, seeing as their last beacon of hope. The island became overrun by refugees who just cared about their survival, while the original founders and inhabitants struggled to maintain the island. Now, some time after the catastrophe, the Ark has lost contact with mainland. As the Ark’s resources begin to dwindle, the balance begins to falter, throwing the Security and the Resistance forces in a heated battle for control of the Ark. An interesting premise isn’t it? And that’s what Brink is: a FPS filled with interesting ideas and features which don’t quite reach their potential. Don’t get me wrong, Brink can be a fun game if you let it, but is it worth your hard earned money? Well that’s what I’m here for, to let you know.

As previously stated, Brink is a FPS but it’s not your usual run and gun shooter. Brink is a tactical, class based, cooperative shooter. What this means is that you’ll be put into the action and while you can kill opponents from the other team, this isn’t usually your main objective. Brink will give you your choice of 4 classes and you must decide which class to embody depending on the taks at hand. You can choose between Soldier, Engineer, Medic and Operative. You’ll be able to change between these on the fly through command posts scattered throughout the various maps. This makes for a fun and interesting mechanic, letting you tailor your style of play, on the fly, depending on what your team must accomplish. Need to defuse a bomb? Change into and engineer. Need to get an item that is being defended by the opposing team? Change into an Operative and disguise yourself as one of them. Your teammates keep dying all around you? Revive them as a Medic, and so on and so forth. Another aspect that sets Brink appart is its character customization, both visually and in the way of abilities. No two characters are the same because of the vast amount of different visual options. You can change your characters body build, face, voice, tattoos, shirts, jackets, pants, masks, beards etc. Weapons are also a big part of this customization, letting you change their silencers, scopes, grips and magazines. And the final stage of customization is your abilities. Every time you level up you’re awarded with level credits, which you use to unlock different abilities, some which are charged between all the classes while others are class specific. The last big component of Brink is its SMART system (Smooth Movement Across Random Terrain). While just holding down a single button, your characters will vault over obstacles and run up walls. It’s a neat mechanic that keeps your movement feeling fluid and fast. Sadly, this is where Brink’s problems start to show up, starting with the SMART system. It’s a very cool system that seems severely underused. Yeah, maps have the occasional obstacles here and there but not enough. The maps needed to be designed a bit more around the parkour movement but sadly they aren’t and it just devolves to an infinite sprint button instead of awesome terrain traversal.

Next is Brink’s campaign mode, if it can be even called that. What the game calls a campaign mode is nothing more than the multiplayer maps filled with bots. Oh and the bots. These have to be the dumbest bots I’ve seen in a while. Yeah, they’ll revive you when you’re down but that’s about it. They ever rarely stick to the objectives and just focus on shooting at the opponents. When an item needs to be transported from one side of the map to the other, don’t count on the bots as they will rarely offer support. Also shocking is the game’s low amount of content. Other than the many customization options, everything else is lacking. For a multiplayer only game, 8 maps is just way to small an amount. Add to that the level cap, level 20, which can honestly be reached in about 15 hours. And all the weapon attachements can be obtained by completing a set of challenges set apart from the online play. So other than clothing options, there are very little incentives to level up, since there is barely a sense of progression. By making certain weapons unlockable at a higher level, the player would have something to works towards to. But as it is, you can have every single weapon without even entering an online match. Graphically, Brink is also a mixed bad. While the art style is great, featuring elongated characters with a very unique look and many interesting attires, the technical side of the game just doesn’t hold up. There is constant texture pop in, especially visible every time you respawn. The colors look washed out and muddy and the framerate sometimes struggles to hold up. Also, the lag is sometimes unbearable. Even with a good internet connection, the game sometimes slowed down to a crawl. Some of these issues have been lessened with patches but in general it’s still lacking. Brink is an ambitious game. It sets out to do something different in a market mostly owned by COD and run and gun shooters. It should be commended for that. And some of the things it does, it does very well. But the overall package is lacking, sporting a lack of polish and some weird design choices. Nonetheless, Brink can still be fun if you can overlook its faults.

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