Brink Review (PC)
Posted by Michael Oliver, May 17, 2011 12:00
The Ark, Security and Resistance
The island setting and story of Brink surprisingly takes a back seat in this game. The rich and original story where everything sits on the ’Brink’ of civil war serves only as a backdrop, one the player never gets a chance to truly care about. When playing the missions they don’t feel truly important; they mostly feel like filler, the prelude to the only mission that seemed to count - the last one. Picking a side proved to be relatively unsatisfying because the final ending scenes for each faction leave you anticipating more. Also during these cutscenes the lip-synching of the individual players is off and to top it off your individually crafted and custom character is rarely seen. The narrative for each side also paints each other as the villain, so there is no true answer to who is on the right or wrong side to this conflict, there simply is for better or worse a conflict that needs to be fought. For example, any possibility of the resistance committing to being true terrorists is when playing as the security forces, or when indulging in “what-if” mission scenarios. The resistance campaign narrative doesn’t paint themselves as true terrorists, just an overworked and poor population doing what they need to survive.
What’s great about Brink?
Any time an original concept or story is added to the FPS world, gamers can around the world rejoice. For every unique game we have ten others set in a realistic or World War 2 setting. Brink brings to the table a refreshing new take on the genre with not only it’s story, but the way in which its story is told.
In the preview videos and hype up to the release of Brink, there were two things being championed that would set it apart from the overcrowded pack of first person shooters. First, the S.M.A.R.T. button (“Smooth Movement Across Random Terrain”) would allow you to dynamically get where you wanted to go. The same button can in each scenario can slide you under a door, vault over a rail, wall-jump, prevent fall damage by sliding as you reach the ground or allow you to mantle up to a higher ledge. It does give you a great sense of freedom when moving about the world of Brink and it steals the show, it’s the game’s crowning achievement and what it will be remembered for.
Second, Brink said anyone could seamlessly transition from mode to mode, and this is done very well. One problem is that bottom line, the “single player” as Brink would like you to call it, doesn’t really exist in the traditional sense. What you have is a multiplayer game, but you get the option to play it with bots. The glaring issue here is that the A.I. of Brink is very poor. When starting a single player game, but checking the option that would allow anyone to join up and play with or against you, the difficulty and difference in play styles of the game dramatically change if a real person hops in. If you can get past the fact that the A.I. is terrible, it’s great to be able to play and level up your character across either single, coop or multiplayer – letting you enjoy what you’re most comfortable with. If you’re the type of person who doesn’t want to try their hand at the competitiveness of multiplayer until you’ve maxed your stats in single player, you have that option.
The teamwork element present in Splash Damage’s most famous title, Enemy Territory was branded for being the best around. Brink returns to offer more of that comprehensive teamwork environment and objectives, as each class is required to win almost any map. Without class diversification and coordination, success is nigh impossible. Dedicated servers extend this feature and allows you to monitor and maintain these teamwork elements as well.
Finally, one of my favorite features of this game is weapon recoil. It is very refreshing to see a game where recoil needs to be controlled and learned again in order to be effective with a weapon. I was getting very tired of every other shooter being a fully automatic spam fest with little thought on how to control weapon accuracy.
Rating: 2.5, votes: 2