Entering into a packed first person shooter genre is not easy, especially if you are not doing something different, but Splash Damage has set out to do something different with Brink. Instead of making a single player campaign and a multiplayer mode, they have decided to combine the two into a team focused, action filled game. You choose between the Resistance, who wants to escape from the Arch, or Security, who wants to protect the Arch. Once you choose a side you can either play offline with bots, or online. You will play through the single player levels facing off against the opposite faction to complete tasks or to prevent others from completing tasks.
What Quenched My Thirst
As a fan of shooters, I feel that the market has really become filled with the same old games over and over. Many shooters claim to be team based, but rarely deliver on that true team based feel, but rather turn into lone wolf matches that contain no teamwork, but this is different with Brink. Brink is truly built on the idea of teamwork and really requires you to use it.
In each level, it requires you to complete certain objectives to win, but in order to complete these objectives, it requires you to use a certain class. This makes it important that you have a team that is diverse. It is great to have at least one of each class on the team. If you choose the wrong class to begin with, do not worry because you are able to change your class and weapons at anytime during the match at command stations that you begin with or the stations you capture at different points in the level.
Not only will this help complete the objectives, but also help the team out in other ways. Each class allows you do perform different actions that help the team by giving out ammo, healing, setting up turrets and other things. Performing these team-based actions will reward you greatly. You get a lot of points by helping your team out, but if you went lone wolf and just got kills, you will gain less points. They really built this game around teamwork and made sure each aspect backs this up.
The thing that really sets brink apart from the other first person shooters around is the SMART system. The SMART system allows you to jump, run and slide your way through the different levels. This free flowing system allows for a much different gameplay style. It opens up different areas of the maps that would not be reachable without the SMART system. It also gives some much-needed diversity in the way you play the game.
The SMART system works with all character types, but the range of what you can do depends on the type of character you create. If you want to move faster and be able to perform more actions, then you may want a smaller character, but if you are more into brute force, then you may create a bigger character. It allows you to really choose how you want to play, and this brings me into one of the best aspects of the game, customization.
When you choose your character, you are able to customize him in many different ways. You can make your character small, medium or large, and add things such as tattoos to them. You can change their facial look and age, and you can change their clothing at anytime. You will unlock new tattoos and clothing as you play. It makes your character feel truly unique.
What Left A Bitter Taste
Though this game has great customization and does a great job at creating a team based gameplay, there is not much else that it does great. The gunplay is solid, but does nothing new and the graphics will not blow you away, but rather keeps you satisfied enough.
The worst part about the game is that it does not offer much variety. After you play the levels a few times, you have experienced what the game offers. The level design is okay, but I fell that it should have more aspects that truly take advantage of the amazing SMART system; I find myself not even using the system that much in many of the levels.
The bots are also horrible. If you are not playing online, then you will find little challenge in the enemy bots. They will run into the middle of the battlefield for you to shoot them. There were many times that the bots would keep coming to the same place over and over, and I would just pick them off each time. I knew there were other ways around the spot I was at, but instead of going to find a different way, they just ran through the same door. The team AI is okay though. When you get downed, they will come to your aid quickly and heal you before they heal anyone else.
There is not much of a story either. Though the narrative of the game sounds interesting, it is just not fleshed out. It turns into a repetitive, been there done that routine. I was hoping for a lot from the story, but instead, I am left wanting a lot more.
Overall, Brink is a fun game that will keep first person shooter enthusiast occupied until the next shooter arrives, but I think it will only have lasting appeal with a small niche of gamers. It is a solid game, but does not do anything totally groundbreaking. It gives you some of the best team-based gameplay out there, but that is about it. The idea is great, but just needs to be more polished and fleshed out.
Developer: Splash Damage
Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, PC
Release Date: May 10, 2011