Sunday, May 15, 2011

Brink Single Player Review

Brink, I am disappoint.


When we took our first look at the new Multiplayer FPS Brink, let me tell you, we almost crapped our pants with excitement. A new class-based, team focused game that not only incorporated the quintessential mechanics that have come to be expected in any FPS, but also gave players the freedom and speed of free running seemed almost too good to be true.


Alas, our skepticism rang true once again. Brink delivers something we rarely see in video games today. Unfortunately, it falls short, never landing anywhere close to its true potential.

Gameplay

3.0


I’ve always been a fan of class-based games. I love how a team relies on the individual quirks and gadgets of each individual class and becomes crippled if any piece of the puzzle is missing. In this way, this genre seems to circle around the fundamentals of teamwork like no other genre.

The ideas behind Brink are phenomenal. Classes that are all necessary for a team to be successful but none of which are fundamentally handicapped from combat, freerunning to keep the game incredibly fast-paced and, to top it all off, complete character and weapon customizability. The ideas are all there.

In practice, unfortunately, these ideas seem to erode before our eyes. The equalization of the classes gives them a lack of definition and makes the game seem painfully similar despite the changing of classes. The free running is rather slow and really doesn’t open many paths that wouldn’t be available to any other FPS.

Character customization also seems close to pointless. The abilities that can be bought with skill points add a nice dose of originality in this area but most everything else falls short. Even something as important as your characters body type does little to change the overall feel of the game.

Despite all of this, Brink could still have been a great game if it were possible to play. The campaign is utterly identical to the multiplayer only with human players being replaced by bots. Your current objective really decides how your teammates behave. While defending they start off as killing machines, never letting the opposing team anywhere near their objective. As the timer ticks down the tides turn, and your bots seem to wade into hordes of enemies without firing a shot. It’s at this same point that the opposing bots learn how to shoot and quickly turn into unstoppable killing machines. This cycle seems to repeat at every objective, the defensive turning from badass to dumbass and the offensive shifting from dumbass to badass. This, as I am sure you can guess, makes for incredibly long and repetitive games.

Well it’s a multiplayer game anyway right? Who needs bots when you have actual people? Well, that would be true, if you could actually play with other people. On the Xbox version of Brink I was NEVER able to connect to a game that was actually playable. There was far more lurching, jerking and cursing than actual gameplay, let alone teamwork.


Video / Audio

4.0


The style of Brink was something I really enjoyed. The rough, crude look was truly fitting for the game and was definitely one of its strong points. But once again, Brink fell short.

The style of the game couldn’t truly be appreciated due to the constant rendering taking place. After so much as a 90o turn the game decides to start a “renderfest” and the world transforms from flat to textured slowly, very slowly.

This gave the game a rather unfinished feel and made its stylized look almost unnoticeable.


Story

3.0


Brink offers a rather intriguing premise. The storyline follows the inhabitants of The Ark, a once Utopian floating city that has slowly fallen into poverty and disease. The lower class residents, those suffering most from its shortcomings, assemble a resistance group aimed at escaping and hopefully finding the outside world. The security forces aim to not only quell the violent resistance, but also to eventually save The Ark in an undisclosed way.

The player immediately chooses a side to fight for but this decision ultimately makes no difference in the way the game plays out. The story is told through various cinematics before and after missions. These cinematics, at most, provide a vague premise for the coming mission and really almost nothing to the storyline. Character depth is non-existent and the cinematics do nothing but waste time.

Honestly, there is an interesting premise for Brink, but almost no actual story.


Content

4.0


Brink offers three ways in which to play the game: Campaign, Multiplayer, and Challenges. The campaign, as mentioned before, is simply the Multiplayer played with bots. The multiplayer, as also mentioned before, is nigh unplayable.

The challenge mode offers a nice addition to the relatively repetitive gameplay. It features set objectives that a player must complete. The player is rewarded weapons and attachments for doing so. These are actually very enjoyable.

Overall, the content Brink has to offer is rather limited and most of it gets old very quickly.


Huevos Factor

5.0


Brink had the makings of greatness in it and yet fell quickly into the deep abyss of mediocrity. Despite its flaws I believe it could have been, at very least, an entertaining change from the monopoly of multiplayer giants if it had simply made the game playable. A game focused around mutliplayer should never have multiplayer as its main weakness.

One thing I hope is that other games further develop what Brink has started. Parkour and character customization both have huge potential as legitimate game mechanics. These mechanics could make a future game amazing.

I wish I could have given Brink a better score, I truly do, but its greatest weakness is what should have been its greatest strength.

Breakdown:

Gameplay
3.0
Video / Audio
4.0
Story
3.0
Content
4.0
Huevos Factor
5.0


Total
3.5

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