Brink Review

By on June 15, 2011

Bethesda has laid a solid foundation for future titles, however the first one doesn’t stand too well.

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First Impressions
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With the commercial success of games such as Call of Duty, developers have started to give the online aspects of games more and more attention. Too much attention, some might say, considering how the overall length and quality of single player campaigns has quickly diminished. Brink, from Bethesda, looks to continue this trend by ‘blending the single and multiplayer modes into one seamless experience’.

Brink is set on a floating man-made city called The Ark, where a civil-war between two factions called The Security and The Resistance is taking place.

You start off the game by creating a character, and according to the devs there are 102,247,681,536,000,000 different characters you can make. You can change everything about your character from facial features to tattoos to scars, however most of it is superficial.

Something that will have a significant effect on the game, however, is the body type you choose. You can make your character lightweight, normal or heavyweight; with each ‘type’ having its own perks thanks to a unique system called SMART. With SMART, pressing the sprint button allows you to go into a free-running mode where you can climb walls, jump over obstacles, slide etc. and therefore rain death upon your opponents from all directions. The different body-types mean that with lightweight you can conquer much larger obstacles than the heavier body-types, while the more heavy characters will be able to carry larger weapons and absorb much more damage.

The multiplayer consists of 8 maps, and a number of different objectives. Then you also have two different types of matches, Objective and Stopwatch. During Objective, one team attacks while the other defends, and during Stopwatch, the teams try to complete the objective in less time than it took the other team. The game implements an XP system where doing anything from watching a tutorial video to killing an enemy gets you XP, which can be used to unlock skills. While the game is fun to play, it does quickly get bland as doing the same thing over and over again takes its toll.

There are 4 classes, Solider, Medic, Engineer and Operative, and each has its own abilities. They are well balanced, as they offer no overall advantage over the other, however sometimes it feels like they are too similar. With each class you can have a positive impact on the rest of the team, and therefore encourages people to take up different classes and work as a team.

Multiplayer also plays a large part in the campaign mode. You can choose which side, Resistance or Security, to take in the campaign and can re-play it for the other side if you wish. Each campaign consists of 6 levels + 2 alternate-scenarios and take place on the same maps as the multiplayer ones. The levels can be played against other people, with any empty slots filled with bots. Unfortunately this is ridiculously short, even by today’s standards, and the storyline is virtually non-existent.

The game does redeem itself to a small extent when it comes to graphics, it does look brilliant at times. However, it also suffers from occasional bugs and glitches which have been reduced to a large extent by recent patches but still rear their ugly head from time to time. The game also does well in the sound department, capturing the cold brutality of the weapons very well while employing a decent soundtrack too.

To sum up, unfortunately this game seems like a half-hearted attempt to cash-in on the recent COD-frenzy. Even though it does do some things well, such as the new SMART system, it is also far too monotonous and not varied enough to succeed. The foundations for a great game are there, they just need to be built upon much much more.

The Scorecard
The SMART system adds uniqueness, but the rest of the game is a let down.
The game does look brilliant, even though it is marred by occasional bugs.
Great sound effects for most weapons, and a decent soundtrack.
Neither the single-player nor the multiplayer offer enough to justify a purchase.
Great game at the beginning, but goes downhill quickly due to the monotony.
Potentially a great game, but most of that potential not realised.


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