The first time I saw and played Brink was in 2010 during E3 in Los Angeles. At that time, I only got to play the game for fifteen to thirty minutes max and the game was somewhat satisfying. Given the opportunity to play the game a week early before its anticipated release on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC, I spent the whole weekend playing with the A.I. and some of my friends on Xbox LIVE who own the game as well. Brink isn’t the ordinary first person shooter games that fans of the genre should come to expect as it is more a tactical game where players must do objectives with either A.I. or with up to eight people on the network.
Brink is meant to be played with friends but for those who only play solo, the A.I. will be there to fill in their shoes. Comparing Brink to other tactical shooter games, does the game have a satisfying feel or at least a worthy purchase? Let’s take a look in the HOTs and NOTs of Brink.
Before a player can jump in and play Brink, he or she must create a custom character that they can use to play. These custom characters will be the one that players will use in both the story and the multiplayer modes of the game. The variety of items that players can equip to their custom characters will depend on how many things gets unlocked by simply playing through the game. Every mission the player accomplishes, certain outfits, gears and weapons will be unlocked. There are over hundreds of items that will become available later in the game and players can expect endless customization opportunities. While the characters that players will be making may look odd, the gears and equipment that players can give them are kick ass and it will make you stand out on the battlefield when playing.
After the player finishes the character customization, the player can now start playing the game and team up with other people online. For players who don’t have Xbox LIVE, a set of A.I. will be on the player’s arsenal for each mission that they play. Brink’s campaign mode is divided into different kinds of missions that varies from hacking a terminal to guarding it and each of them have their own story to tell. With more than ten missions in the game, players can choose missions at any order they desire. The learning curve of the game is pretty much easy to grasp. For gamers that play a lot of first person shooters, the controls will be familiar and easy to master.
Pure Teamwork and Different Classes
As mentioned earlier, Brink isn’t your typical first person shooter game. Aside from having the goal in shooting and killing your enemies down, there is more to it that most players would expect. Throughout the game, players will be spending time doing different kinds of objectives such as escorting NPCs in a specific destination to simply hacking a safe. Each mission in the game has its own time limit and failing to complete the mission before the time expires, you will fail the mission. Thanks to the seven players that will be joining the player’s party, tackling objectives will be much easier. Whether the people in the player’s party are A.I. or real people, the team must work together in completing the mission and this is where Brink truly shines.
In Brink, players can choose from a variety of different classes. The classes that the players can expect are; Soldier, Medic, Engineer, and Operative. Having a variety of these four classes in the game will help balance the team and tackling objectives will be painless. The four classes available in Brink have their own unique abilities. As the team is performing objectives in a mission, whenever a player dies, a Medic player can rush through the battlefield and give the dying player a syringe to revive them. Sometimes, a Medic can buff up the stats of a player or a Soldier can give ammunition to anyone on the team. An indicator on the HUD will appear whenever a player needs help and it’s up for everyone to response into it.
At the end of each mission, lots of experience points will be awarded. Everything the player does from reviving, or giving ammunition to people will give you experience points. Players can reach up to rank 20 and after that, the player can decide to make a new character to build up. At every rank the player gets, lots of items will unlock.
Freeplay and Challenges Mode
Whenever the player is done with the campaign mode of the game, players can access the Freeplay option where they can set their own objectives, set time limits, and have the player’s own rules. This option is where the game shines as the game gives everyone endless customizations to the levels. In Freeplay, players can change the game mode into either objective or stopwatch. There a total of nine maps that the players can choose from and they are all big. Expect lots of places to crawl and hide around.
In addition to Freeplay, there is a Challenge mode available where players will have to do different kinds of challenges, just as the title says. The challenges vary from; Be More Objective where players will have to race to complete all objectives while the rest of the player’s team draws the enemy fire. Of course, there is a time limit in place and for having no deaths and better time, bonus points will be awarded. After the completion of a challenge mode, items will be awarded that can be used on the player’s customized character.
Brink is a game that sadly has a weak story. At the moment the game starts, the player will be introduced in the floating city of Ark where two factions are at war. As the citizens of the Ark are at civil war, the players must choose which sides they want to play as. In the campaign mode of the game, the missions are divided into different factions. Each of the factions have their own mission objectives and can be played at any order. These missions don’t really give much of the game’s story and for the most part, I don’t pay any attention to any of it. Brink is a game with a shallow and uninspired storyline that will not hook players for very long.
For players who will be playing Brink by themselves with the A.I., prepare to be frustrated. In the history of first person shooter games, Brink has the dumbest A.I. I’ve ever seen. When they are in play, the A.I. is moving all around and it makes me think that these A.I. characters are being controlled by a kid. You will see the players’ team mates and the opposing forces’ A.I. running around shooting, and sometimes, they will just stand there where you can just walk by in front of them and never get noticed. Playing Brink by yourself is not a wise decision and players will not be able fully enjoy what Brink has to offer when they’re going to play with the A.I. instead of real people controlling them.
Judging by the screenshots and trailers, Brink looks nice but as the players play through the actual game itself, Brink looks very outdated. Comparing the graphics of Brink to other first person shooter games out there, Brink will be the weakest link. Sure, the maps are all well drawn but players can clearly notice some slight screen tearing and graphical stuttering. The graphics of Brink is not the best I’ve seen but it’s decent enough for this kind of game.
Being focused solely on multiplayer, Brink offers no lobby whatsoever. Instead of putting players into the lobby, they will brought into the game right away making it hard for anyone who wants to invite someone or join a session. It would be cool if the developer will at least make a lobby for the team.
Overall, Brink is a game that is meant to be played with other people and not with the A.I. If the player decides to play the game by themselves, just prepare to have the dumbest A.I. in your team where players will most likely get frustrated and throw the controller out. The game is not a shabby title and it’s not something everyone would go out on day one just to buy it. The game’s major strength is the deep tactical team work gameplay but it falls short on the weak story of the game and the A.I. is just unbearable.[Editor's Note: Brink was reviewed on the Xbox 360 platform. The game was provided to us by the publisher for review purposes.] Brink Review,