Yet another first-person shooter (FPS) game hits our shelves. It seems to be that the majority of big titles released these days are FPS, with none of them really standing alone with something slightly different to make it stand out from the rest. But does Brink break that mould and bring us something new?
Most FPS games allow you to be pretty much a solo player, running around and doing your own thing, killing anyone that stands in your way. There’s been plenty of times when I’ve single handedly won a Deathmatch on Call of Duty doubling my entire teams score (I’ve also been on the other side) as you can work individually. This isn’t the case with Brink however, as it’s vital that you work as a team to achieve your goal, otherwise you’ll find it rather tricky to achieve any objectives.
The story is set on a man made, self sufficient island called the Ark which is on the brink of civil war and no longer holds any hope for the people who live there. The game splits players into two factions, the Security who are trying to save the Ark, and the Resistance who are trying to escape from it.
When you first start the game, you’re asked to create your own character for both the Security and the Resistance. You’re given quite a lot of items to be able to customise the way your characters look which is good fun, and later allows you to unlock extra items.
The game has 3 different game modes which include Campaign, Freeplay and Challenges, all of which can either be played solo, co-op multiplayer, or online with fellow Brink players. The Campaign has 8 missions which you can play with either side giving the players different objectives for each. The missions can last quite a while if the Security achieves all the objectives, but if the Resistance stop the Security from achieving but one of them, the Resistance will win. You also have secondary objectives which will earn you extra experience points should you wish to complete them during the mission.
If you’re used to FPS games, then you’ll have no problems jumping straight into Brink and mowing people down. The controls are similar to most FPS games so you shouldn’t have any problems getting to grips with Brink. However, don’t expect to be playing the hero and go solo as team work is vital to complete your objectives. It will take you a while to clear the enemy from their defensive positions which is where you need to be and then hold that position until you’ve hacked/planted something.
The developers Splash Damage have added their new SMART (Smooth Movement Across Random Terrain) System which can be quite fun to use when you sliding under parts of the landscape whilst letting off a few rounds, or performing a wall run. It’s nothing revolutionary but still fun to use none the less. The AI can be quite poor at times, especially when you’re the one carrying something important and they can’t seem to defend you if their life depended on it. There was plenty of times throughout the game when I thought it was a great game and I could play it for a good period of time. But there were also moments where the AI frustrated the hell out of me and I ended up just turning it off.
The customisation is pretty good, giving you lots of choices to create your character for both sides as well as upgrading and customising your weapons. Throughout the game you will gain experience points which will allow you to buy better abilities, as well as customising your weapons and upgrading them.
Visuals and Sound
Brink hasn’t gone for the realism side of things with their characters and they have given a more cartoon style approach which works really well with some great looking cut-scenes at the beginning of missions. However, there are a few places where textures have taken a few seconds to load into the game which is quite poor for a game like Brink. The rest of the game looks nice and polished in places, but it’s nothing that will visually blow you away.
The sound is average at best with a few explosions seeming a tad on the pathetic side, such as grenades. You can change your characters voices in customisation which is a nice touch, but there are times when the voice audio just loops the same thing over and over, especially when the other team are capturing a command post which can be a bit irritating.
I wasn’t really sure what to make of Brink before its release, as an FPS, it is an FPS no matter how you label it. The fact that you have to work as a team has both positives and negatives depending on whether you’re playing solo or online. A bit more depth to the online features like a straight up Deathmatch would have been a nice alternative to the objective based matches, as you’ll find yourself becoming bored of doing more or less the same thing with the game feeling quite repetitive. If you’re a fan of FPS games and want something a little bit different then I’d recommend adding Brink to your collection. Just don’t expect a classic.
Brink is also available on Xbox 360 and PC and is available to buy now.
3.5 out of 5
Danny ‘Ender’ Martin has been part of the Zath team from pretty much the very beginning since he met Zath himself at Leeds Met University whilst studying Business IT. He’s an avid gamer and a big film buff. Danny graduated from the University of Bradford with a degree in Computer Animation and SFX and now currently works at one of the biggest UK games developers, which will hopefully see some of his ideas hit the gaming world.