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Brink Review

Every so often, a game comes along that totally blows the competition out of the water. This is not that game. However, it does try to change things up and I’m pretty sure that, in time, many of the ideas in this game will become standard in others. So what exactly is Brink, and what makes it so different?

First off, let’s categorize this game. It’s a squad-based shooter similar to Team Fortress, but with a wide array of customization options that allow for excellent replay value. You play on one of two sides – The Resistance or the Ark Security Forces – and the story folds out from there. The story is told through normal cut scenes but never really takes off or holds your attention for long. It’s not a bad story by any stretch of the imagination but the story just does not fit into the   missions that well and there really are no strong characters to drive the story forward. Despite all that, the setting is pretty cool – a floating island that was intended as a self-sustaining “paradise” for a billionaire and his friends.

Now the gameplay is, there are no other words for it, absolutely awesome. You gain experience by not only killing the opposition but also by placing turrets, hacking certain tech and buffing/healing team mates among other things. This means that by the end of the round, the best performer isn’t necessarily the one with the most kills and this is exactly why team work is so important. It is absolutely integrate into every aspect of the game.

The other thing Brink brings to the table is the use of a “SMART” button. It basically allows you to do parkour type to reach various spots in the game and the level design follows this ability. The developers really wanted the player to think of the levels in a different sort of way. They are so designed as to get you to think of the level in three dimensions and if you are used to playing a shooter too linearly, then you are in for some trouble.

One aspect of the gameplay that will help you a lot (though it is irritating) is the AI of both teammates and enemies. Now this isn’t such a problem when playing online, but if you are thinking of playing solo… think again. The poor AI affects gameplay too often and on such a scale that it is virtually unplayable.

The unlockables and the leveling system are sure to keep you busy for while and the absolute wealth of customization options means that no two players will be exactly alike. However, after everything is unlocked a certain amount of staleness creeps into the game itself, though the developers have promised a free DLC in the coming months.

The graphics are alright. Alright in the fact that they are totally awesome from an art design and color perspective. It’s one of it’s strong points in that it’s not a traditional approach to artwork that many games follow. However, the technical side of the graphics is a letdown. The texture pop-in will irritate you for the first few seconds of every match, but Bethesda have a patch out that should fix these issues. The sound in the game is the best aspect – everything is near perfect. The guns sound absolutely awesome and the music complement the visuals sublimely. Overall I’d say a great experience.

In closing, I’d have to say that while this game could have been so much more, it does not mean you should not try it. Hopefully, with some DLCs and patches, this should the game that it was meant to be and not the game I have played. My mark for this game is 7.5/10.

John Wilson