Review: Brink

Posted on May 13, 2011 by MASA.
Categories: Gaming, PC, Review, Steam Reviews.

So, Brink. The game starts with the coolest opening cinematic I’ve seen from a video game. And right from there it plops you into a commitment: Do you choose to save the ark, or escape it? After a couple of character customization windows, you are finally introduced into the world of outstandingly beautiful graphics. The scenery is drop dead gorgeous and the pure lighting really compliments the fantastically picked color schemes. Brink looks fantastic.

 

Yes these shots were taken from the spawn because it's

difficult to take pictures with bots constantly firing at you

 

The campaign is rather unique, blending single player and multiplayer in a way that’s not exactly co-op. With Brink, you can play single player and have people come join you (even if they are working against you [if that feature worked]) and work together to get objectives done. And it’s an interesting idea, but it doesn’t work in practice.

Brink reminds me of APB. It looks nice, but the game is shallow. The ideas are there, but the flow is broken. It feels like the developers didn’t playtest enough before they released the game and hyped it excessively.

Maps are incredibly hard to navigate, and unless you have previously explored the map (Wait, you wanted time to explore the map? Nope, you need to go complete these objectives before Mr. Announcer decides it’s time for tea and calls off everything) you will be lost. SMART is really just a running and climb over wall button, it doesn’t show off anything super innovative. It has elements of parkour but it’s so basic, I mean, we were promised stuff like wall runs, flips and rolls. This is not the true parkour we were promised, this is just obstacle navigation that flows decently.

Side note: Flashbangs should not work like this.

Sadly, the story ends anticlimactically, with some talk about “you win!” but nothing really goes on from there. Gamers never see themselves stop the uprising, our characters never do anything after the last mission. Somehow, this one mission stopped an insurgency or allowed us to escape the ark. We never really see much of what happens behind the scenes. Luckily, there’s an extended ending for both sides, oh wait, it’s just some guy looking wistfully at the sunset while the Ark appears to have burst into flames. Wow.

Lag absolutely ruins this game and it has nothing to do with people’s connections, the problem stems from Brink’s shitty netcode; it is absolutely horrible! In fact, every time someone joins a game, a host migration is attempted. I checked the console and saw, on average, three attempts initiate when a player joined. This is unacceptable!

You have ran past three people and haven't revived anyone. You are amazing.

Which leads to my critical point of Brink: It tries(?) to be a team based game and fails miserably. The game never focuses on working as a team! Most of the time you will spend yelling at teammates for ammo or health or whatever because they don’t know how to perform their roles.

Part of this is the fault of the indicators for help. They get all blurred together that it’s really hard to make out who needs help the most. And the game never prompts you or directs you to who needs help the most unless it’s super critical (someone lost all their ammo in all guns, or they are incapacitated). Even the game has this problem where you’ll end up trying to heal someone only to get the guy who just ran by him. Often times you’ll buff someone or revive them only for them to be killed (thus you waste your supplies and will probably have to throw out another one).

In the end, Brink is a game that has interesting ideas, but a terrible campaign (you’ll only play it once) that lacks content, and a poor story kills it completely. Brink is basically a campaign mode.

Verdict: Avoid. It’s a rather disappointing game that is not ready for prime time. The community feels like it would be short-lived when there are plenty of other FPS games that have better features and a stronger execution of game mechanics than Brink.

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