For all its talk of parkour-savvy control, multi-faceted and distinctive character types, and an epic tale of survival on a floating post-apocalyptic island world, Brink boils down to a very simple sell.
It’s bad guys vs good guys in a quick-fire battle to the death.
On a loop.
If that doesn’t sound like the most scintillating of single player experiences, it’s because it isn’t. However, Brink – like many a modern fangled FPS – is an experience best (and really, only) experienced online with your friends – and when it’s played as it’s primarily intended, it’s a beauty of a beast.
Back to basics though and, again, the plot is fairly irrelevant. The world went to pot and everyone’s stuck on a floating city. The rebels want to get off the damn thing and the authorities want to keep the peace. Preferably with the help of some massive firearms.
The single player finds you thrown into different, objective-led firefights that fall into the old school mould of ‘protect/hack/defend the base’. You can choose to play out missions on either side from the off, and while the weaponary and level design initially captivates, the relentlessly repetitive back and forth soon tires.
Which is just about the right time to grab your headset, stock up on Doritos, call your friends and experience the joy that is Brink Online.
The ‘multi-faceted’ character types that were heralded before (Soldier – action heavy, Engineer – can fix stuff, Medic – revives your flayling ass, and Operative – stealthy hacker) come into their own, with each as integral as the other to your team’s success, and each given specific tasks and additional bonus XP points for fulfilling the character’s core function (i.e., you’ll earn extra points as a soldier for distributing extra ammo).
While the good old reliable ‘excessive force’ is still there in appropriate abundance, it’s the co-ordination that’s needed between your mates (or soon to be mates) that truly satisfies.
Splash Damage and Bethesda have refined one of the most recognisable and familiar multi-player FPS experiences into a finely tuned, co-op marathon. Which is all well and good, as long as you have a reliable connection, a host of similarly minded friends, and buckets of Doritos in bulk.
Brink is on General Release from May 13th 2011, and available on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC.