Brink sure knows how important it is to make a good first impression. Rather than a predictable CGI intro you’re presented with a neat stop-motion animation showing the construction and eventual ruin of The Arc – a self-sustaining floating city that has become overrun with refugees. You’re then forced to make a major decision right off the bat – to save The Arc or escape it, which will determine whether you play as the Resistance or a member of the clearly overworked Security sector.
Messing around making your own character is an ample time waster in itself. The people behind this creation tool are clearly a talent bunch – the character models look fantastic and are packed full of detail, with tattered clothing held together with duct tape and old car seat belts used as make-do braces and whatnot.
Once in the main game, cracks suddenly start to appear. And they’re not of the good variety. The character model you use during the main game is nowhere near as detailed as it appears in the creation tool, and rarely does the game look as good as it does in the pre-release screenshots, due to some blurry, low-res textures. But as an ugly girl will tell you, looks aren’t everything and Brink’s emphasis on teamwork is something that engages instantly.
Fans of Team Fortress 2 will feel a sense of familiarity here – the character classes and skill sets are very similar. Engineers can learn how to construct gun turrets and set up short-cuts, operatives can disguise themselves as the enemy, soldiers can hand out ammo – which is in short supply – and place charges, while medics can revive the fallen. Switching classes via the capturable command centres when the time calls for it can really help swing a battle in your favour. Items can also be shared with your team mates – engineers can dish out body armour while medics can speed up your metabolism to help recover health quicker rx tadalafil.
Brink has to be one of the most generous games around when it comes to handing out experience points. Just about everything you do earns XP which helps you rise up the ranks and unlock new abilities, such as being able to shoot grenades while they’re in the air and place more than one mine at a time. Another notable feature concerns character movement. As long as you’re taller than an object it can be climbed over, adding more potential short-cuts to the already impressively designed levels.
The trouble is that there aren’t many of them – Brink suffers badly from a general lack of content. Like similar shooters Section 8, Shadowrun and Quake Wars before it, it’s also hard to recommend for its single player mode alone. The AI does put up a good fight – they place turrets in surprisingly tactical locations and also uses short-cuts to get to their objectives quicker – but the objectives themselves are very clichéd. About half of the game is spent guarding objects while standing around like a heavily customised lemon. The escort missions are infuriating too – the health bar of whoever you’re escorting can be drained in seconds and then you have to wait for a medic to get them back off their knees. It can take a good five minutes just to get them escorted halfway down a corridor.
Both campaigns can be done and dusted in around 4 hours, leaving you with only a handful of challenges that appear to have been included in the very final hours before the game shipped. The tower defence mode initially sounds exciting but is anything but – the map is tiny and as basic as can be. The same goes for the escort missions which simply involve following a vehicle down a narrow corridor while enemies swarm out of doorways. Weapon attachments can only be unlocked by taking part in these challenges, but fortunately they’re pretty easy and shouldn’t take too many attempts to beat.
Brink certainly provides food for thought. A sequel – with the polish that’s missing here and visuals as good as the ‘cleverly selected’ images Bethesda chose to release to the press – could be a marvellous thing. As it stands, it’s hard to consider it as anything more than a mildly pleasing diversion until the next big name first person shooter arrives.