by Marko Susimetsä
previewed on PC
Making a Splash in the FPS scene
In 2035, the remnants of mankind have moved to a giant floating city, called the Ark, to escape the rapidly rising seas of the ancient lands below. For over 25 years the Ark, consisting of separate floating islands, has sheltered the remnants of humanity, but it is now on the brink of civil war. Two factions, the Security and the Resistance are now at each others' throats, trying to take control of the Ark.
That's the premise of Brink, the new FPS developed by Splash Damage (Enemy Territory, Quake Wars) and published by Bethesda Softworks (Oblivion). Their new FPS will feature a unique art style and, it seems, some enhanced gameplay components that definitely make it worth a closer look.
Hey, you got your multiplayer in my singleplayer!
Innovation is at the core of the FPS genre. Without constant renewal, these titles can easily become repetitive. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule, and it seems that Brink has a good chance of being one of those exceptions.
Brink aims to remove the distinction between first-person shooter, co-op and multiplayer. In the past, people have basically bought two games in a box, as the multiplayer has been a completely separate game from the single-player. However, in Brink, your friends can dynamically enter the same game session that you are already playing, helping you along in your mission in a co-op fashion or opting to join the opposite side of the conflict. In essence, you will still be playing the same game, only one of the AI characters is now taken over by a human player. At best, the game can support an eight player co-op or eight versus eight player competitive game, depending on the desires (and of course the number) of the players. For the socially awkward, if you choose to play offline you will be safe from this incursion of other players.
When a new player joins an ongoing game, Brink will give him or her a suggestion of what role to play out of the traditional medic, stealth, soldier, and engineer list. This suggestion depends on the scenario that is unfolding in the game and which role is deemed the most useful in that context. Naturally, the entering gamer may choose to select another role, if he or she so wishes.
The world around you – the objectives, missions, inventories etc. – are all dynamically generated based on your role, status, location, and squad-mates. This should make the world feel much more alive than the worlds of other FPSs with scripted, linear missions. For example, if you get stuck because of some enemy position or another obstacle, the game will dynamically create missions for you to remedy the situation and make the game fun again. If there's a player on the opposing side who is dominating some section of the map, there will be missions for you to assassinate this character.