by Ryan Phillip Hardesty
previewed on PC
And while core gameplay elements are being rearranged and rethought at Splash Damage, they havenít forgotten the aesthetics. The graphics are at the top of the herd in PC gaming right now, reflecting a world steeped in urgency and conflict. Sunlight dashes off corroded surfaces in a way you donít question. The hulking structures of the skyline and the massive cloud forms in the distance are there, depicting a place where your character has not simply been transported to but a place he or she is a part of.
The characters themselves are also part of the graphical splendor but not in a way many people would expect. The design of the Arkís inhabitants has taken on a twist, resembling something thatís not so much 100% realistic as it is artistically inspired. The limbs are elongated, the faces stretched out just a little and the facial expressions a bit more resounding because of it. The environment looks realistic but the gunmen have the seriousness of the soldiers in Modern Warfare 2 but with just a hint of the cartoonishness seen in the characters of Team Fortress 2. Itís an odd thing to behold at first but as time went by I realized it was a better choice as it gave Brinkís characters an identity not seen in other games.
Bolstering that identity is the gear you can equip. Splash Damageís intent is to give you numerous options for creating your own character, so much so that youíll stand apart from every other big mean baddie holding a gun. Splash Damage is even making physical size an option. Choose to have a large, tubby character and youíll have more hit points but wonít maneuver as quickly. Go with a lean, nimble character and youíll dash across the battleground but serious damage will be your mortal enemy. From weight to tattoos to hairstyles to clothing to war paint, youíll be given the chance to define who your character is, obtaining even more options as you accrue experience points.
Experience will be obtainable in every part of the game, whether itís single-player, co-op or multiplayer. As you level up, youíll gain access to some new gear that can immediately affect the game such as devices, guns, class-specific abilities and even new game modes. Splash Damage knows of the dangers a level 30 player can pose to a noob level 2 which is why theyíre making sure the difference in power isnít that vast. As you snipe characters and witness the little green experience numbers floating out of their crumbling bodies, youíll be gaining access to things that, while they wonít exactly throw the game in your match against low-level players, will most definitely assist you in defining who your character is (and maybe a badass grenade launcher to boot).
Looks to be worth the extra wait
The release date for Brink has been pushed back from spring of 2010 to fall of 2010 but, from looking at what Splash Damage has on their table right now, thatís understandable. The game is being developed for the PC, Xbox 360 and the PS3 all at once and all in-house with a simultaneous release date planned. It may take a little longer for the fight over the Ark to hit our doorstep but, considering the promise of innovation the game will bring with it, Brink is looking to be fully worth it.