Brink

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Brink review
Davneet Minhas

Review

All Revved Up with No Place to Go

Identical Customization (cntd)


Class abilities are, of course, progression-based – you gain ability points as you level up and then spend them on class-specific abilities. Unfortunately, there aren’t enough ability points to become proficient at everything, so you’d think it’s best to focus on one class. But in this regard, Brink seems a little schizophrenic.

The game allows, no, even encourages you to switch classes mid-battle to complete class-specific objectives. To win Brink’s objective-based maps, Engineers need to repair, Operatives need to hack, and Soldiers need to blow stuff up, all of which can occur in a single map. So, should you spread out your ability points in anticipation of constantly switching classes? Or maybe focus points into one class and hope your teammates get the job done? You’re probably better off with latter. Maybe. Either way, the game seems to demand that you simultaneously become proficient in one class while spreading points over and becoming decent at all classes.

Tell Me More


As you may know, Brink is firstly a team-based multiplayer shooter but also has a single-player campaign. What you may not know is that the single-player campaign isn’t really a single-player campaign but simply a stringing together of bot-filled multiplayer maps with cutscenes. This is fairly embarrassing and maddening: embarrassing because no effort was put into making a compelling campaign, and maddening because there’s so much potential for one.

Brink’s world, the world of the The Ark – once a utopia, now a bastion of hope for some and a ghetto to be escaped for others – is one of the more interesting environments created in recent videogames. Thematically, it’s similar to Bioshock’s Rapture. I want to know more about how it came to be, how it evolved over time, how it degenerated. I want to explore its central, gleaming tower and its fringe slums. I want to meet its inhabitants, political and apolitical, violent and nonviolent.

Instead, all I get to see are cutscenes explaining a series of climactic and thoroughly uninteresting engagements between Security forces and the Resistance. The cutscenes are all well written and voice-acted. Like the rest of the game, they’re very pretty. But they’re also disconnected from the rest of the game – you have no part in them. Given the nature of the game, it’s hard not to simply skip them and start playing – which is not to say that playing with bots is fun and exciting. Brink is an intense game; the bots simply aren’t sophisticated.

Useless Teammates


During one foray in the campaign, I locked down a repair objective as a soldier with friendly bots and waited for an engineer to begin repairs. He never came. So, I switched to engineer and began repairs (Here’s where spreading out those ability points would’ve been useful.), but was then overrun as my teammates left me for some secondary objective. It seemed like they were actively opposed to completing the mission.

6.6

fun score

Pros

Pretty graphics, a distinct character design

Cons

Too repetitive, “innovative” features feel incomplete