by Ingvi Snædal
previewed on X360
Cooperation wins the day
During each map one team will be defending and the other one attacking. In the mission we played at GamesCom, I was an Engineer in the Security Force. Our mission was to escort a bomb defusal robot through a map to get to a Resistance storage facility where they'd stored a chemical weapon that they were yet to weaponize. We first had to get the weapon to a crane, then an Engineer would have to fix the crane to haul the robot over a gap, then we had to escort the robot through a maze of storage containers all the way to their facility where the robot would get the bomb and we'd have to take it to the chopper that was waiting for us. All the while the Resistance was hammering us down and each time the robot broke, an Engineer would have to fix it.
When I took control of my character, I couldn't help to notice that the art style is a little bit like Team Fortress. Not as obviously cartoony, but unrealistic nonetheless. Don't get me wrong, this game is absolutely beautiful and the new texturing they're using with the id Tech 4 engine brings stunning visuals to this game. When I ran off to join the battle, I found that the controls were very responsive and well designed. I just always forgot to press the Smooth Motion Across Random Terrain (S.M.A.R.T.) button when I wanted to jump over something. After dying a couple of times I found myself standing outside a crane that needed to be fixed. I looked up and thought to myself “There's got to be some painfully obvious way to get up there that I'm missing”. I was very wrong. “Press the S.M.A.R.T. button and climb up on those boxes” I heard a voice behind me say. I ran up to them holding down the aforementioned button and sure enough, my character ran smoothly up onto that box.
Once I found out how to use that feature, it became a vital part of the gameplay. It functions so well that I was in awe of the amount of innovation it brought to the game. The game completely immersed me into the teamwork as well. I was playing better with a room full of strangers than I did with my own clan during the days of Battlefield 2. The game forces players to work together to solve the many obstacles that stand in their way of successfully finishing the mission. Each player will also get experience for using his special abilities to the benefit of the team. And it's frightfully obvious that if each Engineer buffs the gun of every player, each Medic makes sure that all players are fully healed and each Soldier makes sure that no player lacks ammo, then that team will function much better on the field than a team that doesn't work together.
S.M.A.R.T. makes the day
The focus of this game is teamwork. Teamwork and that innovative, amazing gadget called the S.M.A.R.T. system. The game reminds me quite a lot of Team Fortress, but with a hell of a lot more “Team”. The S.M.A.R.T. system makes sure that you go exactly where it is you intend to go. I know that many gamers shared my doubts about this system, remembering the promises made to us by EA about how well the free running system in Mirrors Edge was supposed to work. I can honestly tell you, after giving it a try, that the system in this game not only works, but brings a whole new depth to the gameplay. I definitely recommend that any fan of team based first-person shooters give Brink a try. I know I'll be picking it up as soon as it hits the shelves.