Tuesday, May 10, 2011

MashButtons.com reviews Brink

Bethesda sent us Brink last week so we were able to play earlier than most if not all of you folk out there. Don’t worry, I think the reason we got it early was to watch the tutorial video so we can play on day one instead of watching a really long tutorial video. All kidding aside, lots of you are out there wondering just what is Brink, and after having my way with multiple game modes, I think I can help explain, hopefully. Brink is a FPS that has a lot to it, including single player, coop, and multiplayer gameplay in a seamless ball of fun. You choose your side, create your character, and then go after objectives like Trump after Obama’s birth certificate. The story consists of two factions inhabiting the planet’s last safe haven, a floating city known as the Ark, during the middle of a civil war. This civil war has been going on for 25 years and the game starts as Security and Resistance tensions hit the breaking point, leaving you to choose which cause to fight for.

This is not your typical shooter and thankfully Splash Damage put together an in depth tutorial that I suggest watching as it will reward you 1000 XP and some insight as to how the game plays along with help completing missions. The Ark is a large game environment that looks great, think of a more polished Pandora from Borderlands but on a floating city. I started with completing the challenges by myself as there weren’t many people online to help me get through, but it seems difficulty is based on the number of players you select, but after completion I would suggest you do this first as well since there is a number of weapons and hop ups to help with customization of your character for when you start the story missions. Now onto the story, this is where the multiplayer fun begins as you can play alone, coop, or team multiplayer, giving a lot of replay value and providing a unique experience each time you play. I don’t know why but I can spend as much time customizing my Resistance soldier after each level up as I spend playing through the story, as you can change outfits to show off your progression through the ranks along with perks and weapons to get the upper hand on the opposition.

Unfortunately there were a number of issues that stood out to me, the biggest of all would be the horrible team AI when playing single player, despite the difficulty level, and your bot powered teammates are little to no help. So you can play single player if you’re not gaming online but the entertainment and replay values really shine when your online, but if you are playing with people without a microphone, it can be very frustrating, since the missions are mostly team and objective based so if you cannot talk to your teammates to coordinate a plan of action, things will probably not go as awry. The SMART button feature seems to be a bit glitchy at times where it will sense railings or boxes to launch over and then you will come to the same size obstacles and you just seem to run into it and have to reorient yourself if you don’t get shot in back or side while trying to figure out why you got stopped by a 3 foot tall crate.

Brink is probably the hardest game I have had to review. Not due to the difficulty level, but mostly because it is hard to compare it with other games I have previously played. I have had Brink for about a week and each experience seems to be a toss-up in regards to my enjoyment. What I do know is that playing online is where the entertainment comes from, while playing online with people using microphones and working together to complete the mission objectives is a blast. Unfortunately, you probably won’t be in this situation often and unless the next patch lets you filter mic only then each match is a crap shoot. Brink has a lot of opportunity to be a good game should the developers listen to the fans and continuously update and patch, but at this time I have to say it is a fairly average shooter, that is a nice change from other shooters out there that have taken many hours of my life.

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