Brink Hands-On Preview


Bethesda and Splash Damage were fully aware of the staggering amount of FPS titles going into E3 2010, and especially those with a focus on emotive single-player experiences. Brink is their FPS antithesis to the popular movements in the genre. The gunplay feels like Fallout 3, the movement like Mirror’s Edge, the customization of Army of Two, and multiplayer objectives like Timesplitters 2. Mix it all together and you have the fluid single- to multiplayer experience that is Brink.

Easily my favorite part about Brink is the acrobatics, or what the game respectably calls "Freedom of Movement." Using only the sprint button, (L2 on PS3) players vault over, under, across, and between just about any environmental obstacles based solely on the direction they are looking. This makes for an extremely intuitive movement system that allows for simultaneous focus on parkour traversing of multi-tier stages and shooting your way toward the next objective. If there’s any one reason to pay attention to this game, it’s the way these mechanics work in tandem (and in our hands-on demo to great success).

The constantly changeable classes comprise another system that wildly changes the way to work toward any specific objective. There are four classes: Soldier (tank), Engineer (skill and tech), Medic (support), and Operative (covert espionage). The roles of each are apparent in team play, and can be swapped out easily at computer stations. None are locked down to any specific weapons, but certain abilities (like auto-turrets for the Engineer) are class-specific and improve by leveling up. The Operative is probably the most fun and unique class to play as, because many of the missions and abilities allow for deft use of freedom of movement based on the situation. Altogether, the classes seem to be an effective mix, but only playing a single-player demo made it difficult to judge how they would balance in multiplayer.

Speaking of single-player, while the focus may not rest heavily on the story, it does exist for those who need it. The entire game takes place on the Ark, an artificial floating city that plays host to a futuristic version of the French Revolution. But this time, instead of storming the Bastogne, players will infiltrate Security (or government) facilities as the Resistance to cause all sorts of mayhem and destruction. Or perhaps if you side more with authority, you can take on the role of the Security and attempt to quell the resistance by repelling attacks and taking the battle to the streets. With two fully fleshed-out campaigns all integrated into multiplayer, the options are many.

But nowhere are options more abundant than in character customization. If you’ve played MAG, then the appearance customization will be familiar, although it appears that Brink offers another multitude of options as far as style goes. While this provides some sense of ownership of the character, it also helps distinguish you online because of the crazy amounts of combinations possible for each avatar. On top of the characters, though, weapons can be customized very much in the tradition of Army of Two, except muzzle, stock, grip, clip, sight, stand, and whatever else upgrades are bought with experience rather than cash. Combine all of that with your unique character, your chosen class, the playground industrial, maps and a whole lot of objectives, and Brink is shaping up to be a damn good game coming Spring 2011.


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Author: Dan Crabtree View all posts by
Dan is Managing Editor for GamerNode and a freelance gaming writer. His dog is pretty great. Check him out on Twitter @DanRCrabtree.

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