Brink Preview


Who’d be interested in a squad-based first-person shooter from the developers of Quake Wars that borrows and streamlines concepts from Mirror’s Edge, blurs the lines between single-player, co-op, and multiplayer, and dynamically updates objectives for you and your party based on your team’s makeup and current situation in every mission? After Splash Damage’s presentation of Brink, published by Bethesda Softworks, I would.

Brink takes place in the year 2035 on The Ark, a massive floating city on an Earth that has been flooded by arctic melting and plagued by civil war. The island itself looks as one might expect from a makeshift continent, patched together like a giant salvage yard or flotsam erector set, and is a very interesting overall environment to explore.

The game operates around a few core concepts, the first of which is unifying players’ online and offline experiences. Whether playing solo, cooperatively, or in competitive multiplayer, successfully completing objectives and killing enemies earns XP that can be used to develop a player’s created character. Points are used to learn new skills, purchase and upgrade weapons, and unlock non-gameplay items such as outfits, accessories, tattoos, and other character customizations.

Brink‘s second major defining characteristic is that mission objectives change dynamically based on a player’s class and location, the current makeup and actions of the entire squad, and the general situation on the battlefield. Players have the option at the game session’s onset to select from classes such as soldier or engineer, among others, each of which has a unique set of skills, a handful of pre-defined weapon loadouts, and its own special and important function in the mission. No player is limited to a single class. In fact, objectives may ask characters to change class at "command posts" scattered across the map in order to accomplish certain goals during play. In this way, the flow of the game is constantly changing.

Kinesthetic flow is the final concept that shapes Brink‘s gameplay. Dubbed smooth movement across random terrain, or S.M.A.R.T., players will be able to navigate their surroundings with nearly the same agility and grace of Mirror’s Edge‘s parkour-practitioner, Faith, but with much less complex controller manipulation. By simply holding a button and focusing in the general direction they want to go, players will quickly jump, slide, vault, mantle, etc. over, under, around, or through environmental obstacles. Unlike Mirror’s Edge, however, Brink doesn’t neglect shooting mechanics in favor of platforming, and the experience seems to be completely cohesive despite the variety of gameplay options.

Splash Damage and Bethesda really look to be onto something with Brink, and in spring 2010, PC, PS3, and Xbox 360 owners will find out for sure.


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Author: Eddie Inzauto View all posts by
Eddie has been writing about games on the interwebz for over ten years. You can find him Editor-in-Chiefing around these parts, or talking nonsense on Twitter @eddieinzauto.

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