Brink may not be the first-person shooter you’ve been expecting because it doesn’t actually have a progressive single player campaign and separate multiplayer mode. Instead you play through the same objective-based team maps with AI or real people online as you attempt to either protect The Ark as part of the security team or escape The Ark as a team of rebels. The main selling point of the game seems to be the parkour aspect where you hold a button down and can move freely over scenery without getting caught on walls and railings. We have of course seen this before in Assassin’s Creed and to some extent in Mirror’s Edge and so Brink plays like a hybrid of these two games mixed with Unreal Tournament.
There are four classes to play as to help you achieve your objectives, whether you’re escorting or trying to kill VIPs, blow up doors, plant land mines or give health and ammo to your teammates. You can be an engineer, medic, soldier or operative. These can be switched mid-game on the battlefield at stations which can also be captured to give your team the edge so players can reload and swap classes closer to their objectives.
If you’re used to more classic FPSs then Brink will definitely take some getting used to and it certainly won’t be everyone’s proverbial cup of tea. There are only 16 missions in the game but if you’re into your XP and collectibles then you’ll have a field day. You get XP for anything you do as a team player and as you gain levels you get upgrades in the form of weapon attachments and new abilities. You can also fully customise your character with new outfits, tattoos, hairdos and helmets. There are also challenges to test your skills that throw you even more XP – you even get 1000XP just for sitting through a tutorial video before you begin the game. It’s certainly an incentive.
There are problems with the game though – there is terrible lag online which we are promised will be fixed and bugs creep in here and there resulting in graphical glitches. There’s also not much variety between missions. Playing against AI can be frustrating as you’re constantly downed and wait to respawn and if you’re defending an objective you have to keep on doing so until the clock ticks down for the other team. Sometimes I get the feeling I should really be doing something else instead of playing Brink.
Brink isn’t for everyone. If you like strong storylines and making progress then don’t bother with Brink. If, however, you love XP and upgrades and you enjoy the Unreal Tournament games then you may actually like it. Brink gets a good but disappointing 6 out of 10.
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