It's been quite a long time since Splash Damage first took the wraps off its incredibly promising multiplayer shooter Brink, and a wonderful hands-on session only made the wait even more torturous. Now, though, there's a light at the end of the tunnel. Brink's nearly cleared for launch, and it'll be landing on May 17.
For the uninitiated, Brink's a team-based FPS that's big on subtle, smart refinements to the genre – including the vaunted S.M.A.R.T. movement system, which makes clambering over obstacles simple and quick. The game's aiming to position itself as a nexus point between single-player, competitive multiplayer, and co-op. Ambitious, sure, but from what we've seen, it may very well pull it off.
So then, back to counting down the days. Only now we're not, you know, counting from infinity.
QuakeCon may be named after, you know, Quake, but this year, a different multiplayer shooter stole the show. Yeah, Brink’s always sounded great on paper, but so did the N-Gage -- and then it was a taco. So obviously, we walked into our hands-on session with some trepidation. Watching a game stand on the – oh, what’s the word – cusp of greatness, only to fall backward into the Mortal Kombat-style spike pit of mediocrity is generally enough to brew up a tiny storm cloud over our heads, and we wanted so dearly for Brink to be awesome.
Fortunately, we weren’t disappointed. Put simply, Brink works. It’s ambitious, yet practical – complex, yet incredibly accessible. We got to play a couple matches in an area called Container City, and here’s why – days after the fact – we’re still aching to play more.
Every gamer has a story. A story assembled from countless in-game experiences, a collage of victory, defeat, heroics, and villainy. There is, however, a schism in the way these stories play out. Ask someone who’s lived out their gaming days in solitude and they’ll tell you of superhuman feats, epic dramas, and non-player characters who may not have been real boys, but were certainly close enough that Geppetto would’ve been hard-pressed to tell the difference. Pose the same question to multiplayer-centric gamers, though, and you’ll get an earful of teamwork, commitment, practice, and good old fashioned competition.
Neither side, of course, is wrong to enjoy games for their respective reasons. It’s merely a case of different strokes for different folks. However, what happens when single-player and multiplayer modes get married and pop out a child? Well, if you ask developers like BioWare and Splash Damage (who are working on fusing multiplayer and single-player with Star Wars: The Old Republic and Brink, respectively), they’ll tell you such all-encompassing modes are just The Next Big Thing. And they may very well be right about that.
Forgive me, then, for objecting to this holy matrimony.
Clicking the read more link is a single-player experience, but reading and responding to the article is multiplayer! These are important distinctions (no they're not).
High blood pressure. Teeth marks in keyboards. Keyboard marks in monitors. Millions dead. These are only a few of the symptoms typically associated with gamer rage, but as with any potent malady, thousands of talented men and women are racing to find a cure. Recently, however, two groups picked up the pace and sprinted to the head of the frustration-fighting pack. Their names are Bethesda and Nintendo.
Both companies are currently developing games that, in a manner of speaking, play themselves. They are -- to put it in cynical, crotchety, “back in my day” terms – finally handing players a Win Button. Bethesda has applied the name “SMART A.I.” to its get out of frustration free card, but it merely gives you the option of taking a breather while the A.I. controls your character’s movement toward a specific location. In other words, encounter anything with an itchy trigger finger and you’re S.O.L.
This is nowhere near as extreme as New Super Mario Bros. Wii’s approach, which will – according to Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto – do everything for you at your behest. Free from the slippery grasp of your feeble fingers, Mario will cut a swath through Bowser and his cohorts as though possessed by the reptile-battling soul of Steve Irwin. He will have his revenge. But will you enjoy it?
Pressing the huge, red picture of a button won't do anything! Click the read more link instead.
Let’s set the stage here: It was the last hour of the last day of E3. My feet were cramping, my back felt like Batman’s after a run-in with Bane, and the concept of sleep was itself a very dream-like, unrealistic thing to me. I wanted to be done. “One appointment left,” I grunted. “Let’s get this over with.” That appointment was for Bethesda and Splash Damage’s new shooter, Brink.
Presentation starts. “Hi, welcome to our demo of Brink blah blah blah.” Ugh, why’d I come to this? “So we’re on a boat.” Tee-hee, T Pain. “We’ve combined single-player and multiplayer using an ever-evolving mission system that breaks your main objective down into smaller objectives. Accomplish them however you see fit, alone or with friends. Also, there’s an overarching, Mirror’s Edge-ish plotline running throughout the whole thing.”
Ok, now I’m listening.
So, here’s how Brink works: You’re part of a team – either resistance or security forces – and each level presents you with an objective. In order to make your big mission less impossible, each level’s objective is broken down into smaller pieces, which dynamically change depending on countless factors in battle. Some of these pieces must be tackled by certain character classes, which you can morph into at will using computer terminals scattered throughout the game world. For instance, an engineer might be needed for a bit of his trademark tinkering, so the game will immediately notify everyone of this gaping hole in their team structure. Thus, completing the mission is as simple as transforming and rolling out. No extra hassle.
You're on the brink of knowing all about Brink. Why stop here? The rest is after the break.