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.
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.