PC brink-preview

Published on May 27th, 2010 | by prime


Brink – Preview

Game designers have got all this online gaming business backwards you know. Instead of trying to link a cohesive single-player campaign with a multiplayer one, why not just make a campaign that’s suitable for drop-in co-operative play and have clever bots fill in whenever you’re friendless and offline? That’s exactly what Splash Damage are attempting to do with Brink, and the results are looking very special.

The entire game is built for eight player co-op, with netcode specifically designed to accommodate competitive play at a push of a button.

The plot is set around an end of the world scenario – unusual for Bethesda-published game – where the Earth has experienced apocalyptic flooding, leaving one dry self-sufficient utopia – The Arc. Facing over-population and a shortage of resources, civil war breaks out, leaving two diametrically opposed forces to form: Security and Resistance.

An open campaign structure which allows players to choose a multitude of different classes from supply points including Medic, Engineer, Soldier and Operatives. Mission structures involve sequential objectives, with multiple class-specific ways to approach it successfully. For instance, one episode we witnessed had the Resistance aiming to break out a jailed member via claiming strategic points and disabling security systems. As a soldier there was a choice to either blow up a troublesome security gate, whereas the spy-like operative could hack the controls to gain entry. A real effort has been made to communicate the story aspects, so expect dialogue and in-game briefs to add weight to the action.

All unlocks are propelled by XP and money gained on or offline, with special bonuses granted to those more team orientated.

Much like the character models, the gun designs are just as imaginative, with the ability to swap out magazines for drum barrels, extra handles to reduce recoil, dot sights and mad scopes. Each change will have a tangible effect on weapon efficiency with more pleasing designs possible with the dedicated editor.

Combat feels rugged and unpredictability with the SMART movement system. Taking cues from Mirror’s Edge, any agile classes can take advantage of new routes by utilizing conveniently placed terrain. Eagle-eyed gamers will vault, flip, grind and jump to new areas simply by holding the movement key in the general direction; the AI-aided control method does the rest. Some may complain about this approach but it’s all geared towards making Brink as intuitive as possible. A handy arrow at the top of HUD alerts players to objectives and a useful objective wheel sets mission goals individually tailored to a player’s role.

Brink’s ambition is best summed up by looking at its graphical style. It’s experimental but very exciting. Until we get to experiment on a full server there’s only so much we can learn, but so far signs are very promising.

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