David Klein On May 31, 2011 at 1:30 pm

Brink ScreenshotBrink had gotten a lot of hype coming up towards its big release. From it’s impressive trailers that showed off the game’s awesome looking parkour mechanics making it stand out from the crowd. Not only was the parkour gameplay talked about you’ve got the promised SMART system that would make it easy to navigate around the map and to find shortcuts through the game since it’ll automatically scale the obstacles in your way. Now with all this hype promoting it as the next coming of multiplayer does it live up to it’s tremendous hype or does Brink go the same way as Quake Wars and fails to overwhelm.

Brink doesn’t really have much of a story to speak of; in fact the game doesn’t have much of a single player either. The single player is just playing the multiplayer maps with AI bots as your competition with the option to have up to four of your friends playing on your team. There’s a loose story to try and tie the maps together but it’s just a slight step above having no story at all and you never grow attached to the storyline or what happens within the grand arc the story takes place in. The single player is nothing more than a total throwaway and I’m sad since it’s one the ways I justify the full $60 price within a shooter. If the fact the single player wasn’t a throwaway wasn’t a big enough turnoff, then the fact the AI is dumb as dirt is the final nail in the coffin so to speak. That’s both the friendly and aggressive equivalents messing up, where the friendly will block your shots by standing your way while the opposing ones will stand around and let you shoot them down without much competition. There’s a few challenge modes to try and pad the Single Player like defending a single point as an engineer and travelling to points within a time limit but that kept me entertained for maybe 15 minutes before I moved on. The single player doesn’t even let you play local co-op, only over Xbox Live so there’s really nothing much to see here.

The multiplayer is where Brink tries to earn your dollars since the single player mode is such a disappointment. Put it simply it’s definitely an improvement over single player, which isn’t saying much. Bringing the game down to it’s basics it’s a team based eight on eight shooter where teams playing either defender or attacker depending on the map and affiliation you picked when you made your character. You’ve got three different body types light, medium and heavy. Medium is what I found to be the sweet spot when it came to the types and it also happens to be the default one you’ve got unlocked from the start. Every body type has different speed, health and weapon characteristics. Where the light body has little health, has access only to light weapons but moves very fast and can jump off walls, the medium body has access to light and medium weapons, has a decent amount of health and moves fairly quickly and the heavy body with slightly more health than medium, moves a lot slower and has access to every type of gun. The small body tends to die fast to gunfire and you’re not well armed while the heavy leaves you a slow moving target without a clear advantage in health over the medium class. The medium body type is definitely reaches the goldilocks zone of being just right. You’ve also got four different classes of character from the soldier, who can give out ammo and handle explosives, the medic who can revive and buff characters, the engineer can construct turrets and buff weapons and there’s the operative that can disguise themselves as the enemy and hack the enemy’s stuff. You need each class to finish different objectives depending on the level but objectives aside I found the medic to be strongest class. You’ve got the same access to weapons as any other class but you’ve also got the ability to quickly revive your opponents as well as to buff your own health so your more resilient from the start. The engineer class feels weaker because the sentry suffers from the same AI as the bot characters in the single player, as in they are generally not quick to respond and unless you ambush them with a bunch turrets they’re pretty easy to avoid getting hit by. The parkour and the SMART system seems like a great idea in theory, but it’s not as exciting when the levels don’t really take advantage of it. There are no real uses within the levels where the parkour give very few exciting possibilities for you to use them. The defenders seem to always have the upper hand since their spawn points are always closer to the point making it so much harder for the attacker to win.

The online experience I’d like to say is smooth but there’s hiccups from time to time where the game can be from great to having lag so bad that it’s costing me lives left and right. Speaking of the online experience while it’s not really the game’s fault but with a game that heavily involves teamwork nobody is tending to use their headset while on Live making it much harder to coordinate efforts. The leveling doesn’t take long to get results and you get XP for doing just about anything, which is pretty nice. With your levels you unlock clothes, abilities for classes who have barely anything from the start, you can get the small and medium body types at levels 5 and 7 respectively. I like the leveling system and it’s not frustrating and it’s fun to do. The clothing would be interesting but no matter what I do I can’t seem to make my character look different from the rest and I feel limited by the character customization choices.

The graphics in the game feel on the dated side and it’s because it’s using the dated ID Tech 4 engine from the likes of Doom 3 and Quake 4 which has had it’s best years behind 5 years ago. They tried to give the environments a colorful world so that it doesn’t have the same pressures as a realistic shooter. While the colorful choice covers it to small degree it still feels like they should have upgraded the engine before the release came up. The music is just plain generic where’s it’s just there and doesn’t stand out for me. In matches I tend to get annoyed by the character voice overs that are spoken throughout matches, they’re grating and make me want to mute my sound so I don’t have to hear the same badly read line for the billionth time. Then there’s the fact the game sound will cutout for a couple of second when I’m shooting my gun which can be pretty darn distracting while I’m trying to play.

Brink does some things right but ends up also doing a lot of things wrong. The asking price of $60 is too much for a game with just a multiplayer mode with balancing and lag issues. It might have been worth it if the multiplayer delivered but it’s a flawed experience that feels like it didn’t spend enough time in the oven. If they had dropped the price a little to the $30-$40 and had ironed out all the problems then it might have been worth spending the cash on. However at $60 for a flawed package I can’t help but say you should pass on it.


It’s fun at times but it’s full of glitches and balancing issues that needed to be ironed out.


The graphics feel like they’re from 2006.


Glitchy and forgettable sound makes this not stand out … except when the voice acting annoys you to death.


Brink had a lot of potential going in, but it failed to deliver.

Buy Brink online for a great price for the Xbox 360 from EBGames.com

Click here to buy Brink for the Xbox 360 online from EBGames.com


Comments are closed.