On the Brink!

This weekend, I had the opportunity to play Brink. It was offered by Steam through their recent Quakecon promotion. Like any Bethesda product, it was highly appealing before production. In many ways taking parts of some games and integrated them with a unique environment interaction system.

Before I get into the gameplay and the fun factor, I was introduced to the premise and the scenario. The developers (Splash Damage) spent no time to push you straight into their cinematic prowess. From what I’ve managed to understand, the game places you in a time frame where global warming has plagued the world. Prior to the oncoming turbulent tides, humanity was able to achieve a way to preserve itself. Calling it The Ark, this seasteading superstructure seems to house millions of inhabitants. However as time passes, they were met with people wanting to stay. At capacity, The Ark expanded by cannibalising the ships to build crude shelters attached to The Ark. Unfortunately these places turned into disease ridden slums on the fringe of a utopian society. As political turmoil erupts and divides this city, two factions emerge from the ashes; Resistance and Security. As a citizen, your character must choose to save or destroy what is likely the last vestiges of a species. The Resistance is an organization commanded by a warlord wanting nothing more but his ideology of peace and order through equality of The Guests (the former crews of the ships?). If you choose to preserve and restore order, Security fear a terrorist attack is imminent and send your team in the field to uncover their motives for the recent escalation of protests.

Running my 5 year old machine on this game turned out to be more or less of a challenge since particles effects slowed down rendering. However at any rate, I found the art style and colour orientation to be general sci-fi. Besides setting you up with a red pill/blue pill scenario at the start, the scene transitions all you to feel differently to the environment. While strolling around the maps resembling The Ark, I managed to feel more tranquil and more beauty in the architecture and perhaps once lively. While in the slums resembling much like a junk yard, it felt more like people are living more in desperation and survival. Character customization was really thorough. Allowing you to choose body markings, facial hair and clothes from a pool of clothes specific to the faction. As to this your body choices of Light, Medium and Heavy changed the look of your character but however provides advantages and disadvantages to your combat abilities. To complement, weapon customization left no stone unturned. Letting you pick through barrel attachments, under barrel attachments, top rail equipment like optics and even ammo capacity upgrades. As I looked through the classes, they seemed as well generic. Soldier, Medic, Engineer and Operative gave me a chance to reminisce my days playing Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory. As I played the campaign, I began to realize I wasn’t reminiscing. The campaign takes you through the game modes. Besides the obvious capture and hold, escort, bomb plant/defusal and delivery objectives, there’s nothing surprising but the choose-you-own task and class specific/general objectives. If you factor out the artistic side of the game, imagine Enemy Territory (Wolfenstein or Quake Wars, you can choose). If you’re a non-perfectionist, you can complete both campaigns in under 12 hours. In my books, it’s a nice 40 dollar mini-game with a $10 DLC.

Overall, buy it if you really loved Quake Wars or Enemy Territory. In any other case, it’s one of those games you rather wait for the price to drop by half and over to buy. Not likely I would buy the game for the co-op or multiplayer game, Though the co-op may be too easy once everyone has the full arsenal of weapons. Have fun in your Mirror’s-Edge-meets-Wolfenstein/every-other-FPS game.


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