A Thoroughly Deserved Bargain Bin Title,
This review is from: Brink (PS3) (Video Game)
Splash Damages parkour inspired FPS is difficult to recommend. There are some nice touches, particularly the movement system and distinct visual style. However, the experience is widely inconsistent; gameplay is unbalanced and there's simply not enough content to warrant a full price purchase. Brink takes place in the future, on a floating city known as The Ark, where two factions fight for dominance. The Security team seek to protect the area, whereas The Resistance want to liberate it. Despite this setup, little is done to advance the story or keep the player engaged. Cut scenes introduce each mission, but they don't form part of an overarching plot, and feel incredibly generic.
There are 2 campaign modes, one for each faction. However the offering is still meagre, consisting of 16 missions, split across just 8 maps. Essentially this means the whole experience can be completed within hours. To extend play somewhat, 4 challenge missions are included that unlock new weapons and attachments, such as improved scopes and additional ammo. Unfortunately, it feels like a tacked on afterthought.
Four character classes are available, each with upgradable abilities. The Engineer can defuse explosives and repair objects. The Operative can disguise themselves as the enemy and hack objects, whereas the soldier plants explosives, and the Medic heals comrades. What distinguishes Brink is the fact that a specific class is required to complete a primary objective. For example, blowing up a door will require use of the Soldier, so playing as any other class means you cannot complete the objective, and can only provide support. Instead of teasing experimentation, it can frustrate immensely as Brink denies the ability to play to your strengths, or individual styles. Changing classes is done via command posts, which are usually located at the very beginning of each level. Upon death, the player will respawn there and spend literally minutes running back to this location. After multiple respawns this becomes very tedious.
Brink is clearly a game that was developed for online play. Aside from receiving a 20% bonus for playing online, the bot AI is so utterly atrocious that it's the only legitimate option. AI teammates will endlessly fight over secondary objectives, but will quite happily ignore the main goal. A command wheel is accessed by pressing up on the D-pad, where all primary and secondary objectives are listed. Selecting from the wheel supposedly prompts your team to focus exclusively on that objective, although it is never reliable. Objectives are split into attack or defend categories, which are also massively imbalanced. Some level designs create vicious bottlenecks which makes offensive play rage inducing. Bafflingly for a team based game, there are no squad commands, like provide covering fire. This alone would have made the experience much more consistent.
Brink is yet another rushed title, whose innovations have been compromised to finally get it on shelves. Even at a budget price, it's a weak example of the genre, a title whose redeeming features are buried under a pile of design flaws and technical incompetence.