BRINK screenshot
BRINK screenshot

But for those with enough patience to stick around, the basic gist is that games are won by completing an unfolding chain of objectives - the other team, naturally, is issued the opposite commands, and each objective has one vital class required to see its completion. Soldiers are called upon to deploy timed explosives; Medics keep VIPs on their feet; Engineers slowly fix or disable vital equipment; and Operatives hack into electronic devices with urgency.

It's particularly telling that Splash Damage was formed in a period where the PC was the primary platform used to play multiplayer shooters, as its map design hearkens back to an age where twisting geometry and multiple routes to any objective was the status quo. Brink's complex and rewarding maps have a noticeable whiff of Counter-Strike, which is an accolade of the highest honour. You'll find yourself lost a few times at the beginning, but it's worth it for that eventual sense of place and the subsequent pleasure derived from understanding these intricacies.

Brink gets more intricate, of course. Scattered around each of the eight maps are secondary objectives, such as building up staircases for easier access to important vantage points; splinter groups from each team will probably battle to ensure these structures are perpetually yo-yoing between construction and destruction. More important, however, is probably the need to capture and hold supply points to grant much-needed ammunition increases for the entire squad.

You've also got to utilise Brink's distinct and weighty system of movement, exemplified by the zingy buzz of the SMART (Smooth Movement Across Random Terrain) marketing acronym. Hold down the left bumper and you'll whizz around the level, effortlessly vaulting, diving, and climbing obstacles upon impact. It makes the game fast and snappy, and the claustrophobic corridors and automatic weaponry ensure that gunfights spray out into wild, sprawling affairs.

Once you've wrapped your head around Brink's manoeuvrability, each area transforms into an intriguing 3D puzzle. Holding down the SMART button turns stacks of rusted shipping crates into staircases, overhanging ledges into dangling shortcuts, and, in one instance, a floating model of a shark into a particularly opportunistic way to avoid climbing a flight of regular stairs. Set yourself to the light body type and you're afforded more speed and the ability to wall jump at the cost of a significant chunk of potential health, whereas play a heavy and you're denied most of this opportunity but can wield a minigun powerful enough to shred foes into stylised ribbons.

Then there are buffs, which are probably the most important part of each of the four-strong class system. Soldiers become dispensaries of surplus ammunition, Medics can extend life bars alongside reviving downed foes, and Engineers boost damage output between constructing turrets and dropping landmines. These buffs can be applied to yourself and other people on your team and are, vitally, rewarded by generous wads of XP. Sharing the skills of your class isn't just for the altruistic players - it's absolutely essential for survival, especially when going toe-to-toe with some savvy opposition.

The last class, the Operative, can't deploy his own buffs, but has the ability to disguise as a downed member of the other team, spot enemy landmines, take control of turrets, and even detonate a bomb lodged in his head after reaching the required rank. He's probably the most challenging class to use effectively, but a successful Operative can get up to all kinds of sneaky subterfuge.

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15 Comments

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Highest Rated Comment

TomPearson's Avatar

TomPearson

I must say, the xp system is the best I've ever used. It does away with counting points for a kill, you rack up score for each direct bullet you hit with.
Posted 09:51 on 10 May 2011

User Comments

Gollum_85's Avatar

Gollum_85

Just played this for ten mins after getting it for a fiver from game - glad it was only a fiver!
Posted 14:24 on 26 December 2011
squidman's Avatar

squidman@ Gollum_85

I can say with absolutely no hesitation that if you're not looking to play online then you should never purchase Brink.
Posted 08:20 on 01 June 2011
Gollum_85's Avatar

Gollum_85

Since i'm not a big online player i might give this a miss. Crysis 2 and Killzone 3 first!
Posted 22:07 on 31 May 2011
xboxlive's Avatar

xboxlive

In two mind to get this r not,most of my mate are playing it online,but will it last,as i dont want to go and spend 30ish pound on agame and it dies in like 2 weeks.
Posted 10:34 on 18 May 2011
scaz2244's Avatar

scaz2244

i was excited about this 2 years ago but i think il buy it when price drops plus LA Noire looks too good to pass on.
Posted 12:50 on 11 May 2011
TomPearson's Avatar

TomPearson

I don't think you can get a sniper rifle. I know you can get guns with a really slow fire rate, and I can't quite remember but I'm fairly certain the xp will scale with damage done rather than bullets hit. My mistake.
Posted 09:47 on 11 May 2011
Endless's Avatar

Endless@ Neon-Soldier32

Presumably only if all they ever do is shoot people. Which is why every class has a distinct and specific role other than shooting people. And thats also assuming that all bullets landed earn the same amount of xp.
Posted 22:40 on 10 May 2011
Neon-Soldier32's Avatar

Neon-Soldier32@ TomPearson

Does this mean sniper's rank up at a slower rate?
Posted 16:13 on 10 May 2011
draytone's Avatar

draytone

Definitely a game I might play after picking it up cheap or renting it but with LA Noire out next Friday I'll be passing. The review makes it sound quite promising though.
Posted 15:30 on 10 May 2011
SexyJams's Avatar

SexyJams

Having read both this and IGN's review this is one of the few times where I haven't been able to get a grasp on whether I'd enjoy the game through the reviews. IGN's review contradicts this one quite a lot. Obviously, I would always place more weight on Martin's review than any of the journalists from IGN; I just find it strange.
Posted 15:02 on 10 May 2011
Clockpunk's Avatar

Clockpunk@ TomPearson

I like that idea - but aye, I can see the FPS-focused crowd quickly moving on if not played in the immediate week following release.

Don't think I'll bother - just waiting, as with Wido, for the Duke formy online shooting fix.
Posted 11:05 on 10 May 2011
Mr_Ninjutsu's Avatar

Mr_Ninjutsu

Sounds pretty good and yeah the xp system sounds really refreshing and how do you say...satisfying?
Posted 10:03 on 10 May 2011
TomPearson's Avatar

TomPearson

I must say, the xp system is the best I've ever used. It does away with counting points for a kill, you rack up score for each direct bullet you hit with.
Posted 09:51 on 10 May 2011
Wido's Avatar

Wido

A game to pick up when Duke Nukem Forever is completely 100%! I can see this dropping down in price rather quickly due to LA Noire, because everybody is talking about it with a positive vibe.

Good read Martin, and I do like the exp system for this game. The game is online dominated from the set-go, so strong sales on the 360 version than that of the PS3.
Posted 07:25 on 10 May 2011
Neon-Soldier32's Avatar

Neon-Soldier32

Sounds good, but the core idea sounds a little like TF2. I probably would pick this up - if LA Noire wasn't out next week and, you know PSN was back.

Do you think that this will be one of those games that loses it's install base quick, so picking this up at a later date would be a bad thing as everyone already has a few level 20 characters / are just better than most new players that will join?
Posted 07:24 on 10 May 2011

Game Stats

System Requirements
BRINK
8
Out of 10
BRINK
  • Versus mode is the highlight
  • Excellent range of tactics and options
  • Shoddy AI
  • No lobby system
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 13/05/2011
Platforms: PC , Xbox 360 , PS3
Developer: Splash Damage
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Genre: First Person Shooter
No. Players: 1-16
Rating: PEGI 16+
Site Rank: 722 10
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