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.