BRINK screenshot
BRINK screenshot

Classes can be flicked between at command posts, and objectives are handled by an on-screen pointer that guides players to their chosen destination, easily selected via a radial menu. Here you can choose to busy yourself with primary and secondary objectives, or keep yourself informed of class-specific objectives such as reviving downed allies. While the amount of stuff you need to take into consideration can be flustering, the objective wheel helps point players in the right direction.

Customisation is handled in its own tab from the main menu, with specific clothing options being made available as you shoot up through the 20 levels. You can adorn your body with scars and tattoos, too, but these are permanent and cannot be removed. Brink allegedly boasts over 100 quadrillion clothing and colour combinations (there are no female options, however) across the two factions, which means even the most sartorial of players should find something they're happy to wear. And, during the game, enemy players always have a slight red hue to make identification simple.

In an especially nice touch, Brink dishes out XP for completing objectives and for landing bullets as opposed to scoring the killing shot, a masterful system that makes the likes of Call of Duty and Battlefield seem positively archaic in comparison. The experience system is perfectly attuned to promote intelligent team play, and with no screen detailing kill and death ratios the onus is very much on the performance of the team rather than its individual players.

As you progress you'll unlock points which can be spent on upgrading skills, with both general options and class-specific traits available. These are locked by rank, which increases by one with every fifth level to a maximum of five. With a maximum level of twenty you're left with more purchasable skills than there is points, so there's no possible way for one character to own everything.

The problem here is that, when you're playing with random people over the internet, you've got no idea what skills you're going to need. While a few months of play will make it easy enough to have a set of characters tailored specifically for each class, there's no ability to flick between them in the middle of a game - which means you're completely stumped if you pick your engineer-oriented character and stumble into a game where there's already an abundance of turret-droppers.

It's also a real blow to see no proper lobby system included on the console versions. Almost every other aspect of Brink suggests a studio that knows and understands the ins-and-outs of a multiplayer experience, so to see gangs of players routinely collapsing at the end of games is absolutely bizarre. Unlike almost every other game on the market, you can't fiddle with your appearance, skills, and loadout at the post-match screen, either, and are instead required to quit back to the menu for such options.

The real question when assessing Brink, however, is whether Splash Damage has created a framework and accompanying scenarios that encourage people to advance their characters, explore its boldly coloured world, and to invest their precious multiplayer time into Brink as opposed to genre heavyweights such as Call of Duty: Black Ops and Bad Company 2. The game will expand and refine over the coming months, with strategies being developed and, hopefully, patches being applied to iron out any of the residual bugs with the network code - some of which were observed with the review code supplied, but we were assured would be fixed in time for launch.

Brink is a game that deserves a chance, and those with a penchant for the multiplayer shooter owe it to themselves to give it a look. It's not without its faults, some of which are more serious than others, but Splash Damage achieves the impossible: a game that feels fresh in the stalest of genres.

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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: 723 25
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