BRINK Review for PC

On: PCXbox 360PS3

Secretive new game from Bethesda.

Review Verdict Read Review
8Out of 10
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BRINK screenshot
BRINK screenshot

If you believe all the huffing and puffing from this oft-delayed game, Brink has managed to blend the single and multiplayer FPS into one glorious whole. It hasn't, but the end result is a shooter with the potential to be a whole lot more interesting. British studio Splash Damage, which grew to maturity off the back of the nineties modding scene, has managed to create a multiplayer-focused game that's ambitious, rewarding and - most importantly, perhaps - unique.

To put it simply, Brink might go to great lengths in a bid to facilitate solo and co-op play, but it's the nail-biting tactics and tension which comes from the eight-on-eight adversarial play which causes the game to shine. Go for a spin in its inferior solo mode and you'll end up frustrated, bored, and likely on the cusp of severely regretting the time investment.

Brink's sixteen objective-based campaign levels, spread across eight different overall maps, simply don't tie themselves together in the manner most single-player adventurers would like. While Brink's framing of a post-apocalyptic society clinging to their existence onboard a super-structure at sea certainly fits the bill for the narrative frame, providing enough contextual oomph to justify hectic multiplayer squabbles, the game's personality comes from its distinct visual identity, caricaturised avatars, and extensive customisation options rather than plot twists and the odd boss battle.

I believe the Ark is a world you must experience with other people, and its stories are ones you create through repeated encounters and vainglorious moments of collective triumph. The tales of one player vaulting over a ledge, sliding around a corner at the last second to defuse a bomb perilously close to exploding, are the ones that will be remembered over the coming months. In the background of this world is the enigmatic Founders' Tower, an Apple-chic spire jutting out of the horizon, but the foreground of the experience is you and your repeated personal squabbles placed within the setting of two factions engaged in civil war - the steely Security and the ragtag Resistance.

In a roundabout way, that's another reason why Brink just doesn't work on your tod. I don't think anybody expects the AI cohorts to replace the deep intricacies of human players, but what's on offer here just isn't up to scratch. The CPU is adequate at defending a location, where it can usually lock down an area with military precision, but if the situation requires the AI drones to go on the offensive then the whole illusion crumbles into a painful facade.

Co-operative play, with your faction's octet likely rounded out with the assistance of a few allied bots, is significantly less painful, but even then it feels more like a training mode for versus play rather than a defined experience in its own right. Brink might attempt to blur the lines between single, multi and co-op play, but there's definitely a clear winner.

It helps there's enough opportunity to gently segue into versus play, however, because Brink is complicated; that's proved effortlessly by the fact it won't let you access basic weapon modifications until completing a quartet of tutorial-meets-challenge rooms, or that it recommends you watch a half-hour movie to explain its many intricacies when you first load the game. While Splash Damage has tried to make the game's rhythms accessible to the average player, there's something about a non-interactive tutorial of that length which will surely distance a few people from the word go.

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Highest Rated Comment

TomPearson's Avatar


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


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


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


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


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


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@ TomPearson

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


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


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


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


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


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


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
Out of 10
  • 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: 1,678 216
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