On the...wait for it...edge of okay.
Are you ready for the mediocre?
So, the gang behind Enemy Territory: Quake Wars, and some of the best current gen first person developers, came together with one goal in mind: make a console based cooperative multiplayer game in vain of the greats like Team Fortress II, but be nothing but a ‘killer app.’ So much so that creative director at Splash Damage, Richard Ham, has gone to Moleyneux-esque lengths to make sure to have a buzz about his baby, S.M.A.R.T. S.M.A.R.T. is Smooth Movement Across Random Terrain, and its the video game equivalent to parkour and free-running in real life. It takes all the obstacles around a character, and depending on how they approach the obstacle, weight of the character, or movement speed, the player gets over that obstacle with ease. Wall-jumps, wall-runs, slides, and so forth are done with the press or holding down of a button, to help focus on shooting and more “fun.”
The main reason that fun is in quotes, is because for the long ass time I’ve been playing Brink, its been missing. I have only found frustration, depression, bouts of confusion, and all kinds of nonsense. But that will be better discussed soon.
In Brink, you play for either the Resistance, surviving people on The Ark and that are against the Founders wanting to get off the place, or for the Security, the Ark’s police and personal guards of the Founders. And as such, both parties have the likes of customization for each person. There are classes, different weapons, different accessories, and abilities per class and as a whole for the player. Classes include Engineer, Solider, Operative(spy), and Medic spec’ed out with their own special abilities from revive syringes, extra ammo, turrets, and magic iPods that let you take the guise of dead/incapacitated opponents. Each ability is purchased from the points you get after earning XP by doing objectives and kills. Each point is obtained by leveling up your character in the different ranks(1-5) with four levels per rank, twenty in total. Spec’ing out the class of your choosing takes less than the full twenty levels, but with the addition of a base character ability sheet, you can waste the points willy-nilly. The parties have the same weapons and same abilities, but the weapons are only differently skinned between them, causing yet another blase addition.
The objectives you are allowed depends on the 8 different levels but they all have the same premise; Escort, Capture and Return, Capture command posts, Defend, and open alternate paths. Real hard stuff. Going about these objectives gives you insane amount of XP which really doesn’t mean much after a certain point with Brink. You tend to not care about half, if not all, the accoutrement packed into this ‘game.’ The most dumbfounding point of this game is its AI. Both the help and opponent’s AI makes even the most incompetent player a god amongst men. The purely stupid bots in offline, or most online matches, do nothing for the player in the progression of the level causing the player to the brunt of the mission. Sure, the mission wheel is pretty to look at, but when you take all but two spots out, it seems a little redundant.
Alright, enough rambling. You don’t want to play this half finished game. They have all the right components to make an okay game, but they executed them poorly. They talked so highly of S.M.A.R.T., and it is an effective way to get around, but it really has no other purpose. The abilities show no real advancement character-wise, and it takes a short time to become overpowered, which I was through most of the game and shouldn’t ever happen in this type of game. The connection issues for online matches are unmistakable and completely uncalled for. The lag makes even the most enjoyable part, if you can find it, that much more frustrating. I spent the majority of a thirty minute match, yes thirty minutes for one match, just standing in a corner waiting for either the lag to quit or a host migration that never happened. The weapons are nothing to boast about, keeping the set of regular FPS’s guns, with no iteration, and the stock adjustments you can make don’t really matter.
I was really looking forward to this game, and experiencing some great co-op, but I never got what I wanted. It was like this game was a real extension of my life: want some fun and excitement, none, valuable time with friends, nope, how about some actual good experience, NO SUCH THING. I’m really disappointed in Brink. I’ve read that the PC version is the version to play, what with all my and others complaints addressed and fixed, so if you wanted to play it, play that. I wish I could have praised this, but 2 headshots out of 5…*sigh*