By EpicSteve 37 Comments
So, let’s talk about Brink. I’m going to be upfront, Brink isn’t exactly giving the best first impression. I didn’t know what to expect going into Brink. Here comes a game from the studio that developed Enemy Territory: Quake Wars and the Doom 3 maps. Their track record isn’t awesome. The game never seemed like it was going to be great, despite a weird high-level amount of hype surrounding it. It’s like a lot of people saw some bullet points the game was throwing out there and made up what Brink should be in there head. This isn’t a review; I’ll post that in about a week. These are simply first impressions after the game’s first day in public. Before I start tearing the game apart, I must say Brink has heart. Like ShadowRun and Too Human, there’s a good game in Brink. However, nothing good comes into fruition.
Front and center are the menus, even those barely function. I consider myself an avid gamer. I mean, I’m an active participant on a videogame forum. So, it’s fair to say I know my way around a videogame. There isn’t an “online” button to speak of. Instead you have two options, go into campaign and tinker with the options to allow human players to enter the game on just your team or allow players to join on either side. The second option is just titles “FreePlay”, this throws you into a match that’s currently in session. The game doesn’t have a lobby system. It’s 2011 ya’ll, c’mon! It’s ludicrous that in order to play with my friend, he has to find a match, get into it, then I go into my friends list and select “join session in progress”. This is assuming my friend even finds a match that’s playable. I literally spent between 11:00pm-11:30pm searching for a functioning match. Everything I encountered was a slideshow. We eventually gave up on finding a fully featured match and did co-op. Due to only one team having human players, the lag was manageable. The downside to that is we were forced to play against the bots. Bots are generally pretty terrible among multiplayer shooters. Brink being a game that implores teamwork really makes the bot's stupidity shine.
One segment of a match had my team trying to prevent an AI from walking to a specific point. It was up to my bot opponents to escorts the AI to safety. My team pretty much just camped the AI the entire match. The bots simply kept walking straight through the same door, which happened to be in the line of sight of my turret emplacement. I just mowed down bots for the entire match. Which got really boring. The three times I successfully completed a match against human, the combat still wasn’t much fun. There simply isn’t a lot going on in the maps aside from dudes shooting other dudes with rifles. In games like Bad Company 2, you’re surrounded by destructible environments and have more variables in the combat like air control, tanks, and spotting targets. The guns simply aren’t fun to utilize. There aren’t big numbers flying across the screen every time you do something. To put my problem in a nutshell, there’s nothing flashy about Brink.
Brink is also unclear regarding, well, everything. Two entirely different leveling systems are in place. You got your "level" and your "rank". I don't really know which is what, and i seriously don't care. I don't feel the need to unlock anything other than some scopes for my weapons, those are unlocked through doing challenges, not even playing the main component of the game. Unless later guns fire sharks, I feel like the starting arsenal is good enough. Unlocking abilities like the Engineer's turret or the Medic's improved first aid kit seem more beneficial. Throwing grenades is typically a waste of time. Employing a frag is really janky and the resulting explosion appears more like a firecracker than an actual grenade going off. Not to be that guy wanting realism in silly games, but Brink's grenades should at least have half the effective kill range of the real-life counterpart.
I can't speak from experience, but the developer's said Brink doesn't have any "one-shot kill" weapons. I'm with the people who say headshots are ruining game. However, the issue is that firefights are won by whom ever has the most people on their side. Once again, Brink is a team game. Splash Damage literally did everything to assure that all obstacles are overcome by teamwork. You can make arguments for or against this design. I'm totally a fan of the idea. Unfortunately, all objectives can be cleared by a team just bum rushing. There's no need for any tactical play. So the teamwork idea is completely broken. Yes, you need to move as a fire team. To me, teamwork is about coordination and communication. My team did fine without anything chatting.
That's Brink in a nutshell. The game virtually has issues across the board. Even if it was the greatest game to grace my home, the online still doesn't function as well as it should. Brink is full of great ideas that never develop into anything meaningful. It's as if during the development they specifically thought of everything they didn't like about conventional shooters and made the antitheses of them without thinking about what actually makes those conventional shooters work so well. Brink is a game I want to enjoy. With all the unwieldy menues, online issues, and dull combat combined with the general cheap feel of the game doesn't make me look forward to throwing more hours into the game.