Brink wanted to fuse the online and offline worlds to create a seamless gaming experience. Whether you were online or not, the way you played the game would remain the same.
So did Brink deliver on the promises it made?
The verdict is pretty mixed.
Does the gameplay feel the same online as offline? Yes.
Is it a smooth experience overall? Some of the time.
Does it make the game better? No.
Fighting for control of The Ark (a city surrounded by the ocean following flooding) are the resistance and the security force. It’s up to you to pick a side and the story progresses from there.
There is a wealth of customisation for character creation and a whole heap of unlocks, although it seemed slightly odd with such a deep system that there was no female gender option included?
Once the game starts you’ll be set a main objective (‘blow open the doors’ etc) but in a great touch you can bring up a weapon wheel style selector that allows you to choose from another one or two sub-objectives.
You get points for doing any of them and it is a clever feature that would be welcome in other titles.
Another great idea that is implemented well is being able to go to a ‘command post’ and then change your class on the fly, as opposed to having to wait to respawn to do so. It really allows for an element of freedom as you play.
The plot isn’t anything spectacular but the difference in the two sides of the story (with both parties believing they are right) is clever. At one stage the security forces have to stop a viral bomb but when you play the story from the resistance side you are told it is a vaccine for an illness they are suffering from.
One of the issues facing this title is that it doesn’t matter if you’re playing against the computer or with other people, the experience is the same. That’s as they promised but it ends up hindering the game for the most part.
Essentially Brink is like a round of Operations in Killzone 3 – several objectives are to be met, one after the other, by the ‘attacking’ team but the round can stopped by the ‘defending’ team if they prevent the opposition from completing any of the tasks.
And that for me is the major problem with Brink. The Operations mode of Killzone 3, while on a smaller scale handles this better.
If you lose the round you get a cut scene that rounds out the small ‘story’ and you go on to the next round.
With Brink if you lose you’re expected to replay the entire section. I think Splash Damage almost stumbled across an awesome game. It would’ve been stunning if they had allowed the story to flow ala Heavy Rain.
You lose a round? You get a cut scene that shows the repercussions. You lose every round? The story progresses to the end with the worst possible scenario for your side.
Sadly, as I was sitting playing Brink and an objective wasn’t met that meant ‘game over’ I couldn’t shake the feeling that this was an opportunity missed. It’s not a bad game by any means, it’s just that I can get almost the same experience, done better, elsewhere.