Brink Impressions & New Trailer

by Justin Baillargeon March 17, 2011 @ 5:28 pm

While at PAX East this last weekend there was a game’s demo line which separated itself from the rest of the crowd. Splash Damage’s new FPS title, Brink, had a line wait of around 3 hours at one time even though it was a relatively short line. The reason? The demo was an entire multiplayer round against other attendees.

The demo gave players a glimpse of what to expect from the new title, including its various classes, and how the new parkour-esque movement system would work. You can continue past the break to read my opinions on game or check out the new trailer above the article.

After having waited in line for nearly 1 hour I was finally able to get my hands on a game that had eluded me the previous day because of its longer line. I approached the demo kiosk which had the game running off of PS3’s and was immediately thrown into customizing my character. The first choice was simple: what class? Always being a fan of speed I went with the operative, hoping to get in on the action as soon as possible.

Following the class selection you are allowed to customize your character’s apperance through changing their clothes and selecting different color styles. After completing my ninja-esque character I moved onto the weapon selection screen which allowed me to weigh each weapon, including their various statistics, against each other. I decided on a simple assault rifle, always a good choice for an operative class.

Then we were in. After having jumped into a level I could finally get a taste of what the game looked like, at least that’s what I thought. Unfortunately I was a little too short for the demo kiosk. The monitors they used for were standard TN-panels which are notorious for their bad vertical viewing angles. However, even with a bad viewing angle with a loss of brightness I was still able to navigate through the game without much issue.

Initially I was running around like a chicken with its head freshly cut off. I had no idea how to get to where I needed to go. My team was on the defensive while we attempted to keep the other team at bay from advancing the checkpoints/objectives. I saw a door, something I needed to defend, but found no enemy or friendlies nearby. After aimlessly running around I finally found a ramp to climb up on that oversaw the opposite side of the door, which happens to be exactly where the enemies were making their moves.

So aside from all the aimless running around that’s expected of a new player with the game, the gameplay was rather enjoyable. My best description of the style of gameplay is somewhat of a mix between Team Fortress 2 and nearly any FPS title that you can think of. You’ve got classes, each with specific roles to help support a team, although all in the first person. You can aim down your sight (which is customizable as well), sprint, throw grenades.

Depending on your class you’ll also be given unique abilities, such as turret deployment, the ability to disguise yourself as a recently killed enemy and even revive downed players. Each class also has different running speeds, with the operative being the fastest. As a result some classes will be able to make certain gaps in the level while others may find themselves plummeting to their death. The operative can even go so far as executing a wall jump to increase his distance in the air.

The whole parkour-inspired moves that recent trailers have highlighted weren’t frequently seen throughout the match I played. Most of the time my teammates would take the standard route, avoiding jumping over fences or on top of tables, to the objective. I’m certain however that once players are more familiar with the maps and their shortcuts, that they will use them more often.

Now about the things that bothered me. Once you “kill” an enemy he is incapacitated, much like Gears of War multiplayer when a player is downed. This allows for medics to revive the downed player and give him a second chance. It’s great and all, but it gets really frustrating when you’re the one trying to kill someone. I had to empty almost an entire clip into a downed enemy before he would die.

One thing I did notice, even with my bad viewing angle, is that the enemy players, and even your teammates all look the same. Even with all the customization that went into your character before the match, the changes are difficult to see in-game. To make it easier for players to differentiate friend from foe, the game gives a red hue to the enemy and a blue hue to a friendly player. You can catch a glimpse of what I’m talking about in this video.

Aside from those minor annoyances the game was still a blast to play. I can’t comment on the other modes but the one I had played lasted around 10 minutes as we held the opponents at the second capture point. So, on average, the matches don’t seem to be any longer or shorter than say a Halo match or Team Fortress 2 match. At the end of the level you’ll earn experience; presumably for use with unlocking more weapons, attachments and clothing. It’s a solid first impression, one I hope they’ll cement with a demo down the line.

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