To be honest, I haven’t returned officially yet. But I have made up my mind. In this semi quasi review I’ll explain why. To be clear, I did not beat the game or played every level. I spent probably a total of four to six hours playing the missions, creating a character, trying the challenges, and exploring some of the nuances.
First let’s start with the beginning. I was monitoring this game pretty closely through various game sites which were invited to the developer’s office to view and at times play the game while under a controlled and supervised environment. Each impression glowed with how the game was a mix of a first person shooter with goals and classes. Think Borderlands with actual goals for each class in mission format. I, being one of the few that preorders games these days, decided to take a jump and preorder Brink and obtain a limited edition weapon and skin.
A few days before the game was delivered to my front door, the websites I had closely monitored published their review. All were labeled “Good” or “Mediocre” but nowhere near Great or Must-Buy. I was originally bummed but after reading the reviews fully it seemed there was a lot of bright spots and could flourish once the online community gets hold. I was wrong.
What Brink does well is millions and millions of customizations of your character’s look. It also allows you to change the size of your person to a Light, Medium or Heavy size. The advantage of a Light is you are faster but die faster as well with less “armor”. The Heavy moves slower but is able to take more damage. I played maybe 15 seconds as a Heavy and dropped out simply because when I say slow I mean turtle slow. You are going a snail’s pace and barely able avoid gunfire, hence you get shot and die a lot.
The guns are cool and can be customized as well with silencers, extended magazine, handles for control etc. There are a ton of them too so it would take awhile before you found “the” gun. When you start off playing you have to pick which side you are; the militaristic police force or the rebellion. From there you have a total of 8 missions to perform. That’s it. And those 8 missions are the same missions on the other side. Except inverse, so that instead of sabotaging a base you are protecting it.
Here is the catch though, let’s say you want to be a soldier class. In order for the mission to finish an engineer is required to “fix” a turret. So you have to go back to the command center and become an engineer. This means unless you have engineer loving friends playing with you, you have to change and become whatever the game requires in order for it to complete. Basically this means you have no real choice. The class you are is dependent on the mission of the game.
In the four hours I played it I became a level 7. There are only 20 levels in the game so be prepared to MAX out early.
You earn credits as well to unlock attachments to guns and more clothing for your character. But in order to unlock a
new gun, you need to perform challenges. These challenges are similar to the missions but smaller and sometimes not firing a single bullet. One in particular that was maddening was a parkour mission. You have a button that you press to fluidly move from one place to another like grabbing a ledge or sliding around. Unfortunately this button made me want to punch my flat screen since its aim is generally random. The map I referred to has you jumping from ledge to ledge accessing checkpoints along the way in a timed event. But the simple act of climbing a ledge and getting to the top and staying put was so complicatingly hard. That’s right I made a new word for this game. Complicatingly. Which means something that seems so simple turn into something so difficult. Like when you are Mario and you jump from one ledge or tower to another and your momentum throws you off even though your thumb was off the direction pad. You didn’t push to go forward, you stopped pushing mid air but Mario had to die. The same thing happens in Brink.
The last thing in my rant that I want to discuss is the constant overheard voice “C’mon Brothers, we need the Arc”. The “boss” dude says this constantly through the match. He says it to the point that you may kill a small animal.
To summarize, I played Brink for a short while and I never had the urge to pop it in again. It just collected dust nest to my Wii nunchuck. I wonder if video games have feelings because Brink is about to be abandoned.