Brink (2011)

Having just completed both campaigns of the game, I am finally ready to talk about Brink, brought to you by Splash Damage and Bethesda Softworks. This game received resoundingly mediocre reviews when it came out so I was hesitant to give it a try, but I’m a Independent Reviewer now, so it is my quasi-job.

Okay, there is not much story to speak of in this game, and I was usually watching something else simultaneously as I played so I’m not sure how much I can recall, so here goes. When playing as the Security team, your goal is to stop the Resistance from destroying the Ark, a giant tower that was created before a flood sunk most of the surrounding city, causing it to come under pretty harsh government control. Through about 6 missions, you foil various Resistance plots to destroy the Ark. The end. As a Resistance member, your goal is to escape the Ark. Take what I just said, then go the opposite way. The end.

Okay, so this game was never really intended to be Bioshock, it’s supposed to be a game of stylish action and great multiplayer, or at least that’s what it’s incredibly awesome trailer lead me to believe. So let’s see how it does in gameplay. For some reason it seemed to me like this game was calling itself innovative for taking the world of the first-person shooter and mixing it with the internet sensation known as Parkour, or Free-Running. Apparently that means that the world forgot about Mirror’s Edge (which may be true, because I had to look up the title even though I bought the game and may still own it). Mirror’s Edge was innovative, pretty, and forgettable. Being that they gave no attention to the story, one could assume that the shooting mechanics and parkour got all of it. Not the case, I’m afraid. I found the game hard to aim and the auto-aim help tended to do more harm than good. Being so accustomed to FPS games, I completely forgot that I had the ability to do parkour in this game and, when I remembered, it functioned poorly, creating many occasions of jumping into a wall for a few seconds before it finally realized I was trying to reach that ledge. On flat surfaces, when only trying to jump over boxes and counters, it worked okay.

Graphically, the game is styled in parts and ugly in the rest. The opening movie is quite nice, where they have a Gumby-esque stop motion animation-looking video to tell what little prologue there is to this game. After that, the character customization was decent and the character looked good in it. I was able to create 2 pretty sweet looking characters (one for Security and one for Resistance) in not much time. Then you start the game, where some of the background looks nice, but the characters are fairly pixelated and ugly looking. And when you have the honor of watching one of them attempt parkour, the animation is robotic and unrealistic.

The AI is quite possibly the worst part of the game. I didn’t play any of the missions online because I only tried once and nobody was playing to enter my game. I assume the game is fairly unpopular. So when I played the game with bots as both friendly and enemy was where the problems arose. All of the AI in the game borders on retarded (I’d say no offense, but I’ve weighed the probability that someone who is retarded is reading this and feel I’m pretty safe). The enemy AI does not seem to realize you are there until you’ve shot them down to about half health, and then they don’t do very much anyway. This would make the game completely easy if it wasn’t a team based game and your friendly AI is equally retarded. More than once did an occasion arise where I was not the proper choice of the 4 classes to complete the objective, but the proper choice was nearby and completely uninterested in finishing the mission. They were more interested in capturing semi-irrelevant command centers than winning the game.

So basically, the game is what you may have read about in the other reviews. It’s not horrible, but it’s not good. It’s not worth paying more than, say, 20 or 30 dollars for. If you want, you can rent it and easily farm about 600 achievements out of the game in a day or two, but the other ones will probably take more than you’re willing to invest in the game. It was certainly more than I was willing to invest, and I’m an achievement whore! So that’s my review. I give my review a 4 out of 5. I had more in me.