Game Review: Brink

By Troy Rawhiti-Forbes

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Screenshot from the 'Brink' videogame. Photo / Supplied
Screenshot from the 'Brink' videogame. Photo / Supplied

Brink puts the player into the middle of a large, man-made island near beautiful, sunny California.

Sounds nice, doesn't it? It ain't. The Ark is a failure - a system meant to support several thousand people quickly became overpopulated and undersupplied - and the island's leading factions are now struggling for their survival. The security team is the instrument of the establishment working to save the Ark, while the resistance is doing all they can to fight their way off.

The game makes extensive use of the SMART system, which allows your character to use Parkour movements to traverse the Ark's terrain like an acrobat and shoot on the go. Those free runners on YouTube look cool enough, but they don't have armed maniacs shooting at them from around every corner so it's up to you to decide whether to stand and fight, or stay on the move while keeping a mental note of your ammo and supply stocks. It's first-person shooting at breakneck speed.

Fighters are broken down into classes with unique talents, including combat support and demolition.

The medic introduces an interesting aspect to strategic play: if you go down in a firefight you can either wait for a medic to revive you on the spot, or choose to respawn at a predetermined site away from the action. If you do this, you'll have to navigate back to where you need to be, and when you're on a time-critical mission, the decision becomes quite challenging.

Brink is not without its drawbacks. The game has a beautiful and compelling introduction, but the story descends into hackneyed "us versus them" shoot-em-up madness once you pull the trigger. It feels very much like the solo campaign is just a loose hook upon which the real meat - the online multiplayer- must hang.

The AI teammates aren't the sharpest knives in the drawer, meaning to experience this game as it was intended to be played, one must find a group of compatible players to take advantage of the maps and battle scenarios. If the AI could have been smartened up, we might be talking about a five-star game. It's a shame because the tactical options are so cool.

Still, there's a feeling of contentedness to be had from succeeding in spite of your team's "help".

Verdict: Brink aims high and hits a bullseye - for multiplayer, where tactics are in and story is out. In this regard, consider this game a smashing success since developers Splash Damage wanted to make a game for people who wouldn't normally consider multiplayer. In the process, fans of solo play have been alienated.

Stars: 3/5
Classification: R16

- NZ Herald

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