Brink Review
Xbox 360 | PS3 | PC
Brink Box Art
System: PC, PS3, Xbox 360
Dev: Splash Damage
Pub: Bethesda Softworks
Release: May 10, 2011
Players: 1-8
Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p

Perhaps the biggest problem, however, is that some of the missions are remarkably long, and if you fail, your only choice is to start over from the beginning or skip ahead. It's too bad you can't start from your latest objective, even if that means you have to play without online co-op help for a little bit. It is unbelievably infuriating when you run up against strong resistance late in a mission and end up losing half an hour's worth of work (which is another reason not to play solo).

Brink Screenshot

Story-wise, Brink takes some major cues from Bioshock. Bioshock takes place in an underwater world created by devotees of Ayn Rand's hardcore libertarian philosophy. Brink, meanwhile, takes place on a man-made island, or a "seastead," (which some of today's libertarians have advocated as a way to escape the far-reaching hands of government.) In both games, what was intended as a watery utopia has gone wrong. In Brink, however, the downfall of this utopia was due to rising sea levels and the refugees from nearby lands who have stormed the island, which isn't big enough to hold everyone. The island's security team tries to keep these refugees under control, but things get violent.

The fact that the island is man-made gives the developers a lot of leeway in terms of architecture and scenery. This is an amazingly colorful game, with well-designed structures and some of the best overall graphical work I've ever seen; the worst issues are some screen-tearing and texture pop-in during cutscenes. (Brink is built on the id Tech 4/Doom 3 engine, modified to include a technology called "Virtual Texturing.") Unfortunately, the character models don't fare quite as well: They're almost photorealistic, except that each person's facial structure is distorted in a way that brings Team Fortress to mind—the eyes are a bit too close to the top of the head, and all the models have exceptionally strong jawlines and bulging skulls. It's certainly an interesting look, but it made everything just seem "off" to me.

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In the end, however, Brink is a worthy buy for anyone who doesn't absolutely hate multiplayer FPS action. It blurs the line between single-player and multiplayer styles, introduces an effective new movement system, and finds ways of discouraging all the obnoxious behavior common in most multiplayer shooters. The campaign is long, and the different classes allow you to play each mission over and over without getting bored. All of this adds up to one huge accomplishment for Splash Damage.

By Robert VerBruggen
CCC Contributing Writer

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
4.2
Graphics
Brink features some of the greatest graphical work to date, give or take a few minor issues and awkward character models.
4.5
Control
The SMART system works amazingly well almost all of the time, causing your character to vault or climb over anything that's in his way.
4.2
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The gunshots are unnervingly loud, and the music is intense.
4.3
Play Value
The campaign is long and offers endless replay value. However, bear in mind that this is a co-op multiplayer game, and it's very frustrating if you play solo.
4.3
Overall Rating - Great
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
Review Rating Legend
0.1 - 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 3.5 - 3.9 = Good 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair 4.0 - 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • Advance your character's development across every gameplay mode: single player, co-op, and multiplayer.
  • Gain experience points that you can spend on customizing and upgrading your skills and abilities, designing an entirely unique look and feel for your character.
  • When you press the SMART button, the game dynamically evaluates where you're trying to get to and makes it happen.
  • Objectives, communications, mission generation, and inventory selection are all dynamically generated based on your role, your status, your location, your squad-mates, and the status of the battle in all gameplay modes.
  • Brink's proprietary technology, Virtual Texturing, breaks new ground on current-gen consoles and PCs with an even greater focus on highly-detailed characters, realistic environments, lighting, effects, and atmospherics.

  • Videos / Game Trailers
    Brink Choir of Guns Trailer  - click to enlarge
    Choir of Guns Trailer
    Brink Minds on the Brink Diary  - click to enlarge
    Minds on the Brink Diary
    Brink Developer Diary: Endless Horizon   - click to enlarge
    Developer Diary: Endless Horizon
    Brink GDC 10: Cinematic Trailer   - click to enlarge
    GDC 10: Cinematic Trailer

    Screenshots / Images
    Brink Screenshot - click to enlarge Brink Screenshot - click to enlarge Brink Screenshot - click to enlarge Brink Screenshot - click to enlarge Brink Screenshot - click to enlarge Brink Screenshot - click to enlarge Brink Screenshot - click to enlarge Brink Screenshot - click to enlarge Brink Screenshot - click to enlarge Brink Screenshot - click to enlarge

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