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Brink (Xbox 360) artwork

Brink (Xbox 360) review


" Being able to communicate with real people is pretty key, as the game involves people taking on one of four different roles (Soldier, Medic, Engineer or Operative – a.k.a. Spy) to complete missions. Success in these tasks is nigh-impossible if you've got some moron CPU, who insisted in his random English accent, 'I'LL ESCORT YOW', sprinting into the firing line then having his head blown off before he can take ten minutes to turn around and attempt to fire back."



I'm really not much of an FPS game fan, in all honesty. When I announced to a friend that I'd ordered 'Brink' for 35 quid, he cynically called me a fool, and for a while, I had my doubts as to whether I'd made a judicious decision in buying the game which had caught my eye with its supposed 'maverick' take on shooting games. However, after playing for a few days, I can say that it is actually a pretty damn fun experience! (Cheers)

When I say I'm not a fan of shooters, what I probably mean is merely that I don't have the patience to put up with the tedious, loud-mouthed, uber- manly, trigger-happy themes which sometimes lend themselves to COD nowadays. Now, no disrespect to COD players, the game, for what it is, is pretty great. But I like FPS games that lean away from the realistic and ordinary, and that's what initially makes me like Brink, before actually analysing the details of it.

The gist of the story is that the rising water levels have led to the creation of the Ark, a 'refuge' for the people of earth to live in, and ruled over by Security. However, the forces in charge are at risk of being overthrown by the Resistance, who are eager to escape the Ark and begin a new life God knows where. Yeah, it's a pretty standard storyline, but at least it's relatively fictional and deviates away from blasting Nazi heads off for the Pride of the United States or whatever (again, no disrespect to Americans, but it can get tiresome trying to be patriotic for a country which you don't live in). But I'm not here to insult COD, let's get back to the game.

It's almost Future Perfect/Judge Dredd-esque, all futuristic and pretty cool, with an electronic, yet sometimes dramatically powerful soundtrack, which is what first appears to me upon starting the Brink, and this offers a satisfying change from the norm of modern military games – for me anyway, as an adoring fan of Time-Splitters. If you like space-themed games with story-lines based around future possibilities of the destruction of the human race through Global Warming, then we're off to a good start with Brink.

Another element of the game which is prominent to me is the customisation options. You can make your own character, pretty much from scratch, editing race, skin colour, weight, and all kinds of aesthetic stuff. But not only is it cosmetic, but in the case of body type, appearance actually has a more solid effect. Being huge and bulky, whilst slowing you down and limiting your ability to climb certain obstacles, means you'll take longer to be killed and can harry huge f*ck-off monster-guns. Likewise, being emaciated means you can fly nimbly across maps and escape enemy fire by navigating over high walls, boxes etcetera, but will die pretty quickly if cornered. I think this adds a pretty nice touch of colour to the usual grey of character customisation in shooters, and the pretty extensive armoury at your disposal, each with several upgrades (acquired by earning XP and completing challenges) such as scopes,extra ammunition and other more original expansions, is another asset which helps you to make a character who is pretty unique. Seeing as the game is pretty dependant on online play, this really gives you a sense of being part of a bigger picture, but being your own character, too.

However, that brings us onto another point, about online play. If you have no access to internet, Xbox Live or PSN, then this game will have a much lower replay value, purely because the CPU are infuriating, to say the least. Being able to communicate with real people is pretty key, as the game involves people taking on one of four different roles (Soldier, Medic, Engineer or Operative – a.k.a. Spy) to complete missions. Success in these tasks is nigh-impossible if you've got some moron CPU, who insisted in his random English accent, 'I'LL ESCORT YOW', sprinting into the firing line then having his head blown off before he can take ten minutes to turn around and attempt to fire back. Similarly, when the CPU's left in charge, to say, hack a computer, they will usually be adamant that they can not approach the computer until every enemy is dead, despite the fact that they re-spawn until the mission is over and so you soon realise you are stuck in an incredibly irritating cycle of being killed, coming back, the CPU being killed, and so on and so forth. Everything is up to you, if you choose to play with the computer, and this, in Brink, is a recipe for failure.

Nevertheless, with a few mates, this game's good fun. The campaign isn't all that long, but it's challenging enough to keep you going back for a while, and the challenges themselves are enjoyable, with ascending difficulty levels to keep you occupied. The customisation is pleasantly deep for a shooter, and the 8 different game types, though restricted to eight different maps, is pretty entertaining. Saying that, I don't know whether I'll be playing this in a month's time, and I certainly won't play it as much as I played Future Perfect, but hey, maybe that's just the RPG fan-boy inside of me still too occupied with Oblivion and Tales of Vesperia, and considering the fact that I'm usually scornful towards shooters, the fact that this game broke the mould even a little shows it's worth buying for around thirty quid. It's got the innovative edge, but really this point inevitably will be blunted.

Rating: 7/10

Elephant_Joe's avatar
Community review by Elephant_Joe (May 30, 2011)

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