Written by Ryan Johnson (RyanDJ) Saturday, 28 May 2011 08:40
Brink: On the Brink of My Patience
I love writing for GoozerNation. Quite regularly I get assigned a new, hot game to review that is sure to bring in hits. And for the most part, I've enjoyed every game I've been assigned.
Unfortunately, Brink changes this. A few of my fellow writers have been looking forward to this title for quite some time; I had never heard of it. And unfortunately, most of the "features" are worthless or detrimental to me.
Let's start out by saying I am for the most part not much of an online gamer, so that may end up biasing my review a bit. I have tried online gaming; I disclosed my big problem with online gaming in my article, "What's the Big Deal with Sports Games?" When you're good, you're good; and it's really hard for a newbie to get into it. I'm more of a slow paced, methodical thinker.
Therefore, when I run into Brink, I see a game that's biggest "feature" involves how everything can be played everywhere, whether local, solo, co-op, or versus. So let's start there:
1) You can play anywhere, anytime! Same leveling system throughout! To me, this shatters the solo experience. It reminded me of TimeSplitters, a game built around the multiplayer. The first game in that series literally had NO storyline built in, despite the confusing need for time travel, etc. You just dealt with it. I enjoy a story arc. Which brings me to:
2) Every level is open at the start! You can play any level at any time to stay in the game with the other players! ....so you're telling me I don't even HAVE to advance the story? I just watched this really cool intro to have you tell me I can go play the last level now? After all, if I want to see the story, all I need is enough players to fill up the other team so they don't fight me, right?
3) The "SMART Move" and "Parkour" running. So when I hold the button down, my guy jumps over stuff. Nice feature. I hear so many people touting the awesomeness of this, but to me it is just another way to get around.
4) Locking two of the three body types. Why? I can customize his face to my heart's content.
5) Classes. For a bit, I felt like I was playing D&D, with different things I can do with each class. However, to me, it just ended up being taking care of everyone else, no matter which class I worked on, and also...
6) Health is atrocious. If I miss one enemy, I'm on the floor. Then, the waiting game begins. You can sit around for 20 seconds, hoping a medic gets to you, or get restarted half a level back. Then there's the temptation that the medic is almost to you....so you wait....only for them to get shot.
This game is definitely for a niche market. I'm not sure what niche it is looking for, though. A lot of online play is every man for himself, run and gun, yet this one wants to hold your hand, giving you specific objectives. And those objectives make you follow a set path through a crazy landscape. I felt that if I deviated from the team plan, I would die instantly. Therefore, the chaos is almost scripted....bit of an oxymoron. And speaking of moronic....if I have to hear the exACTLY same inflected "the enemy has captured a command post" five times in a row again? *shudder* Game developers: If you know a sentence is going to be used thirty times in one particular gaming round, record a few different takes on it for crying out loud!
So, if you are an online, massive twitch gamer in the mood for a squad based, high-teamwork game, then Brink is your game. If you enjoy sitting on the ground in a pool of your own blood watching other people play, this is your game as well. I can't hate a game, because I couldn't make it if I tried myself....but this is the first game in a LONG time that I have just flat out not liked. I am disappointed, too. I would have loved to see the story develop. Guess that's what YouTube will be for me one day.