Brink is the first-person shooter culmination by Bethesda Softworks and Splash Damage that outfits players with an original concept for first-person shooter perspectives, even if that concept falls sadly too short. The dynamic balance with three different gameplay aspects combined together create a title that is truly unique through either a single-player campaign with up to 16 players for A.I., or seamless transitions to online campaign gameplay with 16-player competitive cooperative play across the brink of civil war. Whether players choose to be alone, or team up with 8 players in either of Brink’s two factions, there is always a level of cross-play and customization that makes Brink parapsychological in its essence. Brink fuses different gameplay aspects into one channel, showing that there can be not only an equality between all these different gameplay aspects, but a level of chaotic admiration that excels at player interactions. Despite this, too much chaos combined with a heavy lack of competitive variety creates a title that shows a different and darker shade of its potential originality.
Brink concentrates itself on warfare. Two factions vie for control of “The Ark,” a floating paradise utopian city built around the waters of a flooded Earth. The symbolism of the Ark begins to win over peace for 5,000 residents, but unfortunately 50,000 residents have led to a divide and civil warfare between “Resistance” and “Security” factions in the outskirts of the city. The Security is the totalitarian police force, whereas the Resistance hopes to escape The Ark and finally make contact with others, if any, in the outside world. Sadly, the world seems anything but peace and warfare is at the brink of all hope to change anything for good.
Brink’s core gameplay makes use of the game mechanic of SMART (Smooth Movement Across Random Terrain) Parkour System through every possible mode (campaign or multiplayer), creating a cohesive gameplay structure. SMART essentially allows player to machinate their environment, creating exciting new ways to get to a goal and focus more on different tactics that involve the war itself: guns, arsenal, and compounded action. The environments are designed skillfully to allow for the SMART button to take place in many parts of the environment, and give an integral blend between static and motion-based first-person shooter tactics. The control system itself makes use of any SMART chance it gets, and the SMART movements truly do help to make the game and the action more intense.
The action within Brink comes alive at the inception through either of the two faction campaigns within single-player, cooperative campaign, but most importantly the multiplayer aspect which is common to all 3, essentially creating one large multiplayer-enabled title. Customizations of a character allows nearly thousands of unique character combinations before even going into the multiplayer aspect of the game, and such customization of a character in many unique ways is definitely a feat for titles which are not massive multiplayer online video game titles. The world of Brink gives combat roles as a way for players to create characters which they can not only play with in single-player, but also the very online-enabled aspect on every mode. The player has the choice to take one role out of four classes, with each class having a specialization on the battlefield. The class chosen essentially decided how rewards are used in terms of abilities which can be either specific to that class or universal. Level Credits (LCs) allow newer Abilities to be unlocked, while maintaining Standard Kit traits. Combat roles include Soldier, Medic, Engineer, and Operative. The resemblance of Brink to Valve Software’s iconic Team Fortress 2 becomes translucent at the beginning primarily through the multiplayer interactions, creating a level of comparison that is natural in the groundwork of Brink. While Brink does honor Team Fortress 2 and no doubt shares a portion of its original IP multiplayer inspiration from the title, there needed to be more classes similar to Team Fortress 2, creating not just space for players to expand their Brink action, but also more diversity that 4 player classes does not simply fulfill regardless of more than 80+ abilities. Regardless of how Brink’s multiplayer offering in terms of competitive gameplay may be lacking, it is still a multiplayer competitive aspect that is easily playable despite being overly underwhelming.
Brink delivers endless customization options, an entertaining single-player campaign mode, beautiful environments, and finishes the list with competitive modes for a title which is definitely for the first-person shooter fans looking for a new game to satiate their palette. Unfortunately, the lack of variety to the online competitive offering in terms of classes and abilities pale in comparison when compared to other notable iconic titles such as Team Fortress 2, especially given that the latter is least expensive and more varied. Nevertheless, Brink partly accomplishes what it sets out to do in the first place, showing players that multiplayer, single-player, and competitive modes can be blended without necessarily only focusing on one aspect above all else. This focus may seem garbled at times, but it is still there. Given that it achieves a rare balance hardly seen in most games today, Brink shows us all that there is still hope even if a utopian society does not succeed within the game itself.