Brink Hands Off Preview - The Thinking Man's Shooter
Written Tuesday, May 04, 2010 By Richard Walker
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At surface value, Brink might seem like it's just another FPS that's different purely by virtue of its quirky and esoteric art style, but in reality, it’s a lot more than just a shooter with a unique, stylised look. This is fast and frenetic arcade action cast firmly in the Splash Damage mould, taking what the studio has learnt from the Enemy Territory series on the PC and its other online multiplayer contributions, and striking out in its own direction.

That direction is a frantically paced squad-based, objective driven shooter in which you and your teammates coordinate during the campaign to complete missions in whichever order you choose. So far, so ordinary, you might scoff, but there's a lot more to Brink than setting charges and dispensing lead salads, although that is much of what we see during our look at the current build.

This is world exclusive new material we're being shown according to Splash Damage's CEO and Game Director Paul Wedgwood, who enthusiastically talks us through the demo. Using one of the several fully-customisable characters you can keep stored, we're taken straight into a Resistance mission entitled 'Day 2: Breakout', in which you have to rescue and escort a kidnapped pilot called Neschayev. This mission takes place at a Security tower during the game's overarching conflict in The Ark. Hacking safes and control panels is all part of a dynamic set of objectives that can be tackled in any order you see fit and an arrow at the top of the screen always indicates the best route to follow to achieve your goal.

Command posts can be used out in the field, enabling you to switch weapon load outs and classes on the fly via an intuitive radial menu. Far more useful than merely mixing up the game, switching classes gives you new abilities such as the Operative's disguises and homing beacons or the Engineer's mines and specialist equipment like hack tools or the Medic's life buff and self-resurrecting adrenaline shots. Combining classes will be the most fun, as you can use a disguise to slip by unnoticed, then hack open a locked safe and then perhaps heal your team, die and bring yourself back to life, all in one playthrough.

While all of this is undoubtedly cool, it's Brink's shooter mechanics that will make or break the game, and happily it all looks incredibly solid and wonderfully fluid. Extras like being able to peek out from cover or hold the game's SMART button to free-run through your environment by simply directing the analogue stick towards your destination initiating leaps, slides and vaults over obstacles with an absolute minimum of fuss, add to that innate fluidity. After all, Brink is an FPS, not a platform game, so Brink's SMART button cuts out any clumsy jumping around while simultaneously giving you the means to efficiently travel around a location at speed with ease.

The masses of customisation options run incredibly deep, even going so far as to have an impact upon your character and how he moves around or how much he can carry. Different body types such as heavy, medium and skinny have game-modifying effects, so a skinny character will have much greater agility and speed, but he's unable to wield the larger weaponry, whereas the heavily built characters can pack anything at the expense of their movement.

Once you've put together your very own stylised Resistance or Security aligned character before augmenting your weaponry with all manner of additional parts such as scopes, extended magazines, silencers and more, you're ready to hit the battlefield in style. The wealth of adjustable components is staggering, and the effects of your custom tinkering extend far beyond being simply cosmetic.

While the array of masks, shirts and other stylish articles of apparel serve to make your look unique, the weapon add-ons also grant varying attributes to your arsenal. Attach a huge drum clip to your rifle for instance, and you'll be able to fire off licks of bullets with reckless abandonment, whereas a gaffer-taped double clip allows for fast reloads although you'll have less ammo in the magazines. And of course, every one of Brink's weapons look suitable chunky and achingly cool, especially once you start adding muzzles, grips, scopes and clips.

The entire user interface is also very simple to use, and assigning the unlockable upgrades earned via the persistent character growth system - built around XP issued for kills and successfully completed tasks, which in turn gifts credits - looks to be a snap. These perks are mostly meaningful and worthwhile, such as the 'Sense of Perspective', which grants the ability to utilise a third-person view to bolster you combat intuition, or 'Battle Hardened' which gives you a handy health boost. Incidentally, there's a nice touch where you can tinker with your load outs during the game's pre-mission cut scenes.

Brink could well redefine the co-op shooter as we know it, and that's more than just brazen hyperbole. Every one of the game's maps will be unique according to Wedgwood, which will act as a mnemonic device for finding your way around, and Splash Damage's thinking-man's shooter approach looks as though it should pay off on the evidence of what we've seen of Brink so far. But that's all we can do for now, is speculate on how Brink looks. Until we get hands-on with the game, we won't know for sure, but the different style of gameplay on show looks (there's that word again) genuinely fresh and exciting. And that's no mean feat for an FPS.

Brink is tentatively pencilled in for an autumn 2010 release.


User Comments
Forum Posts: 813
Comment #1 by emperorzeus12
Tuesday, May 04, 2010 @ 04:24:55 PM
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well im getting this but not expecting new interface

Forum Posts: 3098
Comment #2 by dbigfeet
Tuesday, May 04, 2010 @ 04:56:23 PM
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still look like just another FPS

Forum Posts: 364
Comment #3 by St-Valantyne
Tuesday, May 04, 2010 @ 06:08:16 PM
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Don't care for any other fps than this, its oozing with personality if you can't see it your blind.

Forum Posts: 2014
Comment #4 by Donkey-er
Tuesday, May 04, 2010 @ 06:29:49 PM
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I'm really looking forward to this one!
maybe coz it has the cortoon art style from borderlands but not as incredebily crappy this time!
and I'm really into shooters right now:P
even got some crap 3rd persons this week (aka terminator, eat lead, that kind a stuff:P)

Forum Posts: 1
Comment #5 by JP1620
Tuesday, May 04, 2010 @ 07:20:10 PM
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have you seen gameplay vids, if you had you wouldn't say that. this is as unique a game you will see now a days.

Forum Posts: 2
Comment #6 by DialgaMarine
Tuesday, May 04, 2010 @ 07:34:33 PM
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Lol, this game is a shitty KZ2 wanna be. Just look at the gameplay and how it "tries" to mock KZ2's graphics. Sorry, but when a game is on the 360, its a fail. There are only a few exceptions to that rule.

Forum Posts: 37
Comment #7 by QuantumKnight
Tuesday, May 04, 2010 @ 08:17:51 PM
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hmmmm...a probably maybe

Forum Posts: 63
Comment #8 by FearlessSasuke
Tuesday, May 04, 2010 @ 10:15:20 PM
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nah looks like another fps to me.

Forum Posts: 2971
Comment #9 by dante_kinkade
Tuesday, May 04, 2010 @ 10:33:06 PM
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I'm not a big FPS fan, but this sounds like it has lots to offer and who doesn't love to be a resistance member.

Forum Posts: 447
Comment #10 by irishman07
Wednesday, May 05, 2010 @ 02:34:56 AM
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Aaw but it already is Autumn in Australia, why is it not out now?! :)

Forum Posts: 192
Comment #11 by gramreaper
Wednesday, May 05, 2010 @ 01:00:51 PM
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Brink will be good
pre-order now

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #12 by Vengeful_Panda
Wednesday, May 12, 2010 @ 09:28:41 PM
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Looks good hopefully it will be more than just another shooter. Looks that way to me. I would wait for reviews before I get this one.

Forum Posts: 10
Comment #13 by Xo_KrackShot_oX
Monday, June 14, 2010 @ 11:29:26 AM
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borderlands on steroids

Forum Posts: 10
Comment #14 by sub-statik
Saturday, June 19, 2010 @ 12:54:22 AM
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looks cool

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Game Info
Splash Damage


US May 10, 2011
Europe May 13, 2011
Japan June 16, 2011

Resolution: 480p, 720p
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1
Players: 1
Online Players : 2-16
ESRB: Teen
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