PAX East 2011: Brink Hands On

Brink was one of the first places I checked out because I knew it was going to be a hot spot on the expo floor.  Glad I did because I was right.  Bethesda set up a pretty cool ‘Ark’ inspired booth with a lot of light blues, whites, and clear plastic.  I was eager to get my hands on Brink and test out its S.M.A.R.T. system for myself.  I’ve got a lot to say about this one, so click the “continue reading” button to see it in all it’s glory.

As an interesting aside, I have to admit, Splash Damage did a very poor job at handling the demo.  While I appreciate being able to play for 30 minutes, waiting in line for 45 minutes waiting for 8 people to finish a match wasn’t fun.  I can only imagine what the line behind me was like as I was 5th overall.  The thing was, the demo let you customize your character and gun before the match even started.  Once it did start, Brink gave you 10 minutes to complete the objective (if you were on offense).  If the offensive team did that, you were given another 20 minutes to do the next objective.  My team failed to complete this so I can’t say if it ended there or kept going.  Either way, the demo was WAY too long and resulted in harsh line waiting.  I didn’t head back on the other two days so I can’t say for sure if they reduced the demo time.

Ok, enough of that negativity.  How was the game itself you ask?  I can honestly say, Splash Damage has some good stuff on their hands.  First off, the amount of customization options and tweaks you can make are simply mind-blowing.  You could spend a good chunk of time tweaking your character and adjusting just about everything on the gun you select.  While the demo didn’t have a ton of options, there were still a good amount.  Plus, you can use the experience you earn to unlock even more items.  It’s crazy to say the least.  You can adjust just about anything you want and alter the settings of each gun from the accuracy, damage, kick back, and fire rate to name a few.  Brink definitely allows you to customize your experience.

The demo featured 3 on 3 (2 different demo stations each with 6 people) with the rest of the game populated by bots.  It was objective based with the resistance on offense and the security trying to stop them.  Without any explanation to what I was trying to do, I can’t really comment on the nuances of the game as it wouldn’t really be fair.  Somehow we managed to complete the first objective (again, wasn’t sure what I was supposed to do) and a small cut scene appeared with our characters at the front.  The second objective was a sort of escort quest.  We had a wounded teammate and the goal was to help him get to the safe zone.  I didn’t understand this until near the end of the time limit however when I saw the target down.  As a medic I ran over and managed to revive him to get him moving again but by that point we were DEEP in enemy territory.  I didn’t really understand the spawn system either.  It seemed like there was only 1 place I spawned during the second objective and the further the NPC got, the longer I’d have to run to get back to him.  I’m hoping I just missed something because it wasn’t fun spending that time running back to the action, only to get gunned down and have to repeat the long trek again.

The main staples of any FPS game though are guns and the controls.  Both of which I can firmly say felt great.  Even though I had not a clue as to what I was doing (due to the convention noise I could barely hear the cut scenes), I still knew enough to take down the other team.  I customised an assault rifle and had a small SMG with rapid fire capabilities.  The guns felts great and the best part is, if you don’t like how a gun handles or performs, you can always go tweak it or just grab a new one from the huge weapon rack available.  The game features 4 classes, each with their own specialties in clearing objectives.  I played as the Medic as I’m a sucker for support classes.  I was able to revive fallen team members and even buff their health.  Everything you do in this game gives you experience.  Shooting a guy will get you basically 1 experience point for every bullet that hits essentially.  It makes playing and helping your team a rewarding experience for sure. 

Finally, I’m happy to report that the much hyped “Smooth Movement Across Random Terrain” system works as intended and is very easy.  Think of it like the free running button for Assassin’s Creed.  The trigger acts as the sprint button normally but when you come up to an object, say a desk for example, your character will automatically hurdle over it.  Not longer will a small fence or rubble prove to be an impassable barrier to your game character.  The system is fantastic.

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2 Responses to PAX East 2011: Brink Hands On

  1. Pingback: PAX East and Beyond: Hunted/Brink roundup | MensaDad News

  2. Pingback: PS3/360/PC 『Brink』 最新プレビュー情報 | S@G通

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