Saturday, May 14, 2011

BRINK Comic/Review

BRINK has gotten a hell of a lot of mixed reviews. Some were in the teens, some were in the 90s. Personal preference I suppose, some praise its innovation, some scorn its bugs. Some say it's a clone, because it has classes and objectives, like TF2 and Battlefield, and because it has shooting and levels, like most FPS games. I for one love the game, I'm having a blast with it. What people don't understand is that just because it has similarities and concepts doesn't make it a clone. That's like saying Star Wars chronicles a man and his friend's adventures in space, so it must be a clone of Star Trek. No. As long as it brings its own ideas and concepts into the fray, it is not a clone.

Aww Hell Naw

Anyway. The idea of BRINK is that global warming happened but beforehand, we made this floating city resort off the coast of San Francisco. Things went south and, before you know it, the seas rose, covering the coasts. Refugees began coming in and the city meant to hold 5,000 now holds 50,000. So there are obviously some supply problems. It's been 20 years since last contact to the outside world so, presumably the Ark is the only thing left. The Security forces are trying to preserve what resources they have for the life they have left on the Ark, while the Resistance want to try and contact the outside world, for if there is one, the resource problem would cease. Things happen and one side gets angry at the other and boom, the Ark is now on the BRINK of civil war. Now, the only thing that bothered me with it was the story. It was a fine story, but depending if you play Security or Resistance, they story changes pretty drastically. Not in the way that the ending will be different depending on the faction, but some pretty major events in the story leading up to the endings! For instance, in the Security campaign, there is a mission where the Resistance gets a surface-to-surface missile and prepares to blow up the Founder's Tower, the main landmark of the game. Now that's some serious terrorism. Of course you go in there and tell them to cut the shit, and break their missile. There is another where they try and take a reactor with the statement that Security will lay down arms or they will overload it, killing EVERYONE. Terrorism. But, if you go through the Resistance campaign, these things never happen. It's COMPLETELY different. It's not, "One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter." or "One man's oppressor is another man's savior." Its two different motives and sequence of events! In Security, there are terrorists. In Resistance, the Security's motto is "LET ME WIN YOUR HEARTS AND MINDS OR I WILL BURN YOUR GODDAMN TOWN TO THE GROUND!" Anyway, you fight off the resistance and save the Ark (that's the floating city-island your on, remember? A fitting name, no?) When you play through the Resistance, it has its own set of differences. One with a helicopter being shot down, and another in an airport (this is the last mission so this is forgivable). These missions can be played from the other perspective (I.E you get to play the Resistance, trying to seize the reactor)in the "What-If" missions, showing how it would've turned out, whether it be good or disastrous. There are also misunderstandings, there is a yearly flu going around but the Resistance leader plays it off as a plague the Security has a vaccine for but isn't giving up, just to feed the fire some.

Explaining the Situation, Also, Comic

The Founder's Tower

Gameplay wise it is very fluid. The main innovation point is the parkour mixed into the movement, you can climb ledges, run walls, vault rails, slide under doors, all the works. These movements can be performed two ways. You can hold down the SMART (Smooth Movement Across Random Terrain) button (the sprint button as well) and look at way you want to traverse and it will automatically determine the best way to perform this, but will only do simple moves, it wont wall run or wall jump. You can also just hit the jump and crouch buttons, these take more coordination, but the actions perform quicker and you can string together more complicated movements. The kind of parkour you can do is determined by your body type. Heavy can take lots of damage, but is slow and can only mantle waist high objects, while light can do wallruns and quickly traverse terrain, and medium combines the best, and worst, of both worlds.

The Light Orange and Magenta Represent SMART's Ability

And while doing all that, you can shoot, so it all blends together very well. The thing is, unless its a long range fight, there isn't much point to use the sights on your gun. Hip fire is best, because it doesn't slow you down and you can still be fairly accurate. The main objective of the game is that there is a defending side and an attacking side, the defenders stop the attackers from stealing/hacking/fixing/blowing up/delivering/uploading objectives and vice versa. All of your objectives are chose from an "Objective Wheel" so you can be covered on all fronts. There is campaign mode, challenge mode, and freeplay, all of which support bots and drop-in/drop-out play. You can play a campaign mission as security with real people fighting bots, or other humans.

The Objective Wheel

This game, has a hell of a lot of customization. Lots. You have your character, you determine his face and race via archetypes, you choose his voice, and you're on your way! You choose their clothes, body type, tattoos, and scars (the last two being unchangeable, you can't get rid of those easy in real life either). Each character can be used for either faction, with each faction having unique clothes, face paints, hairstyles, etc. You unlock more items for your character by leveling up, a new set every level generally. You also get an ability point, which you can use to buy abilities to make yourself better and more combat efficient. You also get to customize your guns with things like sights, magazine types, muzzle breaks, silencers, grips, slings, the whole set.

A Few Ideas

Visually, the game could be better but looks good. It has a unique artstyle, like TF2 mixed with Borderlands. The map design (of which there are 8) is very good and utilizes the SMART system well. From pristine white Mirror's Edge styled corridors to the rusted metal of the shanty towns made out of shipping containers, each has its own look. There is a problem though with load times. The models and everything are there off the bat, but the textures take a few seconds to fully load, which is odd for a game this fast paced. I suppose they thought you would be going too fast to notice, but if you stop, you'll notice them pop in. I don't know what kind of picture would go with this paragraph so;


Overall, I really enjoy the game, but it does have it's flaws. That's why I'm giving it an;

Until next time folks. See you in the shantytown.

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