Brink Hands-On Impressions

We tattoo our arms, grab a medic pack, and force our way through some doors with a hands-on look at Splash Damage's upcoming shooter.

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The last time we saw Brink at E3 2009, Bethesda put a lot of emphasis on the Splash Damage shooter's extensive customization options and SMART parkour system. This time around we had the chance to try things out for ourselves during a hands-on session with the game at E3 2010, which also included a small online multiplayer mission.

To recap the story briefly, Brink takes place in the year 2035 in a floating city called The Ark following the Earth's near-total destruction. Two warring factions, the Security and the Resistance, are going head-to-head in a bid to outdo each other and take control of the city. You'll be able to choose between these two factions when playing through the campaign. Once you pick a faction, you'll also be required to pick a class of combat: engineer, soldier, operative, or medic. Each class comes with its own skills, abilities, and preconfigured weapon layout. You will be required to switch between classes during gameplay, depending on what each mission demands; this can be done at special command posts throughout the levels. You will earn experience points during combat and missions, which can be spent on upgrading and customizing characters, as well as unlocking new abilities and missions. Weapons are also fully customizable through the use of experience points: you can change the damage level, range, accuracy, and stability of your weapon as well as purchase new ammo and different stocks.

Our hands-on session on the PS3 took us through one of the game's introductory training maps, where we played as part of the Resistance. Our objective was to plant a charge inside a power station and destroy it. We found our objective by looking at the objective wheel, which we accessed by pressing up on the D pad. Because all the game's levels are objective-based, this wheel makes it easier to keep track of what your current objective is and what objectives you can switch to depending on how many missions you have unlocked. Interestingly, the levels can be played in both single-player and multiplayer modes, meaning that you'll always have the same objectives. We started the level as a soldier class, with a bigger, more powerful set of weapons than our teammates. There are 24 weapons in the game, but since you can customize them, you'll probably end up with a lot more. We led our team through a couple of firefights and into a small hangar. The controls were simple to master (and even then, there are enough onscreen instructions that you'll never be left guessing what to do): L1 to target, R1 to shoot. Pressing the triangle button on the controller will lead you to your weapon inventory, and you can pick from either the preset choices or your own customized models.

At this point in the demo we had to switch to the engineer class in order to achieve our immediate objective of hacking through the base system. We quickly located a command post and changed our character class to engineer. The next stage took us through a series of interconnecting pipes on a higher platform, where we finally got to try out the SMART control (smooth movement across random terrain). This sounds complicated, but it's very easy to perform in the game. All you have to do is hold down the sprint button (L2) while moving forward; this will allow your character to do those cool parkour moves, traversing across giant gaps and anything that requires more than a jump. Unfortunately, you don't get to see any of this happening because the camera is always in first-person mode.

Before jumping into the multiplayer map. we had a brief look at the character customization. In the space of a few minutes we turned our character from a Mohawk-sporting, tattoo-wearing, chain-sporting punk into an Upper East Side prep-school kid with an off-putting British accent (yes, you can change characters' accents). Suffice it to say that we had a lot of fun with this aspect.

Brink will offer eight-player co-op and online multiplayer. We jumped into a session with a few other journalists where our objective was to hack the system of another power plant and blow up the reactor core. Because you'll play the main campaign with a team, there aren't a great deal of gameplay changes in the multiplayer mode. We made it through to one checkpoint but got shot down by the enemy. At this point we could have either pressed down on L to call a medic or respawned from the beginning of the map. We chose to respawn and play through again as a medic, to see the differences between the classes. While playing as a medic, we were called to our fallen teammates several times, which made for a good break from all the combat. However, we constantly had to run back and forth from a health post to recharge our medic supply, leaving us more open to attack.

Our demo ended when our team achieved its main objective, taking us back to the start. We should have left it there, but we returned to the character customization menu one last time to try out a few new accents before we left.

Discussion

67 comments
BuffaloATP
BuffaloATP

Why does Brink remind me of a choose your own adventure movie? You choose your objective but the game decides how you get there while you just watch? It could be I'm missing something but ther'es got to be more to it than that or it's a pass for me.

sirnate
sirnate

been playing it for about a week and a half, and it is cool, complex and very unique game. the missions for instance are great and but certain things suck.. bad! . the AI for instance SUCKS A$$, its like a bunch of 6 year olds at the controls with no idea what mission goals are, your team is always scattered about and never stick to the mission or even give you cover if your carrying the mission objective across the map. single player just sucks in general, but online it could totally rock! the customizations are cool, but i found some of them really dont have much of an effect. the graphics are very paper dollish and the guns have no weight. when its time to hit the multiplayer im sure things will be much different though.. until then...

Swindells
Swindells

I'll definetly get this game, looks fragging sweet. kind of like borderlands, how cool are the impact animations when he's getting shot.

ticklemonster1
ticklemonster1

there are a LOT of multiplayer shooters out there so how will this standout long enough to outweigh its costs?

codymcclain14
codymcclain14

Wow,looking forward to this ! Its diffrent,with the cartoonish/stylish graphic's,but I like it !

Gamer-900
Gamer-900

I can't wait for this game to come out it looks so awesome!!!

oonge
oonge

one more thing that i like but cannot have..

Josh238
Josh238

This sorta reminds me of Borderlands.......I think i might get it!

jelly_man16
jelly_man16

Looks so fun I hope it will be great

In65Seconds
In65Seconds

Looks amazing! It looks like a mix of Mirror's Edge, a little bit like Rage, and all with the in-depth customization of a Bethesda game! Can't wait to see how it turns out!

mrtoilet
mrtoilet

Im in!.. Looks very very cool. With Bethesda overseing the production I dont have any doubt it will kick A$$.

eddieham13
eddieham13

@Farhadism Bethesda is not really making the actual game, it is being made by a company called Spash Damage, so the game is in safe hands, and it seems like the game is going to be a good one.

Farhadism
Farhadism

Well, looks innovating... Hope that Bethesda do their job well, as they done on Oblivion! And, Please don't Delay the Release date! Appreciated!

KingAmeboid
KingAmeboid

This looks promising. But I think this is going to be one of those games that will either be great or completely fail.

Jagervito
Jagervito

hopefully this delivers. i wonder if theirs a 3rd person mode

Trently89
Trently89

this game is going to be awesome

desauce
desauce

This game looks pretty badass.

fzd88
fzd88

love the character designs! Can't wait to get this.

Master_cheat001
Master_cheat001

Love the graphic and customization ability! Already in my cart.

D1zzyCriminal
D1zzyCriminal

Its Enemy Teritory meets Mirrors Edge! Which is good because Mirrors Edge had some great ideas it, just could of been put to better use. Im deffinitly gettting this. It will be on PC if none of my mates are getting it for Xbox.

MuShuuzzz
MuShuuzzz

i want this as online multiplayer

The-Longshot
The-Longshot

i smell shadowrun, team fortress two, borderlands and a bit of unreal tournament. Should be quite interesting with that many good influences.

ad_rock
ad_rock

I'll play this instead of bulletstorm for a cartoony shooter, has way more style and look awesome

meleekill989
meleekill989

three cheers for Bethesda! one of the greatest video game development and creation companies ever! been excited about BRINK since the very first previews were unveiled.

the22for4
the22for4

A good game, I liked it, great design, shootings and killings are awesome.

Willceace
Willceace

Did I read into what he said and figure that the level cap is 20 for this game? I wonder what DLC they'll bring out to raise the level cap.

NeoGamer741
NeoGamer741

The character models have a Timesplitters look to them.

Crunk_Gutta
Crunk_Gutta

NOOOOOO DELAYED. it was comming out on my birthday too.. Sept 7 :(

KUNG-LO
KUNG-LO

I hope this doe'snot have that crappy auto aim assist like C.O.D. so that none skilled players can get cheap kills. Everything looks tight I just hope the game play/shooting mechanics are tidy and not like COD.

sjobrie
sjobrie

This game looks amazing, sucks that it got delayed

freema
freema

This game is so original it's not even funny

Warlord_Irochi
Warlord_Irochi

For some reason both Unreal Tournament and Borderlands came to my mind... That is a good thing!

Ensamheten
Ensamheten

Didn't Mirror's Edge have a similar feature to the S.M.A.R.T system? Anyway, I love Splash Damage and I'm sure that this title will atleast be as great as ET:QW.

indongga
indongga

whats the point of customizing your character if you cant see them? BOO FPS, 3rdPS FTW

bodylotion
bodylotion

8 player co-op sounds nice if it's well organized not chaotic like Serious Sam for example. The game looks like a mixture between Borderlands, UT3 and Team Fortress 2 so it looks pretty good now just hope the gameplay is aswell.

ahpuck
ahpuck

love the graphics, but the few minutes of game play i have seen has not impressed me so far.

presgore
presgore

looks good but i was hoping i could get it THIS YEAR

dhaag740
dhaag740

@wolf0 Dude, it's 8-player co-op and 16 player multiplayer. Both are played across the two campaigns just like singleplayer.

dyziux
dyziux

Looking forward,but with out high hopes.