1st day impressions from an old Enemy Territory player
Firstly.. bugs... there are none.
Have others experienced bugs with the PC version? It's possible, but for me this has to be the first PC game that I've tried on release that has been bug free since Warcraft 3. Sound works perfectly for me, absolute no visual glitches, etc.
I'm all patched up and I keep my system well maintained... no worms, viruses, broken registries or defraged hard drives... all drivers up to date and stable. I don't have bleeding edge hardware, infact I'm probably due for an upgrade about now or real soon. I've yet to experience any bugs so yeah... I'm very happy with that.
There are obvious legacy mechanics from the ET games... and then there are some significant changes. I won't bother with what is still in there because you'll notice what they are within seconds of playing the game. Here are some of the changes:
Firstly there is no overview map ingame... which was vital to the serious ET player in Wolf ET and Quake Wars. It makes sense here because it seriously limits the potential for wallhackers to find a way to hack the system and exploit such overview maps. Whatever the reason for them making this change isn't a bad thing, it's just DIFFERENT. There is a covert ops perk that allows you to temporarily reveal enemy player positions, kind of like a UAV from other popular FPS's, but only within the context of your mini map on the HUD and incontext with the names and things that you can see through walls anyway.
Press F to interact: This is slightly annoying on the surface as it screams "console friendly"... gone are the days of whipping out your engineer tool to build/repair and objective while having the freedom to crouch and move around the objective, thus protecting yourself from enemy fire at times. Also with command post capturing (like the forward spawn point captures in Quake Wars)... on the surface it seems like a step back because of what we are used to but the truth is it's just DIFFERENT.
SMART: It's nifty. People that are saying it's awkward.. yeah, because you're a moron with retarded fingers. Set your mouse sensitivity to where you need it and you'll figure out that this is going to take some practice to play properly with SMART. In some ways you could say it's a highly advanced version of what you can do with the nano suit in Crysis 2, but it would be more accurate to say this is basically what Assassin's Creed does only in an FPS. Forget about Mirror's Edge comparisons... this is very much like Assassin's Creed's ability to climb/mount/vault over everything and anything.
Movement: it's not fast like CoD, it's not slow like Battlefield. It's probably a middleground between Wolf ET and Quake Wars, and to be honest it felt ideal to me. With a deathmatch mentality it's going to feel slow, but once those of us that are serious about competitive Enemy Territory gaming get the hang of the new mechanics and dynamics, you can tell it is just about right... that said though, the different body types do have different speeds and I am referring mainly to the medium body type. The light body type move faster, the heavy... slower.
RECOIL: Now this is VERY satisfying. You can't spray and pray with this game. I don't know about the console versions, maybe they were sold short because of the need to incorporate a gamepad friendly aimbot system... not in the PC version. Anyone that whines about this is a moron. This harkens back to the good ole days of FPSing where you had to make a serious effort to control your mouse during recoil. Learn what kind of short burst durations work for different kinds of guns.
ONE SHOT KILLS: They don't seem to exist here. This is going to be incredibly frustrating to the children that pull off fluke killstreaks in CoD because they did their spray and pray and insta melee hits and thought they had alot of skill despite the fact that the blind meatfest respawn system often delivers people into situations of easy kills in CoD. This game is not about a kill/death ratio, it's about strategic teamplay. You can use up all your ammo real easy if you're not careful. Again, this is not a bad thing unless you are utterly incapable of adapting to the elements behind the firearms mechanic. Remember this is not designed to be a deathmatch FPS.
MAPS: Wolf ET had 6, Quake Wars had 8, Brink has 8. Like the 2 other games, they are very memorably designed. Something about the way Splash/Damage create their maps shows that alot of genuine effort has gone into refining every little tactical consideration for maps. Choke points can be held and broken. The potential is there in all of these maps for so many alternate strategies and counter-moves. Add to that the SMART option to basically destroy the linearity of being restricted to run/tiny-jump/climb stairs or ladder movement... if half a**** maps for the latest standalone patch for CoD is worth $15, then paying $60 for the Brink maps is well worth it. They're good and they've made it a point to make them... not idiot friendly.
Multiplay... haven't tried it yet, and I say anyone that is making bold decisive claims on the first few days of release for this game are not to be trusted. It's going to take at least 2 weeks for the hardcore obsessive types to really learn all the maps, all the new dynamics, all the class perks and quirks, and THEN to really start getting into proper online games... just the beginning. Wolfenstein ET took around 2 weeks to properly get the hang of, and Quake Wars took almost a month of solid game time to start to feel comfortable with the complexity behind the game, each class, each map, and how teamwork is a necessity not an option.
Give this game a month and the community will develop some very challenging players and clans. This will also become griefsville for your typical camp whores that love to rake up cheap kills in CoD.
In short, this game is everything that most people should have expected. Like the Left 4 Dead games it's not going to be any fun in solo mode beyond 'learning' where to go and how it plays. As cool as Left 4 Dead 1 & 2 can be, they still incredibly stale when played alone... and that's exactly what Brink is like alone. It'll be okay with others, but the real fun is playing with skilled people you know and trust.
Having given this a few hours already I can confidently say this will deliver the goods to those of us that still rate Wolfenstein ET and Quake Wars as our greatest and fondest FPS gaming experiences of all time... on PC of course. Will it be as replayable as the others, especially Wolfenstein ET which still survives today... that's going to depend on Splash/Damage making a commitment this time to actually deliver new maps, which they didn't for the prior ET games.
Don't like it??? go back to CoD where every little b**** wants to whine about someone using Last Stand, toobing, claymores, C4... practically everything that is a part of that game, you can find a server that has people that will ban you for using it in their match. Go back there and camp/grief in an endless cycle of CoD4 repeats.
And keep in mind I really liked CoD4, but deathmatches, even with cool killstreaks, gets old. Enemy Territory players... give Brink a serious play through.
If you are new to the Enemy Territory mechanic and are coming from your usual deathmatch clones... patience is the key, you have to learn the game not from reading a manual but from actually familiarising yourself with the game first hand... then when you've given multiplay a try when the community has developed, that is when you can judge the value of the game. Don't have the patience for that, keep the AAA fanboy comparisons to what limited game experiences you've had to yourself and move on!!!