Enemy Territory: Quake Wars was a very interesting first-person shooter developed by Splash Damage and released in 2007. The game was a quasi-sequel to Quake 4, as it was set in the same universe and followed the same main story. Quake Wars was widely known for being a multiplayer oriented game and for including a large number of vehicles, bigger maps than other contemporary shooters and the possibility of playing against bots. Also, Splash Damage used a modified version of id Software’s id Tech 4 engine to develop the game and the result was more than satisfactory, as the game was really well received by the industry. Now, almost 4 years later, the same company publishes Brink, another first-person shooter which features a new approach, the possibility of using the parkour-style discipline to move more easily through the environment.
The premise of Brink, as in most modern first-person shooters, is quite simple: two factions, Resistance and Security battle for resources in a utopian city known as The Ark (set in the coast of San Francisco), a floating city well known for both oppression and anarchy. The science-fiction game includes four types of character classes each with a particular ability: Medic, Soldier, Engineer and Operative. This system was an important part of previous Splash Damage’s games. Medics heal and revive fallen teammates, Soldiers can use explosives and provides supplies, Engineers are the only ones who can set up defensive turrets and Operatives can interrogate, sabotage several places and even use camouflage.
Brink includes many features which enhance customization like hoods, tattoos, pants, shirts and so on. These changes are mostly cosmetic and add nothing to the gameplay. The body types, on the other hand, heavily affect the way you play the game. There are basically three types: Light, medium and heavy. These represent how quick your character will react, how fast he’ll move, which weapons he can carry and how much health he’ll have. In addition to this, weapons can also be highly customized by using some attachments. When you do this, some of the basic attributes of the weapons will vary, changing their main advantages and disadvantages.
There’s also a new system called incapacitated, which takes place when a character receives enough damage. When this happen he’ll fall down and will be “incapacitated” for a while, then the character has to be revived by a medic or die and respawn. If you see an incapacitated foe you can use a finishing move to kill him instantly in some of the most over the top ways possible, at the same time you save some ammo.
Another important characteristic is the possibility of earning experience points, these may be used to customize characters and buy better items. Experience points are earned by achieving different objectives and they are an important feature of the single and multiplayer modes. Also, it’s said that there are multiple character combinations that the player may create, though these happen to be very similar. The good thing about this, is that the experience points can be used and add up seamlessly in both single and multiplayer matches. Additionally, the multiplayer matches allow up to 16 players to participate and they may play either cooperatively or competitive. In case there aren’t enough human players in these matches, AI bots can replace them. That’s to say that they fill other people’s spot and they even replace quitters in order to balance teams and matches in general.
Brink has received some mildly positive reviews. While most reviewers and critics really enjoyed and even praised the gameplay and multiplayer portion of the game, some others heavily criticized the simple story, and said it felt incomplete and had many technical issues. Here are some of the reactions of the most important websites:
GiantBomb – 2 out of 5 Stars
“Flat combat and a lack of variety are just two of the things that make Brink such a disappointment”. By Jeff Gerstmann
GameSpot – 6.0 out of 10
“On the lively and intriguing battlefields of Brink, technical deficiencies and design issues can be as deadly as enemy soldiers”. By Chris Watters
1UP – D
“Nothing squanders great ideas like lack of good execution”. By Taylor Cocke