On the Brink...
by, 23-05-2011 at 07:00 PM (1313 Views)
...of throwing my goddamn controller through my TV that is.
Some context seems may be necessary.
Last week saw the release of Splash Damages latest foray into team based first person shooters having previously done Enemy Territory Wolfenstein and Quake Wars: Enemy territory. Brink has been on my radar since middle of last year and I have been anticipating its release greatly.
It's international release saw Brink score below expectation but having faith that this was purely due to it being a multiplayer focused game I took the fall and picked it up anyway have hit a severe dry spell in the co-op department since finishing Halo Reach with a friend.
A here we are three days post release, 3 days in which I have yet to actually see another human being in my campaign, with the exception of the one I invited in, even though I have "visible to everyone" selected.
I have unlocked most of the weapons and their attachments even though I am yet to finish the second mission, none of these weapons seem to be able to hit other people and ammo drains faster than a leaky sif. Their SMART (read glorified sprint) button should be renamed DNFWAA (Does Not Fucking Work As Advertised) button. And most frustratingly of all.... WHO THE FUCK did these guyz get to play test the SP campaign or code the bots for that matter? because if I was Splash Damage i would go ask for my fucking money back.
Lets start with the "Revolution" Brink was suppose to bring to online shooters. Have these people seen Halo Reach? THAT is how you blur the lines between online and offline. Why the fuck are there no lobbies? Why doesn't anyone join my campaign, since the box clearly says you can play the campaign with strangers online. Also why do I have to be in a level before I can invite a friend to join my game. I say again; Have you see what Bungie did in Halo Reach, go check it out, seriously.
Since they decided to so gracelessly fuck with what has become common practice online shooters would a little section in the manual been so much to ask?
What a proper MP lobby looks like
Next, where the hell did these people learn to build a XP ladder and its rewards? I need to play some half-assed challenge maps to unlock better weapon and their attachments? The small number of weapons I can still understand if they where a bit more unique but as it stands you have the same weapon with slightly different rate of fire, damage and range, they don't even sound all that different, what gives? Now we get to the "aim assist" or should I say lack there off, I know the PC guyz dont need to worry about this one but for console guyz its a biggy, aiming in this game is fucking pointless, even at maximum sensitivity it feels like my character is running through waist deep sludge and turns like a 80 year old with sever arthritis. Since two coughs of any weapon means you are now out of ammo the lack of a snap on aiming system on the console version results in Nerd Rage from a guy that has finished Demon's Souls multiple times. On the topic of rapidly depleting ammo, why in the name of all that is holy can you not pick up ammo from fallen enemies? As it stands you start with a few rounds tucked into you jock-strap which lasts all of 30 seconds in a gun fight at which point soldiers are suppose to resupply you... In full MP this might work and I stress the MIGHT heavily here. If you are playing any class that isn't the self refilling soldier by your lonesome be ready to die due lack of ammo on a regular basis, with the only way I have been able to resupply is command posts and the odd supply post when the Bots capture it.
The SMART, Smooth Movement Across Random Terrain, has been one of the most discussed "features" of this title from its very outset. On paper it sounds brilliant, Mirror's Edge like movement in a MP shooter = WIN. In practice the system is little more than a glorified sprint button and Smooth is one this it isn't. The animation is clunky and trying to pull of a semi-acrobatic move while 8 people are shooting at you just doesn't work. It may need another few incarnations before it is ready to be adopted for the main stream.
Brink has been, from the very beginning, about blurring the lines between online and offline play - single player and multiplayer - however as it is now Brink is a multiplayer game with SP stuck on with some take and old gum. The entire campaign consists on the same maps as MP, the same objectives with the only real difference being that the SP is filled with Bots that work too well as opponents and fail completely as team mates. Would it really have killed them to write some proper behavioral A.I for the SP campaign? Give us a coherent plot and the means to follow it with out resorting to cheap gimmicks like auidologs and loading screens? This is truly sad since the underlying idea behind Brink's plot is incredibly interesting and this ham-handed treatment does nothing but hurt the title which has already disappointed its audience a few times too many.
I remain convinced that buried deep inside Brink is a decent - even borderline good - game to be found but this confusing handling of the MP - which shows a clear lack of understand what is currently happening in online shooters removes Brink from the top of any shooter fan's list. I personally would rather boot up the year old Halo Reach to get another fix of perfection since after these 3 days feel like I have waisted my money on Brink.