Tuesday, August 26, 2014


Brink Review

Kid Safe: Moderate                           Game Quality: Moderate

Genre: First Person Shooter
-          This game is characterized by the viewpoint and weapons used in the title. In a first person shooter, you are looking down the barrel of a gun as though you yourself are holding the weapon. Likewise, as the term "shooter" implies, the game specifically uses guns and firearms.

Internet Requirements: High
-          Brink features a high amount of internet requirements due to the games inclusion of and heavy focus on multiplayer. The game's single player (i.e. the ability to play alone without connection to the internet) is relatively small and the game expects most players to engage in the internet-based online multiplayer.

Story Summary: In Brink, you create your very-own unique character based on a number of toolsthat
allow you to choose everything from what your facial structure is like down to the clothes you are wearing. In a world devastated by floods and where the only sustainable city is a floating fortress called "The Ark", players choose one of two factions to align themselves with. Players choose either the Ark Security Force, the police for the Ark who are simply attempting to maintain order and save as many lives as possible, or the Rebellion, who are attempting to save themselves and their families and escape the Ark in hopes of finding life outside of the Ark. Who will you fight for?

Kid Safe: Moderate
-          Foul Language: Low
o   Brink features a low amount of foul language in the form of words like "s*it" and "b*stard". These words are relatively infrequent and will most often occur during cutscenes and dialogue between characters during scenes of extreme anger or frustration.

-          Violence and Gore: High
o   Brink features a high amount of violence and gore. To begin with, this title is a first-person shooter, which means that player's primary focus is to attack and kill their opponents. Players will be using a wide variety of firearms including pistols, machine guns, sub-machine guns, shotguns, rifles, sniper-rifles, grenade-launchers, grenades, explosives, and more to dispatch the enemies that they are pitted against. All enemies are human and must be killed or wounded to the point of death in order to be defeated.

o   When players attack and shoot other characters, enemies will lightly spray red to signify that blood is being sprayed from wounds; however no visible wounds will be inflicted. When an enemy is killed, they will collapse to the ground and roll around for roughly 20 seconds, all the while grasping for help from other players; of which they can receive from Medics who will assist and revive fallen characters. If a character is assisted by a medic, they will stand back up as if never injured. However, players are able allowed to and encouraged to shoot fallen enemies to eliminate the possibility of them being able to fight again (when revived).

o   Cutscenes will often feature scenes of the two factions shooting at each other without signs of either group being vastly injured. However, there are some alarming scenes; one of which includes a failure by the security team to stop a terrorist attack against one of the city's primarily buildings in which a missile is fired against the building while the security team is desperately trying to find out if it had been evacuated yet.
-          Sexually-Related Content: None
o   To the best of the reviewer's knowledge, Brink does not contain any amount of sexually-related content.

-          Use of Drugs and Alcohol: Low
o   In Brink, players will see characters occasionally smoking cigarettes in cutscenes are during dialogue. There is little focus on the fact that said characters are smoking and the scenes are uncommon.

Game Quality: Moderate
-          Graphics / Visuals: Low
o   Sadly, Brink features rather low graphical and visual quality. The game suffers from a number of problems including collision detection issues, texture loading issues, framerate issues, and more. Allow us to break this down into less technical terminology for you.

o   Collision detection means exactly what it sounds like: the ability for the game to tell when one supposed "surface" is hitting another supposed "surface". A perfect example of collision detection is if you put your hand down on the desk. Collision detection refers to the game recognizing that those two surfaces are making contact and will react according. Sadly, this is not the case. There was more than once while playing Brink that, while attempting to pull myself up over a ledge, my character's hands would seemingly just lodge themselves into the middle of a wall or I would find my hands simply hovering on top of nothing; all the while acting like I was grasping the edge of a solid surface.

o   Another problem we ran into was texture loading problems. What this refers to is the game's ability to load in proper "textures" onto a variety of different surfaces. To provide you an example, consider a rough piece of metal or wood and the texture that it would have. Instead of running across one of these surfaces and it looking like it SHOULD in real life, the surface will look like just a mesh of colors on a flat surface. This is what we are referring to. We ran into this MULTIPLE times and it took a good 5 to 10 seconds before it actually looked like it should.

o   Finally, framerate issues have been mentioned previously on this site, however it refers to the issue of the game not loading its graphics properly. It causes the game to having skipping and lagging in the video so that there is not a clean presentation. While not overly common, it happened plenty.
-          Audio: Moderate
o   Brink features a moderate amount of audio and music quality.  Some of Brink's major strengths lie in its overall voice acting and musical quality while its major weaknesses, coincidentally, lie in the PLACEMENT for the voice acting, the sound effects, and the music. Allow us to explain.

o   Starting with the game's major strengths. The voice acting is excellent, absolutely well done. While none of the voices in Brink are overly well-known, their job is exceptional. Ranging across a wide-variety of different accesses and dialogue types, players who partake in Brink will enjoy an excellent assortment of character types as well as emotion well-matched to the situation. Equally, the music, while often unavailable through gameplay, is rather well-done and enjoyable; providing an excellent and pleasing soundtrack that compliments the opening cutscenes and "character building" sections rather well.

o   On the contrary, Brink suffers from repetitive and annoying PLACEMENT of the voice acting, weak sound effects, and not enough contribution from the rather enjoyable soundtrack. So, starting off, while the voice acting is top notch, featuring over a dozen impressive actors, the usage and placement of the voices is not. More often than not, despite the excellent work be any number of the actors, you will hear the endless repetition of the same several lines. When you hear the same line from several characters 8 times in a 1 minute section, the repetition is too much. This is not the actor's fault so much as the writers' for not providing them more lines to work with. Likewise, the sound effects are pretty unimpressive, featuring heartless pings and booms from firearms and explosives that add no real weight to the gameplay; sounding less like a first-person shooter and more like a poorly done action movie. Finally, the music, while well-done and excellent when present, if very rarely present throughout the game and generally fails to add anything to the gameplay on the exception of giving players some background noise while making characters or watching cutscenes.

-          Gameplay / Playability: High
o   Overall, Brink features a relatively high level of gameplay and playability. Starting with the playability, this game dedicates an impressive amount of time in teaching players how to play this game. Starting off with a large number of tutorial videos, the game actually rewards players with additional "XP" points which they can use for equipping new weapons and clothing options for WATCHING these videos. If the videos aren't quite enough, the game also features a large number of "Challenge" misisons that will help to train players the proper purpose and way to play each of the games individual "classes"; functionally teaching them everything they need to know about the game. Finally, the single-player story mode will serve to introduce everything players have learned in a combative environment.

o   Moving on to the game. We should first note that the gameplay is relatively conceptual, based largely on the fact that the graphics and visuals suffer so much that it tends to take away from the overly gameplay. First, Brink features the so-called "SMART" system, which stands for Smooth Movement Across Random Terrain. In most games, a player must first master the movements and gameplay of the game to get somewhere; however, using SMART, players are able to simply point where they want to go and the character will naturally attempt to get their by means of jumping, weaving, ducking, and dodging. Likewise, players have a number of different "classes" available, each one featuring unique and interesting gameplay. Some examples of this include "Engineers" that can plant land mines, disarm them should another player accidentally stand on it, build machine gun nests, and repair broken machines and robots. Equally, "Operatives" can hack enemy computer consoles and even take on the look of enemy soldiers to confuse their opponents.
-          Dollar-Value: Low
o   Overall, Brink only has a low dollar-value. First off, the gameplay is simply unfinished; it feels incredibly unrefined and is generally not enjoyable unless you can look past all of its flaws. With only 8 multiplayer maps and a handful of single player content, players will get generally be getting little more than an overly repetitive experience out of this. If you or your gamer do not have internet, I would not even think of playing this game, as all of the single-player content together MIGHT last 4 hours? Generally it will fall anywhere from 3 to 6 hours of gameplay depending on the skill level of the player. Sadly, while the overall concepts are impressive and it sounds like it would be an enjoyable game, this one might be best to wait til it hits the bargain bin given the shallow and unrefined gameplay it has to offer.

-          Sadly, there are very few team-based first person shooters that are not adult-rated. However, if you are unconcerned about mature content, we would recommend either Rainbow Six: Vegas, Army of Two, or Team Fortress 2; which is featured through Half Life: Orange Box for Xbox 360 or PlayStation or available in Orange Box or by itself on PC/Home Computer.

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