Brink Game Review

First impressions of Brink? “This damn thing won’t start.”

Breathtaking Brink Wallpaper

My first four hours of playing Brink were an exciting interactive quest. The Russian client of Brink that I downloaded from Steam was acting up: it didn’t like one of its own files. “Zzzenglish000.sdmd2 is corrupted, it’s three in the morning, go to sleep,” the game told me. After restarting the client twice and going through the cache of installed files ten times, I realized it was time to turn to the forums. There were quite a few people like me, suffering from similar issues, but 90% of them had different problems, and the collective wisdom of users couldn’t find a good solution for any of them.

I would have waited for a patch if it weren’t for the fact that the empire of goodness, Google, had saved a copy of a deleted thread from the official Steam forum, in which one of my unfortunate comrades asked for the ill-fated file zzzenglish000.sdmd2 to be uploaded to him. Of course, no one managed to upload it for him, but in turn, the unfortunate one shared an interesting story with the world. In a fit of anger, he deleted the “corrupted” files, after which the game – ha-ha – started without any problems. The only downside was that all the letters from the English interface disappeared.

Here it is, a rare case of a truly lifesaving Russian localization. No English interface – and that’s great! We delete the files. In reality, I turned out to be luckier than many people who are currently banging their heads against their keyboards, waiting for a patch for the game or another driver update for their graphics cards.

Seven in the morning, everything is normal. The Brink menus are console-like and traditionally inconvenient for such an execution, but you can immediately play with an avatar doll and start handing out headshots. The graphics and other details are stunning. The promotional videos didn’t lie to us – the world of the Ark is exactly like that, colorful, full of interesting details, and atmospheric. This atmosphere, reminiscent of a stylish cartoon and the ideological offspring of Team Fortress 2, is one of the main advantages of Brink over games like Call of Honor. Well, or disadvantages, but I can’t imagine who would prefer another dusty-sandy mess to a stylish cartoon.

The class-based gameplay of Brink can already be called standard – the first fighters bring ammunition, the second heal, the third build turrets, and the fourth are busy with something else. The ranking system, which limits the career growth of gamers and thus doesn’t allow them to become universal terminators (reallocate skill points – easily, but not during a match), also doesn’t change much. What unexpectedly adds a certain depth to the “calibration” of your alter ego is the unification of local weapons. Yes – medics and marines in Brink skillfully handle rifles, automatic weapons, and anything else. Any modifiers for the guns, such as a special sight or an extended magazine, are universally available (all attachments have their pros and cons – again, here we are given not “+5 to coolness,” but flexible adjustment of equipment to the style of play and role in the theater of military operations). As a result, scouts-snipers and medic-assault troops can run around the maps, which is actually very fun and interesting.

The second purely gaming trump card of the game is the advertised parkour and sliding. Cutting through fences and walls, finding your way to the target through non-obvious detours – whether you perform these simple tricks yourself or observe the excellent parkour animation from the side, it’s a pleasure. The game doesn’t force us into these spectacular jumps, which is a good thing. The discovered parkour passages are perceived more as our own successful find than as a mandatory element of the program. In multiplayer, this emphasis is, of course, shifted, but you still have to reach it.

It is preferable to familiarize yourself with the game in a single-player cooperative campaign. And you can get acquainted with all the maps – there are only six of them, not many, but actually enough – and get used to the local class system, accumulate skill points, and shoot outfits for your doll. Many thanks to the game developers for the concise storyline – ten seconds of intro and five after the mission – that’s exactly the format that shooters like Brink need. We learn exactly what we need and want to know: what the rebel-terrorists are fighting for, whether the Ark’s center is a true empire of evil, and how many seconds it will take to quickly switch to multiplayer.

Brink Character Close-Up

This is the kind of fighter for order/justice/freedom that I imagine myself to be.

And here I ran through the concrete jungles, admired the local beauties, and got drunk on the digital blood of bots. It’s time to see how the real online war is going. At that moment, Brink has to reveal a terrible, devastating secret to me – there is no balance in the game. Not by classes, but by maps. Almost on any battlefield, defense completely shuts down any attack due to poorly designed game sectors. While you are going through the campaign, you don’t notice it, but once you join a “live” defense, the battle immediately turns into a massacre of the helpless. A vivid example is the Resort arena. So, I start playing as attackers in a location with the goal of classic bomb sabotage by terrorists. Our team can’t get further than five meters from the respawn. We are being taken down with some strange ease. For ten minutes, eight fish-terrorists were fighting against the enemy ice.

We switch sides, and… player fnaticMSI.CoD razKi joins the opposing team. No jokes. What happened next? For ten minutes in a row, we were carrying raZki and the others as we pleased. Why did it turn out this way? Because the Resort map is some unfunny joke, where defense can simply stand behind bulletproof glass and watch the opponents’ actions. Before sticking your head out of cover and getting shot in the face, terrorists have one to three seconds, depending on the alertness of the defense players. In that time, they need to look around, spot the target, and make an accurate shot. Defending gamers have an eternity for the same tasks. If you notice the terrorist late, just stand still. This will only give the opponent a chance to run to a position closer to you. If you fail like this four times, the terrorist will have a chance to shoot you at point-blank range after the fifth run.

And it’s like this on almost all maps.

Brink Gameplay Exploration

One of the positions is: take it out - I don’t want it.

The Electronic Sports League has already planned a major tournament for Brink. Well, good luck to all its participants. And strong nerves.

Brink, as a multiplayer shooter, has very few necessary graphics settings, and this is quite frustrating. You can’t change the POV or adjust the interface – you can only remove some effects and lower the texture quality. Who would have thought that an online FPS is not about beautiful graphics? Fortunately, help can come in the form of the internet, from a programmer named RjayW, who created the Brink Configurator.

So, in conclusion? Brink is a truly interesting shooter, currently lying at the bottom of a deep lake with two heavy stones – bad maps and unstable client performance. For now, the game can only be recommended to fans of team-based online FPS who are tired of all the other popular shooters. The developers promise maps, patches, free DLC, and a bright future, but when it will come and if it will come at all – that is the question.

PC, PS3, Xbox 360
Action, Co-op, Multiplayer
Bethesda Softworks
Splash Damage
Release Date:
Editor's rating:
Is it worth playing? (If the score is more than 70%)



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