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Brink Preview

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Last E3, I was fortunate enough to go behind the scenes at the Bethesda booth and see a early build of Brink. I was blown away. The game looked incredible, but what really stood out to me was the ideas they had gameplay and storytelling wise. The game is a first person shooter, but they are doing so many small things that other FPS’s are lacking. Things that could help take the first person shooter genre further.

Now that the footage is out many of you have seen how pretty the game is. I’m not going to compare it to other games, but I think we can all agree it’s a very beautiful game. The art style is unique on the characters, and the settings are new and refreshing. Some people complained that the level seen in the first trailers were reminiscent of Killzone 2, but thats only one part of the game. The airport level is a perfect example of something we didn’t see in Killzone 2. The game has a great art style.

Talking about the art style, I want to talk about the character customization. You can customize your characters appearance however you wish. Skin colors, hair types, body builds, and accessories. You can make a character look however you want, and you can use this character in single player and multiplayer.

The story of Brink involves two factions: The Security and The Resistance. These two factions are fighting on the Ark, which is a once a utopian city that is floating on water. The city was originally designed to support 5,000 inhabitants. Now there are 50,000. This has led to the city to a civil war between the two factions. The once perfect city is now fighting for any type of resources available to stay alive. The games story will answer how the city got to this point and why.

In the game, Splash Damage, developers of Brink, want to blur the line between single player and multiplayer. You can play as either side of the two factions. You can be the security or the resistance. Also, when you play the single player you can play against other human enemies. What I mean is that one group can be the Resistance and the other can be The Security. You can play through a storymode level against a human. No longer can you complain about easy AI because if you want a challenge and a twist then Brink has it.

Now what about the gameplay? Well, the game is a first person shooter, but they also have incorporated some interesting features in terms of movement and choice. They have a system called the S.M.A.R.T system. When you see it running it reminds me a lot of the type of movement you see in a game like Mirror’s Edge. You have characters jumping over objects or sliding on the ground. You active the S.M.A.R.T system by hitting a button and aiming your reticule in the direction you want to move and the computer leads you on the way over and under objects. Don’t think that you lose control because any time you can jump out of the action. The system allows you to do some cool movements while shooting enemies. Instead of only being only able to run, jump, or take cover you can now do more natural movements.

Another cool feature is that while playing a single player level if you dont like your weapon loadout you can always switch it at handy little stations. You can switch from a heavy loadout to a light loadout, each having their own bonus. This will help because when you play a level you have a large list of objectives to complete. You dont have to beat them all to beat the level, but rather pick a group and complete those. When you pick your objective you can change your loadout to better accommodate you and advance through the specific objective. With all these choices you can play levels multiple times a large number of ways.

The game is using a modifed version of the id Tech 4 engine, and like I said above is being developed Splash Damage games. You may be familiar with Splash Damge for their previous work on the Enemy Territory games. They are known for their work on multiplayer games and are fans of PC gaming, but a couple employees assured me at E3 that all three versions of the game will look and run very smooth. I was told the game should run 8-10 hours, but remember that you can play the campagin as either faction so it creates a lot of replayability. They were shooting for 60 fps but I was also assured that they will at least have a very strong 30 fps throughout.

The game is really a treat to watch in motion, and looks like a lot of fun. It’s a FPS with choice, movement, and innovation. This is not a Modern Warfare clone, or trying to be a story FPS like Bioshock. It’s in its own category, and I’m very interested to see what they have in store to show us this year at E3. The game is set to launch this Fall for the PS3, Xbox 360, and PC.

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