Brink - PC

Also known as: Brink: Special Edition

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Also for: PS3, Xbox 360
Viewed: 3D Third-person, over the shoulder Genre:
Shoot 'Em Up
Media: DVD Arcade origin:No
Developer: Splash Damage Soft. Co.: Bethesda
Publishers: Bethesda (GB)
Mastertronic (GB)
Released: 13 Mar 2011 (GB)
7 Dec 2012 (GB)
13 May 2011 (GB)
Unknown (GB)
Ratings: PEGI 16+

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Summary

Built by Enemy Territory: Quake Wars developer Splash Damage, Brink is a first-person shooter set on The Ark, a seaborne city existing in a post-apocalypse-y sort of a world in which water levels have risen and The Ark may be the last bastion of humanity.

See, no ships have been seen for some 20 years and The Ark's bosses, convinced this factoid heralds the end of humanity beyond floating city limits, have stopped anyone leaving. That might be OK if The Ark wasn't massively over-populated, with the have-nots living in derelict slums and the haves living in posh splendour. This state of affairs breeds discontent, and revolution is in the air. A resistance movement is looking to break out of the city, while security forces attempt to keep humanity together on The Ark.

You can play as one of four character classes as both security and the resistence. The soldier carries ammo to resupply teammates and, at appropriate points, blows stuff up. The medic heals his comrades and buffs (boosts) their health. The engineer repairs strategic assets, buffs allies' weapons and creates handy bits and pieces like machine gun turrets. The operative sneaks around in disguise and gathers intel on things like enemy positions and where land mines are lurking. If you've played Team Fortress you've got an idea of how it works. Rather than being pinned to a class for the duration of Brink - or even for a single mission - you can chop and change throughout the course of the game at command, health and supply posts.

Splash Damage has built what it's calling the SMART (Smooth Movement Across Random Terrain) System into the game. To most of us, that means you can pull off free-running moves across elements of the environment by simply running at them with the left bumper button held down.

Brink isn't really separated into single- and multi-player components – at least not in the way most of us are used to. The campaign can be played either on your lonesome with the help of bots or with other humans online. Beyond the fact that humans and bots might behave a bit differently, gameplay won't be altered a jot one way or the other. And, frankly, Splash Damage has done a convincing job of making the AI behave like human players.

Brink is a decidedly 'core' game for experienced FPS places. If you fit that bill, you'll find a deep, strategy-laden game in Brink.