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E3 2010: Brink Hands-On Impressions

Buried in the Bethesda booth, beneath the hype of Fallout: New Vegas game, and hidden behind id’s newest game, Rage, is Splash Damage’s post-apocalyptic game Brink, which hasn’t yet generated the hype that its sibling games have – and it is shame, because the game has a ton of potential.

Unlike many of the other demos at E3, Brink is a nearly completed game, set to ship on September 7.  Brink is set in a futuristic Earth that has been decimated by a flood that has covered all land. The only humans remaining inhabit the Ark, a floating city that can sustain 5,000 people perpetually through reusing and recycling the available resources. As the game begins, the Ark is home to 50,000 (yes 10 times more people than it should) people, all fighting for survival as the city teeters on the “Brink” of civil war.

Basically the game is everything that Waterworld should have been, if the movie had just gotten over the crippling overabundance of suck. The demo itself was limited to a single objective based mission, where your teammates need to set an explosive device first, then hold off enemies trying to defuse it. Once the explosives go off, Brink lets you change classes and you get to see more of what the character classes are about, but the demo is somewhat limited.

The game is based on teamwork, cover, and strategy. Simply running in with guns blazing is an excellent way to die quickly. The game mechanics allow you to easily jump and scale obstacles, as well as sliding into cover in what Splash calls the SMART (Smooth Movement Across Random Terrain) system of free-running. It adds a fluid feel to the movement of the game and helps keep it fresh and different from other games in the crowded genre.

Each shot against an enemy gives you an experience point, while a kill gives you 10, meaning that Brink is more than a shooter. It has a flair of an RPG, and feels reminiscent of Bethesda’s Fallout 3 in terms of gameplay. Brink is its own game with its own feels, but if you have played Fallout 3, you will be at home playing Brink.

The demo was all too short and was confined to a single level that was indoors, so the plot and setting, both of which seem to be key selling points, were barely touched upon. Although it does not have the same hype that other games do, Brink is definitely a game to watch.

Warning: This trailer may not be suitable for all ages.

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