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Old 03-17-2011, 02:52 PM   #1
Kragg
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PAX East 2011: BRINK Hands-On Demo



BOOM.

Click here for lots of guns, tattoos, and running on walls!
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Old 03-17-2011, 02:52 PM   #2
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Let me start by saying that I never read much about Brink leading up to PAX. I knew it was an FPS, and I knew it had “parkour elements”. That was about it. Let me finish this lead in by telling you it turned out to be my “game of the show” for PAX East 2011.

Sunday morning things were winding down on the show floor, and I had a “loose appointment” with the fine men and women of Splash Damage. You might remember them from such lovely PC titles as Enemy Territory: Quake Wars, and Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory. Their new title, Brink, is slated to land on PC, PS3 and 360 in May, and appears to have cherry picked the best parts of Enemy Territory while on its way up to the next level.


There are so many details to cover within the 30+ minute match I played that I will try to distill it down to the most important points for this preview. First of all, yeah, over thirty minutes! Splash Damage realized you can’t figure out a brand new game in six minutes. Good work guys. I began by creating my character, who is persistent through the game. “The campaign is the multiplayer” was how they described it to me. Now, this game has a level of visual character customization just short of an MMO. You can tweak so many visual elements of your guy, that it would be easy to spend hours just playing around. While most are cosmetic, the “body type” affects game play. “Heavy”, “Medium”, and “Light”. Heavy is your damage sponge and can use the big weapons, Light is fragile but mobile and can utilize the most parkour moves, and medium falls somewhere in between. While they stressed that I use the Heavy that was being unveiled, I adamantly demanded to use the Light body type to fit my playing style. More on that later.

So once I had customized my guy and outfitted him with a fur-lined jacket and gasmask, it was time to customize my “second character”; my gun. Yeah, Brink loves gun. Splash Damage LOVES guns. GUNS. You can tweak, customize, fiddle with, and pretty much alter every aspect of your primary weapon and sidearms. Muzzles, silencers, quick slings, clips, scopes, stocks, you name it. All these add-ons and customizations will add to some stats and impair others on your weapons, so you should never be able to crank up a single gun to be too overpowered. Oh, FYI, no one shot kills. Ever. Not even sniper rifles or grenades. Sorry.


Next I chose my class. I almost always play as a medic or some sort of support character, and Brink was no exception. There is no kill/death count in Brink, and all points are earned by completing goals and helping your teammates. So my main objective was keeping my team alive. Each level contains a series of objective-based “checkpoints”. The one I played required my team of rebels to break a wounded NPC prisoner out of jail and escort him to a safe zone.

Gameplay will be familiar to anyone who has played an objective-based FPS, with various tactical command posts to be taken and controlled, which allow you to not only spawn but change your class and equipment on the fly. The major spin on this formula is the parkour. The map I played on was quite large and had quite a bit of verticality. Despite no ladders being in the game, there were plenty handles, low walls, piles of boxes and other items to climb, boost, and flip kick my way around on. The feeling of mobility is quite smooth, and the S.M.A.R.T. system allows one button to perform many adaptive actions. For instance, you can utilize it to slide kick an enemy in front of you, or slide and roll out of a jump landing to increase your running momentum. Anyone who played Mirror’s Edge should have a fairly easy time adapting to it.


I could keep rambling on about how great the game is and list more details, but instead I will wrap this up with a quick run down of literally the last minute that I played:

I re-spawn to find our escort target is down. The other team is surrounding him. A direct confrontation means certain death. I run full tilt across the map, scaling walls and boxes creating my own alternate route across a rooftop where my enemy doesn’t think to look.

Most of my team is down. I jump from the roof, roll into a powerslide and blow up a security turret with a grenade, and disable another with my SMG. I run into an open air shaft below the target. I pop up from the grate and execute three enemies, then jam a hypodermic needle into the NPC to revive him. I drag him across the finish line in the final five seconds winning the match and ranking 1st place on my team and overall. I put down the controller and say “Yeah, that just happened.”

Then I tell the team at Splash Damage I am going to buy their game. Demo over.
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Old 03-17-2011, 02:57 PM   #3
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Damn, wish you had video of that ^_^
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Old 03-17-2011, 02:57 PM   #4
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So only human males? No other humanoids?
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Old 03-17-2011, 03:05 PM   #5
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So very much looking forward to this.
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Old 03-17-2011, 03:06 PM   #6
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No video was allowed. Very unfortunate.

AP, I only realized that AFTER I walked away! A quick search and they've already answered this. No females at launch. Would have required too many character models. They focused on super customization for male-only. They will probably patch them in later.

I will say though, the customization level is INSANE. Also, your dude shows up in all the in-mission cut scenes, and certain powers pull the camera 3rd person. Otherwise, what'd be the point, you know?
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Old 03-17-2011, 03:08 PM   #7
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Well, next time wearing one of those spy-camera fake eyeglasses that have a pinhole camera in front! >_>

Course, that will probably only work once, so choose your demo carefully :P
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Old 03-17-2011, 03:10 PM   #8
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Man you are never this excited over a game. Maybe I misjudged this one as "just another" shooter.
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Old 03-17-2011, 03:19 PM   #9
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I am very excited for this but I was kind of apprehensive that they would just put you in team DM and say its the "campaign". Some of the objective descriptions sound great, and I really think this is going to be the FPS to own this year.
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Old 03-17-2011, 03:27 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Agnostic Pope View Post
Man you are never this excited over a game. Maybe I misjudged this one as "just another" shooter.
This ones got an excellent moving mechanic, lets hope it's better than John Woo's Stranglehold. But this is my next shooter purchase I think.
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Old 03-17-2011, 03:48 PM   #11
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So good to hear positive coverage over here. So many times I have read "generic" etc. etc. It ain't. Splash Damage has taken a ton of "broken" out of the FPS genre, and then added significant innovation. Thanks, Kragg!

Looking forward to modeps' write-up. Hopefully he had a good time with it, too.
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Old 03-17-2011, 03:55 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by 3Suns View Post
So good to hear positive coverage over here. So many times I have read "generic" etc. etc. It ain't. Splash Damage has taken a ton of "broken" out of the FPS genre, and then added significant innovation. Thanks, Kragg!

Looking forward to modeps' write-up. Hopefully he had a good time with it, too.
Didn't play it. Was trying to get hands-on SpyParty but there was some serious love from the crowd so I'm going to try to schedule something later with Chris Hecker.
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Old 03-17-2011, 04:09 PM   #13
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I dunno about this game. It seems like too much of a gimmick like the EA game that tried parkour. I will definitely need a demo. How realistic is the parkour elements? For example does the char's weight and size affect his parkour ability and speed? You don't see 300 pound muscle bound guys doing parkour well. Crysis 2 may steal some of brink's thunder since it has basic parkour elements with its jumping and grabbing ledges, sliding elements.
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Old 03-17-2011, 04:32 PM   #14
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Awesome write-up! You just saved me from buying Crysis 2 out of sheer boredom and a few gift cards eating a hole in my pocket. May isn't that far away...
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Old 03-17-2011, 06:54 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Cygnus View Post
I dunno about this game. It seems like too much of a gimmick like the EA game that tried parkour. I will definitely need a demo. How realistic is the parkour elements? For example does the char's weight and size affect his parkour ability and speed? You don't see 300 pound muscle bound guys doing parkour well. Crysis 2 may steal some of brink's thunder since it has basic parkour elements with its jumping and grabbing ledges, sliding elements.
It was stated that the lighter your build the more moves available.
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Old 03-17-2011, 07:34 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Cygnus View Post
I dunno about this game. It seems like too much of a gimmick like the EA game that tried parkour. I will definitely need a demo. How realistic is the parkour elements? For example does the char's weight and size affect his parkour ability and speed? You don't see 300 pound muscle bound guys doing parkour well. Crysis 2 may steal some of brink's thunder since it has basic parkour elements with its jumping and grabbing ledges, sliding elements.
Correct. Big dudes can't really parkour. Little dudes can parkour, but they can't lug around a minigun or an RPG.

Also, the parkour didn't even feel like a main function of the game. IE:Something you HAVE to do to be effective in battle. But the extra acrobatics add a neat touch to movement and combat.
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Old 03-17-2011, 07:34 PM   #17
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Brink sounds like it has a bunch of great ideas and the coverage coming out of PAX East has been quite positive. There's just one thing that's worrying me.

They say that the campaign and multiplayer are the same. I know that you can play by yourself with bots, but I wonder how satisfying that is? How many people are going to pick up this game to make it have a community? Especially in such a crowded FPS market. I really hope Brink succeeds because it's doing something different.
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Old 03-17-2011, 08:11 PM   #18
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Buying it. Thanks Kragg for selling me on it.
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Old 03-17-2011, 10:23 PM   #19
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Smile

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Didn't play it. Was trying to get hands-on SpyParty but there was some serious love from the crowd so I'm going to try to schedule something later with Chris Hecker.
Understood. No problem. I just thought you were going to be writing something up. Kragg's impressions are great! Shared with my community and everyone is on board now. Gonna be some fun! Played that broke-ass Gears 1 MP exclusively for 2 years. Brink oughta last me at least until BF3.
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Old 03-17-2011, 10:25 PM   #20
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Triplzer0,

Check out this very extended impressions and the follow up clarifications for answers to most of your concerns. Not my community/site, just a link I got from the official forums. Cheers!
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