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Gamescom 2010: Brink Hands-on

As far as multiplayer is concerned on consoles, Activision’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and Microsoft’s Halo 3 reign supreme among gamers and it seems like the trend will continue, what with both companies readying new iterations for the upcoming holiday season. While Call of Duty: Black Ops and Halo: Reach may shine the brightest on every multiplayer fan’s radar, they won’t be the only titles vying for your attention in the near future. One other game which will also join the fray is Brink, a multiplayer first-person shooter published by Bethesda Softworks and developed by Splash Damage.

At Gamescom yesterday, Bethesda gave us a chance to try the game out for ourselves at its lavish booth. Headed by a Splash Damage representative, our hands-on session began with a video demonstration of the multiplayer which gave us a brief look at the game’s available classes, game modes, abilities and explained how it’s meant to be played.

In short, your goals in matches vary depending on the class you choose (can be changed each time you respawn at the command post) and the game mode you’re playing; these can be viewed by pressing and holding up on the d-pad at any time in the match and set as your active objective. In our case, we had to escort a robot vehicle to a destination at a shipping yard, with the opponents hell-bent on stopping us. The catch was that the vehicle only moved when I or one of my team mates was near it which means co-operation and communication were key to winning.

Since I was a medic, one of my objectives was to heal any downed team mates. Whenever one’s health reached zero, a handy icon showed up on the screen which led me to the wounded. Speaking of wounded, while you’re bleeding out, you have three options. You can either revive yourself (if you’re a medic you can use your healing ability to do so, otherwise you have wait for a fellow medic to come to you and throw you a syringe), wait for a medic, or you can wait a set amount of time to respawn. The best option is, obviously, to get revived and avoid increasing your team’s death count.

What sets Brink apart from the competition is no doubt the aptly named SMART system which allows for very fluid and swift movement on the battlefield. If you see a hole and want to go through it, you don’t press a button to change your stance to crouch and move through it like a slowpoke. Instead, you can just run straight at it and slide through it by holding the left bumper. In a similar fashion, when you see a wall or a raised platform, you can keep sprinting and then just press the A button to vault over the obstacles, as the SMART system will take care of the rest. It’s this constant blistering pace, married with a very solid shooting mechanic and superb visuals, which makes the game adrenaline-inducing and very fun to play.

I am known as the kind of gamer who puts memorable single-player experiences first and foremost and would choose a good storyline over multiplayer any day. Therefore, when I say I highly enjoyed the brief hands-on demo of Brink, it really means something and can gladly admit I’m looking forward to its release in early 2011.

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4 comments on 'Gamescom 2010: Brink Hands-on'

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Not a game I would have considered - until now!!!

Comment by Swedish Pete on 2010-08-21 17:02:01 | Reply

Mr Andrews, please keep in mind that the boys and girls who are developing this game also made Enemy Territory: Quake Wars. They know just about all there is to know about multiplayer team dynamics (which is a fancy way of saying that they make kickass coop games).

ah I see… good stuff, it’ll definitely be on my list of pre-orders soon.

Comment by Swedish Bob on 2010-08-25 10:54:18 | Reply

“The best option is, obviously, to get revived and avoid increasing your team’s death count.”

Hi, well that is not true all the time. After a bit of experience in their previous games like ETQW, you realize that tapping out (= dying for good and waiting respawn) can be a good choice to avoid having a medic reach you in an open dangerous area, of if you dropped a nade before falling that would blow your medic friend too.

Also, it is not really the deathcount that is relevant in these types of multiplayer games, because the map has objectives, and whatever the deathcount is, if your team don’t achieve their objectives, you loose the round.

So sometimes it’s good to go out and lure enemies, sacrifying yourself to that the engineer or operative and flank quickly the enemy front to set an explosive or hack a terminal.

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