E3 2009: A Peak at Brink, the New Sci-Fi FPS from Bethesda
Bethesda is known for it’s RPG titles like Oblivion and Fallout 3. Hhowever it’s next endeavor takes you away from the traditional RPG and into a new game called Brink. The Brink demo was lead by Paul Wedgewood, the CEO at Splash Damage and the Game Director for Brink. Splash Damage brought us the Enemy Territory series.
Brink is a brand new sci-fi first person shooter (FPS) game. You find yourself on the Ark which is an artificial floating city. It’s basically a city in a bubble. In this game they introduce the SMART button: Smooth Movement Over Random Terrain. Basically, if you have played any FPS games, you know that you are running, shooting, evading, jumping – anything to kill your enemy without dying yourself! What SMART does is takes a lot of the thinking and buttons away and gives you more control over what your character can do. For example, if you want to grab a ledge but you are running and firing, having to press another button can cost you your life. With SMART, all you do is look up at the ledge and your character will automatically grab the ledge and pull himself up. This also works in the opposite direction. Say you want to slide underneath something – instead of pressing a button to do so, all you need to do is look down and you automatically slide. I assume that this would take some getting used to but it was used a lot in the demo and it looked awesome. You are able to perform a number of actions – like running and sliding into cover to avoid enemy fire. It’s looks damn cool.
Another great thing about this game is there are two single player campaigns. You have the choice to play either the Resistance campaign or the Security campaign. You can also customize your character, up to a certain point. In Oblivion, you could almost make your character look like you. The character customization is not quite as precise in Brink, but there seem to be plenty of options available. I asked if there were any playable female characters and unfortunately there are none. The response was that they did look into it but they would have to create a whole new library of assets for the females and it wasn’t something they wanted to spend a lot of time on. That’s a little disappointing, but as long as the game play is good, it ultimately doesn’t matter if you are playing a male or female character.
In the single player campaign, you are able to choose between four classes: operative, soldier, medic, and engineer. You are even able to change your class as well as your weapon ammo by accessing the command post, which is a computer, that you can find throughout the cities. Seems a bit convenient to find a computer lying around, but suspension of disbelief is crucial for gaming. You are equipped with a PDA that looks suspiciously close to an iPhone that you can use to choose your objective as well as use it as a tazer to interrogate enemies. (Don’t taze me bro!) The game does use experience points to level up the characters so you will probably want to choose the objectives that carry more XP.
If you are less concerned with XP and just want to blow sh*t up, just find a command post and change your class to something with more oomph!
For those you you that want to play with others, Brink offers co-op multiplayer with up to seven of your friends which translates to eight Security and eight Resistance for full team play. The great thing is that they can jump in and out of the game at anytime. You can play offline multiplayer with up to eight people as well. There will be versus modes available, although no details were given.
At this time, the game is pre-alpha so there have been no discussions regarding DLC so we’ll have to keep an eye out for that.
Brink is aiming for a spring 2010 release for the PC, Xbox 360, and the PS3.