[GC 2009] Brink Eyes-On

Surprisingly Bethesda and Splash Damage didn't make us wash their cars in order to let us obtain some first impressions of their amazing new IP.
Author: Parjanya C. Holtz
Published: August 20, 2009
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With the SMART technology in mind, Splash Damage will also let players choose their own characters. Aside from all the standard customization features you would come to expect, you can also choose to make your character more skinny, or large, or tall, or fat, or whatever you want him to be. Depending on his statue the game will then play out very differently. For example, a tall, thin person can run much faster than a small, fat dude. On the other end you can also make your character much more muscular which would then make him stronger and therefore harder to kill, yet you wouldn't be able to scale obstacles and avoid bullets as well as you would with a skinny character. This means that the outward appearance is not just something for the eye but instead rather significant for your play style and the success or failure of a mission. It probably wouldn't be very smart to send four players with the exact same physical attributes into a co-op mission.

Speaking of missions; all of them can be played either alone or with a bunch of friends cooperatively. Each player can use his own created character, making it a very interesting and unique experience to play with your friends as opposed to a couple of complete strangers online.

The mission itself took place at the city's docks now home to a ton of outlaws and not so much of an import and export business. The objective was to find and secure a certain container. The problem; it was being guarded by many not very welcoming outlaws that were equipped with a set of rather lethal weapons. Now I have to mention this; the mission started off with the peace keepers landing at a dock planning the mission, and the dialogue is some of the best I have heard in a very long time. Its wit and cleverness almost reminded me a bit of the genius Portal. I hope that smart sense of humor stays true throughout the entire campaign, as it didn't seem like it was at risk of becoming laughable and or cheesy.

The unique and great thing about the missions themselves was how objectives were being handled. When you start, each of the characters that are either controlled by the AI or other human players are being given their very own unique mission objectives. Each player can earn xp for every objective they complete, however taking on the harder mission objectives will reward you with more experience points. If you play alone you can switch between mission objectives on the fly. You could start off as the guy who should go in and interrogate an enemy, and the moment you change your mind it's up to you to simply hold down a button and choose from the rest of the objectives. The AI will then automatically assign the objective you didn't want to complete to an AI controlled character.

All in all Brink left a fantastic impression upon anyone who actually managed to see it in action. I'd call it the most promising new IP out there, and most certainly am incredibly eager on getting my greedy little hands on it.
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