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Brink. Bringing the FPS genre to change, kicking and screaming.

07 Mar

Bethesda, the RPG giant who brings us Fallout, The Elder Scrlls, among other great titles, is breaking new ground with a multiplayer based FPS. Brink is their new high polish, action packed, blend of story driven narrative and multiplayer fragfest. Set to launch May 17th, it is gaining some headway on the more traditional FPS we have come to know and love(or loathe depending on your point of view).

In the world of Brink mankind has come to an impass. The future has lead us down a long and narrow path of excess and oneupmanship that cannot be sustained. In comes ‘The Ark’; thought to be the saviour of the human race, this man-made floating city was to be a hive of scientists and activists who together would solve the world’s eco-crisis.

The Ark, the highlighted areas are what have been revealed by Bethesda. (link)

Now, after the polar ice caps have melted and drowned most of the world The Ark is isolated, floating alone away from what little mainland remains. It has degraded into a fair bit of chaos and thugs abound to use what little resources it has left for their own selfish needs. Another group seeks to lock down The Ark and try to salvage what they can for the sake of humanity.

Features, as far as the eye can see, or the draw distance allows!

There are a host of innovations and tweaks to the FPS formula that Bethesda/Splash Damage know all too well. There will be huge amounts of player and weapon customization, the ability to seamlessly move about the environment, a complete mesh of single player and multiplayer components, as well many unlocks for the four classes.

As far as classes go the four available to players are Soldier, Operative, Medic, and Engineer. How these core models differ is largely a mystery as of now but we can make some assumptions based off of this video.

The Soldier will be the beefier of the characters. Allowing for more damage output and intake. It will probably be largely solo play based with most of its abilities catered to killing and movement rather than team support.They are able to be equipped with charges and other explosives that are used for destroying objectives and/or clearing the way for others on the battlefield. He also is able to drop ammo packs for himself or allies.

Soldier equipment, a HE charge, ammo pack, and specialized grenade(flash)

The Operative is most likely a stealth class, able to disguise himself as an enemy and hack computers. The hacking is used for slowing demo charges planted by enemies, opening new areas of the battlefield, using hazards against the other team, and a whole lot more undoubtedly. It works at range or up close, the only difference is the time it takes to hack… the closer you are the faster it goes. Other abilities available are placing a beacon on an enemy player while disguised that shows his movement, placing a timed explosive on an enemy that only another operative can diffuse, and ‘interrogation’ of downed enemies… which gives the team a radar for a short period.

An example of what an Operative might look like

Engineers are a support class capable of building and trapping the game world. They can build or repair an objective as well as diffuse soldiers high explosive charges. Some other objects they are able to construct are stairs at certain points in the map, and turrets that will automatically fire on enemies within range. They also can throw out weapon buffs for allies which will increase damage done. Laying mines also is an Engineer only ability, which is able to be upgraded and the Engineer can choose from different types of mines for different needs.

Engineer repairing a crane(right)

Lastly the Medic is another support class. They deal in healing allies and buffing their health. On top of this they are able to revive downed enemies and buff other aspects of characters such as speed or accuracy. Healing yields a much higher XP gain than killing for the medic so this will be a class chiefly for those interested in keeping teammates up rather than dropping enemies. One unique equipment of the Medic is the Lazarus grenade, capable of reviving multiple downed allies within its blast radius.

Medic throwing med kit(left)

 

On top of all this goodness is character and weapon customization. Brink offers unfettered access to clothing and accessory options for players. There are so many options available, even the face has up to 5 ‘slots’ for sunglasses, earrings, and face masks. And the best thing of all is your character is persistent. The same guy you play in offline campaign is used for your multiplayer experience. This will allow you to grow attached to your avatar and feel more emotion when you do something really badass, or get a bullet in the throat.

The amount of customization doesn’t falter with the weapons. Each gun has many options for many attachments. There are opticals such as scopes and sights, underbarrel attachments like grips and lasers, as well as clip/mag extensions and silencers/muzzle breaks. The level of detail with the weapons is surreal, often times players will feel as if their gun is their own and not just an ‘Ump 45 with a Holographic sight’.

Compare this...

... to this.

Still with me? Good… this isn’t even as long as my last post >.>

One of the big things about Brink is the addition of S.M.A.R.T. movement. This stands for Smooth Movement Across Random Terrain and it looks pretty beastly. Gone are the days of ‘bumping’ when you try to go  up a tiny height change and your characters foot doesn’t want to go 1/2″ off the ground. Gone are the days of not being able to leap up onto a wall and vault across a gap. GONE are the days of having railings and tables get in your way as you traverse a map. S.M.A.R.T seamlessly moves your character over obstacles, onto obstacles, and through obstacles.

The player is able to use parkour style moves to get up on the sides of walls and run short distances and other sort of maneuvers. Sliding is possible, and you can shoot while doing it too! Freedom of movement is a big thing with Brink and the developers have made it known in a big way.

Mark the date on your calendar North Americans (May 17th)! Brink will redefine the FPS genre, whether Activision and Bungie want it to or not!

 

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Posted by on March 7, 2011 in Console, FPS

 

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