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PAX 2010: Hands On - Brink Multiplayer

by: Sean -
More On: Brink
With Brink's fluid gameplay and intense customization, we may have a CoD-killer on our hands.
Brink has an undeniable visual aesthetic, and we've been hearing about it for a while. But as important as visuals are, how does Brink play? In a word, fast. Real fast.

Everything in the gameplay is smooth. With the S.M.A.R.T. (Smooth Movement Across Random Terrain) system, the player simply holds down the left-bumper and sprints to, and then up, whatever object is in their way, parkour-style. But in the words of creative director Richard Ham, this isn't a parkour-centric FPS, fluid ease of movement "is just something that should've been there from the beginning."

Aside from the S.M.A.R.T. system, the controls and graphics, even in an alpha build, were beautiful, with tons of little details that, even in multiplayer, make the world come to life.

Brink features a "hyper-real" visual aesthetic, with characters with exaggerated facial and body features, that are wildly customizable; not just facial features, but clothing, accessories, tattoos, that are unlockable as the player progresses through the multiplayer world. The most basic choice is the body type (light, medium, heavy), which affects how much damage one can absorb versus how fast you are and what kind of environments you can scale. Really it's an impressive array of customization options that i haven't seen on a console game yet.

But the feature that blew me away as I was playing was the ability to change objectives mid-game. I was playing on the Security side, escorting a robot through a shantytown, and we were being absolutely murdered by Resistance fighters as they caught us coming around a corner. Recognizing that we were fighting a losing battle, i was able to change my objective (and where my "go this way!" indicator was pointing) to capturing the Resistance's control point, a computer station that allows players on that team to switch between 4 different classes (Soldier, Medic, Engineer, and Operative). This system keeps the combat constantly fresh; if this isn't working, try this.

I was blown away by my brief encounter with Brink's multiplayer, and, at least for this gamer, Brink will be a must-purchase when it drops in Spring of 2011.