One of the many games being shown at gamescom is Splash Damage’s Brink. If you're not familiar with Brink, it's an upcoming team-based co-operative first person shooter in development for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, & PC. I was able to get about 20 minutes of playtime while I spoke to the developers, so go ahead and check below for my hands-on impressions of Brink's multiplayer.
Brink (PC, Xbox 360, PlayStation S3)
The hands-on, with around seven other press people, started with a training video that explained the core concepts and the HUD. After going through the training video, we were allowed to customize our character (which will be a persistent, leveling character in the full game) with looks, weapons, and abilities.
If you have played Team Fortress 2, you should be pretty familiar with what each classe can do. The Soldier is a mix between the Heavy and the TF2 Soldier. The Infiltrator has some Spy skills, such as copying an enemy’s look. The Engineer and the Medic are … an Engineer and a Medic. They have mixed up the classes enough so it doesn't feel like a direct copy of TF2, and, in fact, it probably makes Brink more accessible to gamers who like team-based multiplayer combat, since the familiar aspect of those games are present.
So, it’s not TF2. What Brink feels most like is Enemy Territory: Quake Wars, also from Splash Damage. Each class has specific objectives that focus your gameplay so you're not running around like an idiot. This gives players some more direction and a sense of progression, as they pursue and achieve goals, as well as the feeling that the session actually matters. Of course, the first thing I did was run around like an idiot.
Playing Brink feels like playing Enemy Territory: Quake Wars at first (no surprise that Neil Alphonso also worked on both the Quake and Wolfenstein versions of Enemy Territory) but they definitely added some things that made it more interesting. First of all, the Left Bumper acts like a contextual Mirror’s Edge button. This system, S.M.A.R.T. can be used to run, grab ledges, and jump over obstacles. Heavier classes won’t be able to go as fast or jump as high as lighter classes, so what paths are open to you in a map will depend on what class you have.
I tried to Rambo my way forward as a Soldier, but it just resulted in a quick and merciless death. Death is not instant -- instead, you slowly bleed out, giving a Medic time to heal you. Of course, all Medics on our team sucked, so while I just lay on the ground for 20 seconds, I checked out all the options in the Menu. While dying, you can look at all the objectives for your team in a dialing wheel. Doing so points you into the direction of the objective, so you know where to go when you spawn or get revived. A good medic can throw you a revive syringe that you can either use to revive on the spot, or can ignore and respawn at a designated point. A few minutes and deaths later, my teammates finally chose to be Medics so I could go on after stupidly getting mowed down again. The downside to being revived, rather than respawning, is that you keep the ammo you had when you died -- if you died low on ammo, you'll revive with the same amount.
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