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Brink: Special Edition (Xbox 360)

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Manufacturer: Bethesda / Genre: Action & Shooter

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      20.09.2011 09:55
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      A first person shooter game that isn't as good as it was meant to be but its still good!

      == BRINK: SPECIAL EDITION ==
      Brink is a FPS (first person shooter) developed by Splash Damage and published by Bethesda Softworks who brought us the Fallout and Elder Scrolls series. Brink is available on the PC, PS3 and the Xbox 360. When Brink was first announced people were really excited to get their hands on the game that could take the world by storm. When Brink was released people found the game trailers to be misleading and believed the game was nothing like the trailer had suggested. I feel slightly aggrieved by this as well. The trailer had suggested that the game had a lot more to offer. The game still didn't disappoint me much because its a really fun game to play. The game doesn't have a huge interesting story but I feel the gameplay makes up for that.

      The story is about two factions. The Resistance and the Security battle it out for the rights of a once utopian city called The Ark. The Ark is the remains of a city that floats on top of the water that has flooded planet Earth. Choose your side and do what your required to do in order to survive. The Ark was once an oceanic paradise that has been torn apart by civil war. Now you must join either the Resistance or the Security faction and eliminate the other. Brink is the type of game where the story doesn't affect the game and the main part of the game is everything else.

      === GAMEPLAY ===
      Brink is set out like many FPS games such as the Call Of Duty games or the popular Halo games. All you can see is your characters weapon and hands. New to this type of game is the freerunning SMART (Smooth Movement Across Random Terrain) movement system. It reminds me of how you move on Mirrors Edge. With the SMART system it gives players the ability to just about run, climb or jump anything only skilled freerunners can do. Also new to these type of games is the ability to change your clothes and weapons to suit the way you play. There are tons of different clothes on the game that can alter how you look to other online players. As you do the missions or challenges you can unlock different clothes and different weapons.

      Also new to FPS is the fact you can add bits to your weapons. You can add silencers, different size magazines and many other bits to make your weapon and character benefit more from this. The main story missions is based on which faction you picked at the start of the game. You can choose to take over The Ark or defend it. Each one is a little different mission wise. Some missions involve protecting someone or collecting something. Some also could involve hacking into certain things. The missions do get a little repetitive but the game is full of action throughout. Also there are certain challenges that need to be met for hidden items for your character. These challenges are time based and involve freerunning, hacking or fighting to the death. I do find the challenges are more fun than the actual story missions.

      When your in a game you can choose to play as one of the four classes. Each class has different techniques and abilities. Pick what suits you the most. The classes are a Medic, Soldier, Engineer and an Operative. Medics can use health syringes to heal fallen down members of their team. They can also use syringes to heal themselves and other team members and give them a health boost. Soldiers are masters of destruction. They can plant heavy explosive charges to complete objectives and they can also use Molotov cocktails straight from the word go. Soldiers can also refill their ammo, as well as that of their teammates. Engineers are a versatile class, concerned primarily with building, repairing or upgrading things on the battlefield. They are usually called upon to fulfill objectives as well as building machine gun nests. They can also put down landmines and upgrade the effects of weapon damage and team mates weapon damage. Operatives are the spies in the game and my personal favourites. With the operatives you can disguise yourself as the enemy and prepare for sneak attacks. They are also the only class that can spot enemy landmines. They can also hack computer systems to complete certain missions. Overall there are some great classes here but choose wisely. When your in the main game mode you can change class temporarily by using a command post that is in every level.

      There are well over 50+ unique abilities to unlock and attach to your character making him much more versatile. Abilities are divided into ranks. To buy abilities you need experience points which are acquired the more you play through and go up levels. There are also 3 body types in the game. Medium, Heavy and Light. Each body type can do different things. Medium is balanced and can manage most things. Light can do more freerunning moves than any other body type but they take more damage. Heavy cant do much in terms of freerunning but they can be shot several times before taking damage. Every time you die in a mission you get started at the beginning of the level but if your knocked down Medics can heal you. Overall Brink offers a ton of gameplay features that make up for the misleading trailers!

      === GAME MODES ===
      CAMPAIGN MODE - This mode is the main single player mode in the game. Your aim in this mode is to do whats required. There are two story modes in this section. The Resistance and the Security missions. There are a total of 8 missions to each faction. 8 missions seem a little short but some of them are fairly difficult to beat at first. Overall campaign mode is okay but it lacks any real storyline.

      FREEPLAY - In this mode you can set up your own private or public games and take on the worlds best gamers or the worlds worst. Private games are to play with your friends and public is against people you don't know. There are many things to do in these modes but most of them are just certain missions. Team vs team whilst one is defending something and the other is attacking it. These modes are for online play only.

      CHALLENGES - In the challenges mode you can take on several challenges The Ark sets for you and if you beat the challenges you acquire hidden bits for your character. The challenges include freerunning challenges collecting items. Escort challenges where you escort someone or something and other challenges are available. There are three different levels on each challenge and as you get further they become more difficult.

      Thats about it in terms of game modes but there are other options available which include downloadable content, options menu, dossier to check stats, online stats to check online stats and a few other bits. The game features a variety of options which don't disappoint!

      === WHATS IN THE SPECIAL EDITION? ===
      To be honest not a whole lot. I was lucky enough to get my special edition of the game really cheap on ebay. The game comes with a special edition cover. The only difference is it says special edition. It also comes with two codes that can be redeemed on Xbox Live for some bits others cant get. These bits include a Spec-Ops pack and a Doom pack. The Doom pack contains exclusive customization options for both Security and Resistance factions including UAC and Cacodemon Bulpdaun SMG Skins, Hellspawn Body Tattoo, UAC Marine Body Armor T-shirt, Lost Soul Screaming Skull T-shirt, UAC Beanie Cap and a Doom Bandana. The Spec-Ops pack features exclusive customization options for both factions including Hockler Machine-Pistol, GreenEye Combat Optical Scope, Sloani Combat Mask and Dogtag Body Tattoo. All of these come free with the special edition to the game.

      === GRAPHICS & SOUND EFFECTS ===
      The game looks really well polished in terms of graphics. The Ark is really well designed in most places but it can be let down in some. The biggest let down in some levels is the fact there isn't much places to try out your freerunning techniques. Where there is opportunity to do the freerunning it does look really well crafted and nicely designed. The characters look brilliant but the only downside I have is they all look long faced. Other than that the characters look brilliant and your character looks even better because you design how he looks. There isn't much in terms of scenery in the game but other than that the graphics to Brink are fairly good and don't disappoint.

      I was also very pleased with the sound effects to Brink. After making your character you can choose a set number of voices for your character to have but the real let down is that there isn't a British accent and I feel it would of been even better then. The voices that are in the game are very varied and sound reasonably good. The music to Brink is exceptionally good and it definitely fits well into the game. Also the in game battle sound effects are great and do bring the game fully to life. Overall I was very impressed with the sound to the game.

      === DIFFICULTY & LONGEVITY ===
      The overall difficulty varies like most games. As you progress in the campaign mode the missions do become a lot harder than the first few. Also the online play difficulty varies depending on how skilled you are and how skilled your opponents are. The controls to the game are fairly easy and the challenges are fairly easy to start with. One of the worst parts to the game is the action because after defeating an enemy they could come back within seconds and take you out. Overall the game is fairly difficult if your an average gamer.

      The game is a little short in terms of length. Only 8 missions per faction is a little disappointing and I feel that this is becoming a constant thing with games like this. One of the best things about the game is the fact that there are also challenges and online game modes to play which make the game last considerably longer. Campaign mode will take about 12-15 hours tops if your an average gamer. Online mode and challenges will last a whole lot longer.

      === ACHIEVEMENTS ===
      On Brink there are only a total of 36 achievements to get. 36 seems a lot to get but the normal online games such as Halo or Call Of Duty have 50+ achievements. Most of the achievements on Brink involve doing certain things in campaign mode and others involve doing certain things against other players online. There are also a few achievements you acquire after gaining ranks in the game. Most of the achievements can be acquired after a couple of hours gaming. Overall 36 isn't enough in my opinion and the game would benefit more if the achievements were harder to acquire.

      === GOOD BITS ===
      *The game has a whole lot of action all the way throughout.
      *Lots of different clothing on the game to unlock and you can dress you character exactly how you want.
      *The game features lots of different weapons, abilities and classes.
      *The graphics and sound effects to the game are pretty well designed.
      *Some of the multiplayer options are really good for once.

      === BAD BITS ===
      *The overall length of the campaign mode is a huge let down.
      *The game can also be quite difficult to average gamers and it does take a while to get the hang of the game.
      *The storyline is a little bit weak and you barely know whats going on with all the action.
      *The game can feel repetitive at times because there isn't a whole lot of different missions.

      === FINAL THOUGHT ===
      Overall Brink is in my opinion better than what everyone makes it out to be. Yeah the trailers are misleading but you have got to look at the positives and Brink has a lot of them. My favourite part of the game is the fact you have the ability to create your own unique character that no one else has. There are a ton of weapons to customize which is also one of my best parts about the game and also the online features are really good. I do think the game could be improved slightly but maybe thats going to be left for Brink 2.

      There are a lot of FPS games available now. They have become really popular but in my eyes they seem to be all going down the same path. Brink does offer different bits that most FPS games don't offer. There is going to be an add-on for the game available round July time and its going to be completely free. Bethesda have stated that it will contain new weapons, clothing and two new maps.

      Bethesda are one of my favoruite companies mainly because of The Elder Scrolls games. I do feel they have gone a step further with this game because its really enjoyable. The game manual is a little disappointing but it does offer a ton of information and help. Brink has an age rating of 16+ because of the strong violence and language used throughout. I would really recommend this game to fans of FPS genre and to fans of games like Halo.

      I won the game on ebay in a bidding war. Luckily I got the game for an incredible price of just £21 including postage. I say incredible because the normal version of the game sells for around the £25 mark. £21 for a special edition is brilliant value for money. Its a game I love and will play for a long time. Overall Brink is up with the best FPS games in history and I would give it a reasonable 8/10!


      Review also on Ciao under the username: MrBrightside1987!

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