Review of Brink for Xbox 360

This parkour-infused FPS received horrible marks from almost every review it got. So will mine save it from the “Brink” (yes, I had to say that)? Read on to find out!

Sound: The music is eerie and pretty cool overall, setting a good tone for the game’s do-or-die attitude. But honestly, the soundtrack just feels underused. Sound: 5/10

Presentation: The visual style of Brink initially looks pretty stylin’, what with the elongated faces and oddly proportioned people. The story aspect of the game looks pretty enticing as well, having two factions trapped on an Ark that you choose whether to defend or escape. But that’s the problem with Brink: Everything only looks good initially. On the surface, this game looks unique and yet intriguingly familiar. But in reality, so many issues plague the game’s presentation that its originality can’t save it. The story sounds awesome, and the developers could’ve made it so that it was, but instead what we get is an extremely summarized backstory and then a handful of annoying twenty-second long cutscenes before and after every mission. So, with the story element ruined, you’d expect the graphics to be good, right (like COD, no decent story in sight but pretty pictures)? Wrong. Texture pop-ins and in online mode, lag, hinder this game for every second of the experience. It’s a shame, Brink had so many good opportunities going for it that it never took advantage of. Presentation: 3/10

Gameplay: On the surface, the gameplay looks similar enough to most FPS games, being a run n’ gun shooter with a team class-based system and some wicked cool parkour thrown in. But again, the game fails to deliver in almost any area here. The basic FPS elements are painfully loose, making spraying a safer option than actually aiming. And with the horrible gun selection, you’d be hard pressed to find anything fun to shoot with. Maybe the parkour will save the day? Wrong. The parkour is only used in a handful of places throughout any of the eight maps, and because of that has very little time to show off. Hopping over ledges would be cool… if the ledges were more than two stairs high! Lastly, the team class-based system this game supposedly thrives off of. I have nightmares about this. When playing singleplayer, you constantly have to change classes to meet the objectives because you’re teammates, regardless of class, don’t do jack$&%. Sure, the enemy AI are challenging and break you to the thumbstick, but YOUR teammates literally stand in a corner playing footsies ninety percent of the time. And when they do do something, they don’t aim for the primary objective, but instead go after the command posts no one cares about. Lastly, the actual objectives. They’re all of the objectives you’ve grown to hate in shooters. “Defend the painfully slow half-dead guy”, “plant a bomb at point B”, etc. Just like presentation, so much potential squandered. Gameplay: 3/10

Multiplayer: The game’s multiplayer is the only way you’re going to survive singeplayer. What partially saves this game is that the entire singleplayer story can be played online, competitively or cooperatively, and it is fantastic having real human teammates, not the downright atrocious AI ones. But even multiplayer isn’t safe from ridicule. The multiplayer is prone to lag, and truck loads of it at that. But on top of lag, actual game issues are that actual multiplayer is just smaller sections of the campaign! So if you play the campaign online, you’ve pretty much experienced it all. Multiplayer: 5/10

Length: This game is short, and I mean SHORT. I shot through both campaigns (reverse carbon copies of each other with no stage variation, might I add) in under six hours combined. The actual “multiplayer”, being tacked on campaign bits, barely managed to keep me entertained for over a half hour, and collecting all of the unlockables and challenges in the game was nowhere near being worth the effort it required. Length: 2/10

Overall: This game gets a 3.6/10, being an outright epic fail. Brink had the possibility to be so much, and it pretty much fell flat on its face (which may explain the long-headed character models). Having so many fundamental flaws, the insultingly short length might actually be a blessing in disguise. Rent it at your own risk.

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