E3 2009: Brink Preview

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At the Bethesda booth this morning, we had our first look Smash Damage's new game, Brink.  Story follows below -

Brink

Brink is a gorgeous looking co-op focused FPS.  Pictures weren't allowed as the game is in pre-alpha, but even at this stage, it's looking very nice.  Splash Damage has also found a way to make control a bit easier around complex geometry.  The "smart button" acts as a bit of a springboard control, allowing you to maneuver a bit like you would in Mirror's Edge.  It's fast, it's running and jumping over multiple platforms / environmental objects, and it helps you get to where you're going quickly.

Brink allows a ton of character customization.  Like most character editors, you can modify everything, including age.  The Splash Damage rep let us know that as you gain experience, your character changes, better reflecting what you've done in the game.

A little bit on the story:  Humanity is once again in dire straits.  This time, global warming has forced us all onto an island, and it's every man for himself.  The demo started in an area of the city called Container City.  This used to be the shipping port, but has since devolved into a rusty mess.  The mission presented was to look for a dirty bomb.  Within the overarching mission, as you play the game, you can pick tactical missions.  These sub-missions are generated on the fly as the game progresses.  For instance, your team lead may ask for an engineer to blow up a building or a bridge.  If you look at the missions list, you can see how many XP this will reward you with, so you can choose to accept the mission or ignore it if the reward isn't good enough. If you're not an engineer in this case, you can change classes at statoions throughout the game.  This will also allow you to modify your weapon loadout.  For instance, the infantry class has a sweet grenade launcher.

One of the reasons that the game offers missions dynamically is that it is a co-op experience through and through.  Yes, you can play by yourself, but your experience will be much better with a crew of people.  During the demo, the Splash Damage presenter was actually playing with a few other people in a seperate room.  More than one person can share in the dynamically generated missions, and sometimes team work is required to get the job done.

Some of the elements of the game were definitely pre-alpha, including the fact that there was no HUD in this build to display ammo levels.  Graphically though, everything looked very nice.  The lead designer of the game most recently was on the Fable II project, so this one is in good hands. 

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