Everything You Need to Know About Brink

Bethesda just announced that they’re dropping Brink on the gaming public one week earlier than planned. So if you’re scratching your head, wondering just what Brink is and why you should care (and I assure you, you should), we’ve got the goods right here.

Developed by game studio Splash Damage, Brink is a new breed of MMO for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC. Others have attempted to make a first-person shooter that works as a multiplayer online world, but no one’s really succeeded. Brink brings some new ideas to the formula, with a single player campaign and a multiplayer campaign that are interchangeable. You can play through the campaign by yourself, or take it online anytime you want to play alongside your friends. Go back and forth, playing the game any way you want.

The setup for Brink is thus: Earth’s oceans have risen to such levels that every land mass is now underwater (which is where its similarities to the movie Waterworld begin and thankfully, end). Years before the oceans rose, a man-made floating city was constructed off the coast of San Francisco called the Ark. The Ark was planned as a self-sufficient, green habitat for its 5,000 forward-thinking inhabitants. But this supposedly utopian society (BioShock, we’re looking at you) is disrupted when the ocean disaster strikes, causing thousands of refugees to rush to its artificial shores and magnifying its occupancy to above 50,000.

With too little food, water, and clothing to support so many, two social classes quickly emerge: the eco-friendly, high-minded founders of the Ark, and the lower-class society that forms around the refugees. The Ark’s Security forces are constantly fending off offensives by the Resistance, who mostly inhabit the shanty town that’s been cobbled together on the outskirts of the floating city. Security deems the Resistance to be terrorists, while the Resistance believe they’re fighting for their very survival under the boot of their cruel overlords.

(Personally, I’m curious about what calamity caused the oceans to rise so fast. That’s a big mystery that jumps out at me. But I have no idea if the game plans to address this.)

Brink allows you to choose which side you want to play on: Security or Resistance. You begin developing your character immediately in the single player campaign, but that development continues as you play alongside friends in co-op and/or multiplayer. The customization options are nearly endless, with more options unlocking the longer you play.

One of Brink‘s key selling points is its “interpretive movement system” called SMART, whereby characters use fancy parkour moves to navigate any environment they’re in automatically. SMART stands for “smooth movement across random terrain,” and it determines whatever movement you need to undertake, be it vaulting, climbing, sliding, seeking cover, and more, and with a single button press, makes it happen fluidly, using some sweet character animations. Here’s a video that demonstrates the SMART movement system:

Check out the screenshots below, and then get ready for a true FPS/MMO when Brink arrives on May 10th.

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Robin Parrish

Unathletic, uncoordinated tall man with endless creativity stampeding through his overactive brain. Comes with beard, wife, and two miniature humans. Novelist. General blogger and main Gaming Geek for ForeverGeek. Lead Blogger, Apple Gazette.

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