I’ve long had high hopes for Brink. I even tipped it as being one of the 11 games you needed to play in 2011. Its use of parkour in a first-person shooter, its zany Team Fortress 2-style cast, its seamless integration of single-player and multiplayer – here was a game with something new to offer the creaking FPS genre. But does it work? Well, err…
… here’s a good start, at least. Eurogamer (full review here) awards the game an 8 out of 10, though I will say that seems a little inflated – most of the review reads like a six. Here’s a more positive snippet:
“The clean menus and HUD have a slickness and simplicity of interaction that elevate the squad-shooter genre to a new level of style and polish. Likewise, in moment-to-moment play, this is often a more engaging, tighter experience than Valve’s Team Fortress 2. For those who can leap that first hurdle, Brink should run and run.”
8 out of 10
At the other end of the spectrum, Joystiq’s (full review here) Griffin McElroy absolutely fleeces the game for what he perceives as an imbalanced class system, uncooperative AI, and a poor lobby system:
“An update to address Brink’s connectivity issues would only fix the most superficial of its flaws. There’s something inherently topsy-turvy with its core game design: Despite its focus on rapidly-changing objectives, it rewards mindless dog-piling on the primary goal. It punishes players who invest in a single class that resonates with them. Its moments of triumph are unsatisfying, and far outnumbered by its moments of crushing frustration.”
2 out of 5
IGN (full review here) then lines up for its turn at savaging the game. Repetitive objectives and poor design choices see it limp to a 60%:
“An online shooter needs variety, depth, and addictiveness to succeed over the long term. Brink might find a niche with some hardcore fans, but it isn’t for everyone. I’d love to see more of the parkour gameplay, but one mechanic isn’t enough to carry an entire game. Brink has heart, but the overall package is lacking.”
6 out of 10
GamePro (full review here) says Brink lacks the visceral feel of other shooters, though admits it could be a couple of downloadable updates from greatness:
“I could go on all day about the minor irritations of Brink, but the truth is, multiplayer team shooters like this are living and breathing organisms. As a community builds up around it, I’m hopeful that they will vocalize these issues and Splash Damage and Bethesda will take measures to fix them.”
3.5 out of 5
In other words, Brink is already proving one of 2011’s most divisive games. According to Metacritic, the highest review score is 88%, while the lowest is 25%. And one site even refused to review it, so buggy was the game. With L.A. Noire out next week, I suspect a few people may be hanging on for that.
See also: All our other Review Round-ups!