SIYM Presents: Retrospect

No wonder they want to escape the ARK.

Ever had those moments in life where everything seems too good to be true? Maybe just a little too hyped and conveniently propped up on a pedestal for excessive amounts of criticism? As a gamer (a picky one) I rarely come across circumstances where purchases I make have excruciating backfire. However, that’s not to say it HASN’T happened. The most recent assault of buyer’s remorse came in the form of a previously praised title called BRINK. Long-time SIYM viewers will re-call that this game (BRINK) was very much accepted by yours truly. I considered it a “breath of fresh air.” A “wonderful departure from the Modern Warfare hosh-kosh-bagosh.” In short, I thought it was an ambitious bid for the top spot in FPS gaming. Simply put, I was wrong. I was VERY wrong. To be fair, BRINK is not a bad game. It’s most definitely playable, but the amount of promise behind it was (and still is) extremely disproportional to the product we all ended up playing. Here’s just 3 reasons why . . .

Considering how often you die in this game, looking good is the least of your worries.

First and foremost, the customization. Yeah, the highlight of the game. While some people still thought that the developer could have added moar variety (especially to the weapons) I for one thought the diversity of your personal appearance was a great feature to have since most class-based shooters enforce strict dress codes. Thus begins the problem with fully customizable outfits. When you’re on the battlefield, you want to know right away when you’re staring down an enemy. In BRINK, second-guessing the people in front of you will become routine. There are red and blue borders outlining the characters but it still feels unreliable. Even worse, by the time you recognize an enemy in your proximity, it’ll already be too late.To top it off, what’s the point of all the emphasis on how your character looks? It’s a FIRST-PERSON shooter! Other than in the menus and briefly during battle, you’ll hardly ever have time notice your work of art. That’s exactly what’s wrong with this game. It’s distracting. It puts so much focus on aesthetics that it forgets the main ingredient of all shooters: gameplay!

Taking one for the team . . . all the time

I may have been spoiled by Call of Duty’s signature 60 frames per second fluidity, but BRINK is a mess. The game feels really clunky. Despite all the hype about the parkour system, I never once felt like I was sailing from spawn to objective with ease. Instead, I spent most of my time (even as a smaller body type) getting hung up on boxes, failing to connect sequences, and simply getting gun down while showing off. Even when momentum was in my favor, there really is no sense of freedom. More to the point, once again, it’s distracting! Not to mention it’s completely impractical. You might start with some impressive gains across the battlefield but you’ll eventually run head first into a well-gaurded objective or a dead-end. In all honesty, I did find some interesting combinations that only the S.M.A.R.T. system could’ve made possible but it really isn’t worth it. It’ll just make you wonder how free-running like a chicken with its head cut off is an improvement over basic duck-and-cover. Not to mention how insanely lucky A.I. tend to get these days.

It doesn’t look good . . . seriously, it doesn’t look good.

The above image is actually quite representative of my final issue with the game. BRINK, despite all its talk and show of diverse choice in visuals, is not a good looking game. I know it seems contradicting to all these images I’ve posted with this article but that’s the point. When you actually play the game, it looks way different than advertised. Maybe there’s a PC treatment you can give it to help it out, but on console it’s disappointing. Actually, it’s annoying! What’s the point, yet again, of pushing all these fancy visuals in our faces when there’s hardly ever any opportunity during gameplay to notice? To be brief, there’s nothing beautiful about this game. Sure, it’s stylistic but hardly anything to admire. The environments are very bland, the texturing is mediocre, and the frames per second are really low for a game that focuses so much on movement. I’m not sure what else to tell you about its graphics. Yeah, how a game looks shouldn’t be a make-or-break, but as Starshine once said “it nice to look at pretty people.” True. True.

So, what’s the verdict? Well, I’d be the wrong person to ask since I’ve bought the game 3 times this year alone. In fact, the 3rd time was just last week. Even now I’m still thinking about it. The whole deal is that BRINK is a game that’s constantly reaching for excellence but keeps shooting itself in the foot at every turn. The customization is wonderful but only servers to clutter up the gameplay with tremendous identity crisis. The gameplay itself is workable but sluggish as hell. Not to mention the gunplay as whole is just poop on a sandwich. The visuals would have been great if they were bit more realized instead of looking like a second-thought. To tell you the truth, that’s a exactly what BRINK is: a second-thought. A completely half-assed project that set out with tons of brilliant ideas but just didn’t have what it took to see them through to the end. Now, if you’ll excuse, I have a galaxy to save . . .

-Fifth Fleet Out-

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