Hey everyone!  Did you miss me?  I missed you.  Work has kept me more than busy.  I finally sat down and played some Brink.  I was a little hesitant to pick it up since I heard a lot of mixed reviews.  Brink was offered this weekend as part of the Quakecon sale on Steam.  Brink and 33 other titles were bundled together for $70.  I couldn't pass it up since Hunted, another title I wanted to snag, was also a part of the bundle.  The package also includes all the classic Doom and Quake titles, as well as several others from Bethesda Softworks and Id.  My laptop is now fully loaded with plenty of titles from this sale and the summer sale.  Enough about everything else, let's talk about some Brink.

Brink is a first person shooter developed by Splash Damage, and published by Bethesda Softworks.  The story takes place at the Ark, a city that was built to be paradise.  The player takes the role of either Security or the Resistance.  Right from the very beginning you are prompted to defend the Ark, or escape it.  If you choose defend, you join the Security.  If you want to escape, you become a member of the Resistance.  The game includes four classes that can be played.  Each one has different benefits and are used to complete specific objectives during each mission.  Soldiers are used to disperse ammo and blow shit up.  Engineers buff weapons, build turrets, and repair facilities.  Medics give health boosts and revive downed allies.  Operatives can take the appearances of downed opponents, capture bases, and hack consoles.  My personal favorite is the engineer.  I look for higher ground, place a turret behind me for defense, and pick off everyone beneath me.  My least favorite is the operative.  I just think they're boring, and I'm not one for stealthing around.  

Brink also offers a decent selection of weapons to tear through your opponents.  By completing challenges and gaining experience, more weapons and different upgrades become available.  The interface is also quite appealing.  I won't go into much detail here since I'm planning on doing a video for the site.  This way I can actually show everyone instead of trying to describe everything.  I will say this though, it is a nice change from the usual select an item from a menu and hit apply.  This interface is also applied to the character creation portion.  

Now onto one of my favorite portions of the game, the SMART system.  SMART stands for Smooth Movement Across Random Terrain.  Instead of having to worry about grabbing a ledge, or sliding under an obstacle, or even climbing a platform, the SMART system does it for you.  By sprinting towards an obstacle and looking in the direction you wish the travel, the SMART system takes you there.  This reduces extra key commands, and allows the player to focus more on the several members of the opposing faction staring you down with guns drawn.  Brink allows the player to carry two weapons to deal with these moments.  I usually carry one for accuracy and long range attacks, and one for close encounters.  

I only have one real complaint at this point.  The AI units aren't the brightest bunch.  I was stuck on one mission for some time because the AI would continue to run off to defend secondary objectives while I was attempting to complete the main objective of the mission.  It was a little frustrating.  Besides that, I'm really enjoying this one.  The control is accurate, the movement is smooth, and environments are nicely detailed.  I suggest picking this one up.

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