E3 2010 - Brink Co-Op Hands On Preview
Brink has been a game I've been following with intense anticipation. While I was immediately gripped by the style of the game, it was the 8 player cooperative promises that tickled my spidey sense. Having played the game for a good 30 minutes at E3 - including checking out the myriad of customization options - I'm happy to say I think Brink will deliver when it launches early next year.
Brink has players choosing sides between the Resistance and the Security in the Ark - the last bit of land on a flooded planet Earth. Both sides have a campaign to play through complete with story and cut scenes displayed between and before missions. There will be some overlap in the missions played when playing through as both sides, but every mission in the game will have a unique map to play.
Brink is all about customizing your character and there's plenty of options right from the get go - but all the really good stuff will be earned via unlocks from completing different sections and challenges within the game. The character creator is pretty in depth, allowing you to choose a body type as a base and then further customizing things like face, hair, facial hair, any face gear, tattoos and paint. One interesting thing is if you decide to tattoo your guy - it IS permanent - so you'll have to think carefully about choose that "I Love Sally" ink.
The character I managed to create looked like Danny Trejo with dreads. In fact, he was so awesome looking he managed to crash the game. After reconfiguring him we launched into the weapon customization. If you've played Army of Two you'll be somewhat familiar with this as it shares a lot of traits. You can change out bases, barrels, stocks, ammo, and other accessories to adjust the stats on the gun. The guns themselves range from pistols to full out machine guns - and there's no class restrictions on them. Some of the bigger guns won't be able to be carried though by the skinniest of body types. This type of customization was a surprise to me, and while I wasn't given a specific number to how many weapons and modifications there were, there had to be a few thousand combinations I could see on the screen.
After finishing up my character and weapons I jumped into a mission via drop-in co-op with a Bethesda Producer. The game will support a myriad of options for playing your campaign including drop-in/drop-out support for co-op, but also you can choose to have the opposing team filled with human players as well.
An older video of the character customization, it's even more detailed now.
Our first part of the mission involved trying to hack a terminal to open a gate. I was playing as an Engineer character so my objective was to guard the terminal while my co-op partner hacked it as an Operative. Other classes like the Soldier and Medic are also available, and these missions are dynamically created for whatever class you are once the most important objective is updated by another player. By pulling up a radial menu you can see the current available missions for your character with the most important mission always being at the top - this can be chosen with a quick flick of the d-pad up.
The other highlight to the game is the SMART system, which adds to player movement by allowing you to climb walls, vault over boxes, and slide into cover. It gives the whole game a real action feel and there was numerous time I can leaping over objects to save my co-op partner that made me feel like a super hero.
All in all Brink looks to be shaping up to be a solid experience, as it stands now the game is a ton of fun. We played the PS3 version of the game - and it did look a bit rough around the edges - but with 6 to 9 months to tweak things up we have high hopes we'll get to the quality that we've seen in the screenshots.
Brink is set to release in the Spring of 2011 on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC.