Monday, 9 May 2011

Why Brink is going to be awesome

I really don’t understand how people get addicted to the point of neglected loved ones over multiplayer games like Halo and Call of Duty. I understand the temptation of playing through a ringing telephone or putting off a spot of form filling until you’re finally happy with the pixels that represent a good kill/death ratio, but I don’t understand how people have the enthusiasm to play them for hours on end, week on week.

My problem with these games lies with their heavily repetitive nature. I will more than happily materialise with my hands around a man’s neck before cracking it to one side for that last gurgle of virtual life that sends someone back to the respawn screen, but after a while it all feels the same. I’m just tired of games where it’s one team against another, with the one force driving everyone forward being the frag count.

Sometimes things will get spiced up with the addition of a capture the flag or hold the zone objective, but nothing that really takes away from the overbearing message that really, at the end of the day, it’s your personal kill counter that gauges how well you’ve done. Not to say that I’m one for peace in videogames; not at all. I just want something a bit more meaningful. I think that the best thing in Team Fortress 2 is the fact that the scoreboard keeps track of all positive actions you have performed while publically displaying none of the individual actions of each player. This castration of the frag tracking e-peen is a real sign of progress for games. Not that many others followed its example.

Then I spotted Brink on the horizon. I’ve been terrible and not really followed it until recently, but the more I see it now, the more I want it. The objective driven gameplay looks like it will offer the exact variety in an online shooter that I have been clawing the imaginary walls of my satisfaction over for years now. It’s from the guys that gave us Enemy Territory, the World War II shooter that had players building bridges, fixing machine gun nests and trying to blow through doors over an intense, multi-map campaign of attackers versus defenders. It worked well and looks like a few of the same tricks have bled their way into Brink.

I suppose the multiplayer mode I am really craving after is something akin to Unreal Tournament 2004’s Assault mode. Now that was a brilliant time for all. In a crushed up, instagibbed nutshell, it was a collection of attack and defend objectives that offered huge diversity between each map. In one you’d start off in a spaceship, strafing a space station to take out its shields before boarding and taking down everything inside. Another had you restoring a junked vehicle for use in a daring prison break. So much variety. So much awesome.

I’m really looking forward to Brink, mainly for the objective lead gameplay, but also because it just looks a bit different. Throw in the Mirrors Edge like level navigation and I really can’t see how the critics will have anything overwhelmingly bad to say about it tomorrow, when the review embargo lifts.

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