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5 reasons why Brink may redefine the FPS

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It's an FPS, Jim...but not as we know it...

Brink...a redefining addition to the FPS genre?

Brink is arguably one of the biggest releases of the year so far, and while it’s already on sale in the United States, gamers in the UK have to wait until Friday to get their hands on it.

We at Shadowlocked won’t be posting a Brink review until the middle of next week. Why? Because Brink has such a high focus on multiplayer, publishing a review before a sufficient amount of gametime would be unwise - and unprofessional - and, with this added time, it will allow us to intensely examine the latest release. After all, a review is meant to help you make a decision on whether or not to buy the game, and it’d be wrong to publish one that was biased due to our inexperience.

So, while we make you wait for our in depth review, here are five reasons why Brink might redefine the genre.

1. Brink's unique blending of single and multiplayer action

Brink promises to offer a unique infusion of single and multiplayer gameplay

Developers Splash Damage have been very keen to stress the fact that their squad based shooter blurs the line between single and multiplayer games. “We’re finally blurring the lines between offline gaming and online gaming” Brink Director Paul Wedgewood said in a developer diary released last year - see, I told you.  Brink is promising to ‘redefine the FPS as we know it’, with intelligent A.I. teammates if the game is played offline, while allowing a better immersion of co-op gameplay through its accommodating ‘single player’ campaign, one that allows the gamer to link up with a number of other gamers in order to complete it. It’ll be very interesting to see how these mechanic works because, if they do what the developers have promised, it could be the biggest evolution in FPS shooters since Goldeneye.

2. The S.M.A.R.T system

The S.M.A.R.T system could be one of the most defining features of an FPS in years

S.M.A.R.T. stands for "Smooth Movement Across Random Terrain" and arguably adds a very interesting element to the gameplay. While running towards an obstacle, look up and your character will jump over it, look down and they can slide under things. Hopefully, this will mean that Brink’s action runs smoothly, with no frantic button bashing required in order to get your character into - and out of - cover, like you do in...well, pretty much every other multiplayer shooter!

3. The actual need to use team play!

The use of team work is essential in Brink

When you look at other First Person Shooters such as Call of Duty, Halo: Reach or Homefront, they all provide a very enjoyable multiplayer experience, but very few provide much in the way of actual team work. While an organised team will inevitably do better, the vast majority of gamers are more interested in headless-chickening their way round the map, trying to pick up as many cheap kills as possible whilst head-humping their deceased foe. Thankfully, Brink looks to be very different.

Each of its four different classes have their own, distinct role and offer experience points for supporting your teammates, as well as killing opponents. If the system works properly, Brink could bring a truly team based experience to consoles. (PC gamers have fortunately been able to experience this for years through a strong Team Fortress 2 community)

4. Brink inserts some colour into the genre

Brink promises to brighten up the genre

As mentioned above, the likes of Call of Duty, Halo and Battlefield are all very good games and provide some great multiplayer experiences....but they all look so dull! All those browns and dark greens; dark lighting and dingy looking environments - could they be any more boring?. Brink on the other hand has a very distinct, brightly coloured art style - reminiscent of a Mirror's Edge or, for the slightly younger audience, a de Blob 2 - that makes it both stand out from its competitors and further adds to the appeal of the game. Consequently, this leads us nicely onto the final reason why Brink looks like it could be a lot of fun...

5. Full customisation of characters

Tattoos? No tattoos? The choice is yours...along with so many more

While others in the genre just allow you to play as a generic marine (fighting aliens/Russians/Koreans again are we?) Brink is set to provide its gamers with total customisation over their character, to such an extent that other MMOs can only dream of. There are millions of different combinations of face, hair, clothes, scars, tattoos etc, which you can use to truly make your online avatar unique. Is this perhaps the first step to an online shooter MMO? Splash Damage would like to think so.

So there you have it, five reasons why Brink could be very, very interesting indeed. We’ll let you know what we think about the game on Wednesday, so be sure to stay eagle eyed for our review.

See also:

Brink Review

Top 10 hottest videogames for 2011

FPS Superiority - but which console rules supreme?

Did Blake's 7 predict the modern FPS?

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