By Frank Bowen

As many of you know, Brink is a first person shooter releasing May 10 for the PC, Xbox 360, and PS3. Brink was developed by Splash Damage, the makers of Return to Castle Wolfenstein and Enemy Territory: QUAKE Wars. The game takes place on the “Ark,” a near-future floating city designed for sustainable living that is quickly running out of resources and becoming overpopulated. You will choose to play as either the Resistance, a team of refugees fighting to flee the island, or the Security, a corporate counter-terrorist force. The game boasts a wealth of features and interesting twists on the FPS genre. Here are the top five reasons why you should be excited about Brink.

Watch as Puckett and Shibby play through one of the maps:


1. Brink contains seamless gameplay between single player, co-op, and multiplayer.
Once you load up the game, you will be able to choose to play a single player game by yourself, start a co-op game with your friends, or jump right into multiplayer. However, even if you begin in single player mode, you can open up your game to either your friends for a round of co-op, or to everyone on Xbox live for a competitive multiplayer match. This means you will never need to stop playing Brink to search for parties or wait in matchmaking lobbies. The game will simply add players to your session on the fly.

2. Brink was designed for competitive play.
In order to create the most competitive multiplayer maps available, Splash Damage added Dave Johnston to their development team. Dave is best known for being the maker of de_dust2 from Counter Strike: Source. Players had a chance to experience Brink early at Bethesda’s HQ in Frankfurt, Germany, and when asked about the impact Dave’s input had on the maps, they reported that it was very clear that the maps were designed for multiplayer right from the start.

3. The S.M.A.R.T. Movement System.
Brink features a unique movement system that is unprecedented in the realm of competitive multiplayer games. S.M.A.R.T. stands for “smooth movement across random terrain.” S.M.A.R.T. allows you to create your own movement patterns and routes around the map without being hindered by or chain link fences or the notorious waist-high walls. If you think you can climb over it, slide under it, or jump off of it, you probably can .

For new players, the S.M.A.R.T. system features an “autopilot” mode that allows players to simply aim in a general direction and navigate their character there using jumps and slides automatically. However, players who want to master the S.M.A.R.T. system will find that individually pressing jump, crouch, and other button combinations in unison with the S.M.A.R.T. system will allow for faster movement around the map than what can be achieved with autopilot. Take a look at the Freedom of Movement trailer to see how it works.

Puckett and Shibby play again on the other side of the map, and run into a bit of trouble:


4. There are almost endless possible character combinations in Brink.
If you enjoy the amount of character and weapon customization found in games like Halo: Reach, Call of Duty: Black Ops or Rainbow 6: Vegas, then you are going to love Brink. You can change your player’s voice, tattoos, body type, and clothing—and, perhaps more importantly, their gun. There are different iron sights, magazines, grips, skins, silencers, barrels, and stocks that each individually affect your weapon’s statistics. If you want to play a back seat role and rifle from a distance, you can customize your gun to do so. If you want to rush towards the front lines and spray a seemingly bottomless clip into your enemies, you can do that as well. Whatever your playstyle or preference, Brink allows you to customize your character to fit that role.

Brink is also one of the few games that allows for complete button remapping. Players are able to map any in-game function to any button on their controller. This is common practice on the PC, but Splash Damage has finally made this same type of customization available to console players. Take a look at the Character customization video to see what’s in store for you.

5. Brink revolves around skillful, team-based gameplay.
Brink is not a game that centers on how many kills your team can get. It is a game that focuses on how well your team can work together to complete each mission’s objectives—and how quickly and efficiently you accomplish them. Traditional game modes such as Capture the Flag or Team Slayer are not found in Brink. Instead, Brink takes these popular game modes and melds them all together as different objectives to be completed on each map. Additionally, certain objectives can only be completed by a certain class, such as the Medic, Soldier, Engineer, or Operative. Each of the four classes has its own special buffs and abilities that will aid your team in completing each objective. Gun skill is still important in Brink, but if you do not work well as a team, you will find yourself at a disadvantage.

Luckily, Brink makes being a team player easy for anyone. Health and ammunition is displayed above each player’s head in-game. If you are a Medic and you notice a teammate’s health is low, you can easily run over and heal them. Similarly, if you are playing a Soldier and notice your teammate running out of ammo, you can buff their ammo to increase the supply. All of these factors fuse together in Brink, requiring great levels of skill and teamwork. Check out this video explaining the classes.

Honorable Mention: Brink will have its own website, dedicated to streaming competitive matches.
TheBrink.tv is a website run by Mattc0m, who previously ran competitive streams for both iterations of Enemy Territory. This website will focus on streaming all types of competitive matches in Brink. Though it will only be streaming PC matches, because of the enhanced spectator and server features found on that platform, it will still be a great source for learning about the game and studying new strategies. Starting on launch day, players will get the chance to go on TheBrink.tv and showcase their talent to the world.

There are numerous reasons to be excited for Brink, but these stand out among the rest, especially to the competitive gamer. No matter what genre of competitive multiplayer appeals to you, there is something for everyone in Brink. Whether it is coordinating as a team to push forward into an enemy base, sitting back and laying down suppressive long-range fire, or rushing down and capturing objectives, Brink allows for your individual playstyle. Between the movement system, multiplayer mentality, and map design, it would be hard not to be excited about Brink.

Want to see even more Brink action? Tune in to Justin.tv/MLG tonight at 7pm as Nexy and Zach Mazzotta play matchmaking against MLG fans and anyone brave enough to take them on! You can challenge them on Nexy’s Twitter or live in the stream chat.

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