Although today’s games consoles and PCs can all connect to the internet, many video games remain a generally solitary experience.
Whether action-packed or focused on strategy, these pit the player, alone, against a challenge painstakingly created by the game’s developers – and in many cases, thanks to a well-developed plot or clever puzzles, this can be great fun.
The first-person shooter Brink, however, is not for playing alone. Although it can be played offline, this is a game that is at its best when you are connected to the internet and other human players – and, better yet, those that you know.
Set in a futuristic world where mankind has retreated to a giant floating Ark, the game does have a plot, but this story of rebels versus security is really just a means to an end, and that end is a series of neatly designed team challenges in which up to 16 players can compete.
Like most team-based games, Brink relies on several different character types, each with its own strengths and weaknesses: soldier, medic, engineer and operative.
What are the specialties of characters in Blink?
Some tasks can only be completed by a specific type of character, and you can change while playing – either after dying, or at fixed location in each level.
Success generally requires a team that includes several types of character, and plenty of cooperation between players.
The levels available to play in are well designed, providing a good balance between the two teams, and the game looks great, but generally all awareness of the pretty backgrounds blurs out of sight during the frantic online gameplay.
There are also separate challenges to complete, and doing so gives you access to both more weapons and the ability to customise the way your character looks.
This bias towards online play makes Brink something of a mixed bag.
As a single player experience, it is a little disappointing. Although fun for a while, it’s obvious throughout that the game is primarily set up for online play.
If you like games that create an absorbing single-player world, then look elsewhere – but if you prefer a more social shooting experience, this is the best team-based game we’ve seen for some time.