Splash Damage struck gold back in
2003 with Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory. style="">  It was a super fast paced
teamplay shooter
that emphasized objectives over frags, deception over headlong charges,
and had
a goddamn sweet looking flamethrower.   With
the game both being pretty damn awesome
AND free to download and play, it created quite a following. style=""> 

The follow-up, Enemy
Territory: Quake Wars
was a commercial attempt at a sequel
to the
formula.  It
retained the critically
acclaimed gameplay, while mixing things up with radically different
sides and
aircraft.   While
the reception from
editors and reviewers was positive, the community felt otherwise and it
caught on to the same degree.

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In Brink, you spend your
time fighting the enemy, not the environment.  The advanced
SMART system enables sweet movement and scaling of objects with little
to no input on your part.

Now Splash Damage’s newest foray into
team shooters  is
back and sporting more of the same. 
You’ve got classes, you’ve got objectives,
and you’ve got a team between you and said objectives that you need to
down.  This time
around we’ve got an
original setting focusing around good guys and bad guys, with a
passable story
and challenge maps to test your mettle when your friends aren’t around.

Does a fresh coat of paint help
restore the luster of Splash
Damage’s wonderful formula?  Or
does this
title send you to the brink of madness instead?


Brink is rated T for Teen, with cautions for Language, Blood, and Violence. None of these are all that offensive (especially compared to the other vulgar games in the genre!) so this should be safe for anyone who is playing shooters already.

Gameplay - 75 / 100

Because everyone loves playing
dress-up apparently, even
Splash Damage has given in and established a character creator for the
game.  You can
create multiple types of bodies once
you’ve gained some in-game experience, and these actually have a slight
on gameplay via speed and endurance. 
female characters can be created which might miff some fans of freedom.

Once that’s done, you have your
typical array of weapons and
unlockables via experience, and special abilities that can be purchased
each class as you level up.  These
from extra ammo capacity for special abilities, to a variety of turrets
for the
Engineer class.  Speaking
of classes,
there are four of them, each being fairly explanatory. 
They are the Soldier, Medic, Engineer, and
Operative.  Each
class has specific
objectives that only they can interact with, so it’s important to have
a good
mix or some objectives are downright impossible!

Teamplay is downright
essential.  You're completely immobile and unarmed when
disarming or dismantling objectives, so cover your Engineers!

Single and Multiplayer maps and
objectives are almost all
the same, and involve objective capture, escort, and destruction, often
multiple types all in the same mission. 
If you’re playing alone, the Bots are fairly good at
covering you and
using their special abilities to support the attack.  
Objectives are often approachable from
above, below, and the sides, which requires a lot of running, or
liberal use of
the SMART system.
Smooth Movement Across Random
Terrain, or SMART, is Brink’s
coolest feature.  Anytime
you’re moving
towards objects, terrain, or trying to get over or under things, it’s
all done
automatically with the push of a button. This can lead to some epic
escapes and
entrances, and above all else it’s a hell of a lot cooler than just
having crouching,
prone, and standing as your options for movement.

Don't be afraid to circle around
or approach from a different angle.  The terrain in Brink is
hardly an obstacle to your mobility, and can often aid you to reach
places you'd never

Challenge maps exist as well, that
give you special
objectives and seemingly insurmountable tasks. 
These are well worth the risk though, as they unlock the
majority of the
weapons and accessories for said weapons.  
You can also set special objectives and go through the
campaign again in
any way you prefer in Free Play.  Even
you’re alone, you’ll have a good time with Brink.
Or so I’d like to say. 
Despite all of the variety and the SMART System, some guns
and skills
just plain suck.  The
radius of grenade
explosions is pathetic.  The
system of using special abilities takes forever to recharge, and I
ended up
killing myself a few times just to have access to more skills than your
Counterstrike player.  In the end, Brink
could have greatly benefitted from a beta that helped point
these glaring flaws out and give the game some more polish.

Graphics - 70 / 100

While the characters are well designed and have plenty of detail to them, and the environments are no slouch…. The game just feels lacking in motion. Something is missing from the magical graphical formula, and the frame rate takes a hit as a result. My rig is nothing compared to some of yours, packing a Q6600 quad-core with a Radeon 4870 HD 1GB, but it generally runs everything on high or very high effortlessly lately. For what I’m seeing in-game, the graphical settings and required horsepower under the hood are silly. 30 FPS might be acceptable for other genres, but it's hardly any way to play a fast shooter.

Sound - 60 / 100

Weapons are loud, but some of the sub machine guns sound like rattling tin cans instead of powerful close combat weapons. The musical score is shallow as to be expected from most games in the genre. Your allies and voice commands are adequate at best, so no real emotion carries through the voices sadly. Sound can normally do a lot for a game, but Brink’s sound almost detracts from it.

Multiplayer - 87 / 100

Since the single and multiplayer
share a lot of the same
maps and objectives, you’ll be hard pressed to get a truly original and
breathtaking multiplayer experience from Brink.
That’s one of the major downsides to integrating the single and
campaign into the same package.  The
other downside is that there’s a grand total of seven maps.  I understand that these
are varied and full
of objectives, but it gets stale fast.

You can even slide
tackle your opponents to knock them to the ground and eliminate them in

Aside from some learning curve
related issues with class
understanding and weapons, the multiplayer is solid if a little generic.  VIP escorts have never
been so much fun—they
can be revived by Medics on the spot to give the attackers another
chance at

Value - 55 / 100

There are a lot of glaring bugs out of the box, but they have been promptly fixed. It’s just stupid that they shipped to begin with, especially some of the ATI family problems that have cropped up. That said, you have one combined single and multiplayer campaign for levels, and a handful of challenge maps to play through. The end result is a rather lackluster value for the price point. This would have been acceptable if the publishers went back to the drawing board with another F2P in Brink.

Lasting Appeal - 65 / 100

Honestly I’m looking forward to the modding community to make something awesome happen with the SMART engine. Until then, you’re left with a typical console shooter with PC based speed. Disappointing, but you might want to reinstall and get on the original Enemy Territory once you get the chance afterwards. The game is still alive and well with zero grinding or silly costumes involved.

Pros and Cons


  • We've been waiting for Splash Damage's next product for a
    long time, and it still has that classic Enemy Territory feel.
  • Good variety of abilities and weapons, which will hopefully
    become more varied and balanced with patches soon.
  • SMART is amazing and needs to be in every game.


  • Feels like it was rushed, with silly bugs and zero female
  • Terrible value for the money.  Desperately needs
    more maps in multiplayer.
  • Leveling characters in FPS games needs to go away.
     We're not playing these games for immersion or progression,
    we're playing them to blow people up!


Brink tries so hard to be the next big thing, but just launched with too little to go around. A poor map selection and mindless grinding to unlock things doom it to being uninstalled by all but the most diehard fans quickly.

Overall 71/100 - Pretty Good

Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016