Some more time with Brink

I got in a few more hours this wweek (not nearly enough!), and I have some initial thoughts and, gods forgive me,  feelings.  Of course I’ve been reading the rather mixed reviews–some good, some bad and a lot that note that the game had/has a lot of potential that it didn’t live up to. Granted there was a lot of hype about this game as it was being published by Bethesda and used id Tech for the engine  and expectations for something awesome was high.

I didn’t even start the campaign at first as I wanted to get as much multiplayer as possible–and also complete some of the excellent challenge mode missions.  The challenge missions are all quite fun.  There are only four types (variable objectives, parkur, escort and tower defense)  and each gives a ton of unlocks when completed.  They are difficult without being impossible, and they expose the nuances of the gameplay that I missed jumping directly into multiplayer and just shooting everyone.  The parkur challenges are the best and I expect to see tons more puzzle missions like this going forward, even some Parkur races would be fun in this engine.

Gameplay is pretty frantic, but not as twitchy as UT3 or Quake as movement rates are much slower. It’s difficult to run and gun by design, though the game certainly encourages constant movement.  There are no gibs and no blood that I saw and one major difference from other games (and the first time I’ve seen this in multiplayer): health regenerates.  iI you get shot up and run away and hide, your health comes back after a time as if all the characters in the game were little Wolverines.  In addition, when you do get capped, you have a choice, you can either wait for a medic to rez you, or ‘sign up’ to be in the next reinforcement wave (hits about every 15 seconds).  So if a big massacre happens, it can occur that your whole team is back in the respawn area.  This gives an interesting flow to the game, one the jury is still out on for me due to what I’ve seen most in the multiplayer: Spawn camping.

Even the bots do it. A couple nights ago I was playing against two other guys, and so the server was filled with bots.  Once we closed the other team off in their base, the bots hung around right there and built turrets (like 4 of them over the course of the map) and with the exception of the human players who were filled with hijinks (of course), the opposing bots were mowed down as soon as they left their spawn.

And that’s an issue with Brink, not a bad one really because it allows you to play any time without having a full slate of human players, but an issue nonetheless.  If you jump on a server with 2-3 people– the server automatically fills the empty slots with a ton of bots all over the place, so it’s very difficult to tell what the game is really like with all real, human people.  I have yet to get on a full server filled with only human beings– that’s going to be the true test of the game.  As most human-only servers are full all the time, you end up fighting the bots… a lot.

I did get to the campaign a bit and no sir, I don’t like it. The bots all crowd around objectives, running all over outside of cover, not working together except to attack en masse, just shooting while standing in the open and tossing grenades.  After 2 missions (about 15-20 minutes each), I was pretty tired of it.  The bots on your side don’t help when they should and sometimes seem totally godlike on the other side at times.  Added to the fact that most maps have a single big firefight in one central area of 2-3 rooms for most of the game time doesn’t help either.  Brink is not a game that you should buy for the single player.  While the challenge missions are really fun, the campaign itself is simply the multiplayer maps with bots and a short intro, and the latter is a lot better with actual human players.   Like Battlefield/BF2142– I would have scrapped single player all together if this is what it’s going to be like, instead, since they do have bots, just make it so you can play multi-player matches against bots.

 

Rough reviews on Brink

Brink, a new TF2/Monday Night Combat style FPS from the creators of Quake Wars and Wolfenstein Enemy Territory, has hit the shelves today with much hype and happenstance– and then some brutal ass reviews! The synopsis from reviews so far (some posted at 12:01 AM): single player sucks ass, it’s got some broken maps due to choke points in multiplayer and some weirdness with unlocks and team roles. Ok, not to defend a game that just came out and could be shitty, but how long did these guys actually play it? How many times have we heard this in games like TF2 or BF2142 with new maps, new weapons, patches that X tactic doesn’t work any more or ‘because they made X change to this class, this map is impossible to win on for the Attackers!” Then a month later people trying to defend the same map will say–“oh this is impossible to defend now because the attacker just does X to win.” I seem to remember some similar criticisms leveled at TF2 early on, though no one now can say anything but it’s a ‘living’ classic of a game even with all of it’s fucking HATS. Again, I’m not saying Brink is on the same level, but I think that some reviewers may look back and rue the early reviews they did: oh except it made their site some ad revenue right?

Despite all the negative press, I’m really looking forward to getting into this one due to the core gameplay, i.e.: jumping around like a jack ass all over an urban environment while shooting guns.

First night up inside the new box!

Due to some much-needed wiring assistance over the weekend, I got the new box all set up and downloading FURIOUSLY from Steam.  Though I was able to spark up Bad Company 2 for a few moments yesterday morning, my lovely, darling daughter came in to ask if she could sit on my lap while I ‘rode in the car’ which was actually a boat headed towards some nameless pacific island.  I said yes, but then I remembered the first kill in Bad Company 2 was up the back with a knife and so just shut it down before seeing any of the amazing particle or lighting effects denied to me with my socket 939.  That said, the first game I actually played last night, guiltily, was Torchlight.  I just wanted to check if my character data was actually there up inside the steamcloud and, being that it was, ended up being an hour of destroying goblin hounds and the like.

I did span some time with Bad Company 2, just the single player, and goodness me it is pretty.  The initial area of the Bolivia mapset is nothing short of amazing with the lighting, particles and foliage.  Breathtaking stuff.  Combining that BFBC2 is just flat out fun as shit makes this probably my only pick for game of the year 2010 on the PC (like all the magazine’s and websites have already stated, and I wholly agree, Red Dead Redemption is the game of the year in the Xboxen region), because I haven’t gotten around to Starcraft 2 yet.  One cannot judge 2010 from any level: technologically, socially, musically, culturally or emotionally without experiencing Starcraft 2 (well, I was in the multiplayer beta for some beatings but that’s not enough), so I have to officially hold back judgement of GOTY until I get that shit put to bed.  Given that I still play Warcraft 3 from 2003, I have a feeling.

Very happy with my build out and thanks to sensless for coming by to help put it together and everyone for their advice.  The Ars Technica article that came out the day before I was making my purchase choices helped enormously, especially in the choice of case (Power is on TOP so no tiny hands switching off the power randomly) and solidifying the motherboard choice.  I could have gone more hardcore with the video card, but the GTX 560 is doing the trick.  Here is the list of stuffs:

  • LIAN LI Lancool PC-K7B Black Aluminum/ SECC ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
  • ASUS P8P67 (REV 3.0) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
  • Sony Optiarc CD/DVD Burner Black SATA Model AD-7260S-0B
  • 2X G.SKILL Value Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333
  • EVGA 01G-P3-1561-AR GeForce GTX 560 Ti FPB (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support
  • Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5″ Internal Hard Drive
  • Intel Core i7-2600 Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor
  • Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

Tonight it’s Unreal Tournament 3 and whether or not I go Crysis 2 or Bulletstorm…(or Starcraft 2).

 

Cinderella Story– with horse archery!

Mount and Blade: Warbands released today, continues onward from humble beginnings into a major release that hopefully has the Elder Scrolls/Dragon Age/Gothic/Fable creators a little nervous as this tiny indy developer has shown HOW TO PROPERLY DO THIRD PERSON WEAPON COMBAT.  Need we say more?  Demo to level 7 but you know deep in your heart that you need the full version.

This is what it’s all about people:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V30tyaXv6EI