Brink: Not an RPG
So awhile ago I said some mean stuff about Brink. And after I posted that I decided to share my opinion with the Escapist forum. I got a lot of responses from people defending the game, and one common theme was “Other shooters don’t have gender choice. Games like Modern Warfare, Halo, Bad Company, they don’t let you play as a girl. So why should this one?” Well, there are two reasons that argument didn’t hold up for me.
Firstly, Splash Damage was making a huge deal about the game’s appearance customization, so it seemed weird to me that the game neglected such an obvious choice. And secondly, I wasn’t comparing Brink to other shooters. I was comparing Brink to other RPGs. See, when I looked at the advertising campaign I got the impression that Brink was going to be a sort of character-driven, story-driven online shooter RPG, maybe something like All Points Bulletin but hopefully with it being less of a buggy mess.
But after reading and watching reviews and commentary about the game I’ve come to realize that it’s about as much of an RPG as Call of Duty 4. So I guess my argument wasn’t exactly fair.
I gotta say, that disappoints me. I know I said that I’d already sworn off Brink, but if it turned out to be a really good online shooter-RPG experience I may have picked up the game despite its lack of gender choice. But it turns out it’s just another class-based shooter. (Not that there’s anything inherently wrong with class-based shooters, but I’m not a huge fan. And whenever I do get the urge to play one I already have Team Fortress 2 to scratch that itch.)
It’s not even really story-driven. The single player mode is just the multiplayer mode but with bots instead of other players, which renders that whole “Merges seamlessly between single player and multiplayer!” selling point meaningless and moot. And from what I can tell, for all the appearance customization the game boasts, characters tend to all look very similar anyway.
So as usual, the hype turned out to be all bark and no bite. Who would have thought…