About games and gaming thereof!

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…


4 responses

  1. Go get Frozen Synapse instead, great multiplayer, stand alone single player campaign. I’m having a blast.

    Plus it’s a metric ton cheaper than Brink.

    June 1, 2011 at 3:25 AM

  2. I know its unimportant to the greater picture, but Halo does let you choose the gender of your character. In Reach, you can even choose your gender during the campaign.

    As for the rest of that “defense,” Call of Duty and Battlefield should let you play as women as well. Those games, especially in multiplayer, are so far removed from actual reality that adding women would not suddenly ruin the experience. See Rainbow Six: Vegas as a great way to do that: good customization INCLUDING gender.

    June 1, 2011 at 7:06 AM

    • JPH

      Crap, I was going to use Rainbow Six: Vegas 2 as a third reason but I forgot.

      June 1, 2011 at 12:33 PM

  3. Well the second point, as you’ve stated, is invalid cause its not an RPG, but the first point still stands. If the selling point is customization, and you can’t even choose a gender, that’s just sad. I haven’t seen or heard anything particularly good about the game other than customization, so they could at least do that properly.

    June 1, 2011 at 1:09 PM

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