For a game that promised so much innovation, we got a fairly basic shooter that doesn't have much going for it that hasn't been done before.
This is not a full review so if you don't know what Brink is about, check out our previous coverage of Brink. I'm also not going to talk about any technical troubles like graphical glitches or multiplayer lag. The first has been patched (on the 360) already, and Bethesda and Splash Damage are allegedly looking into the later.
Brink was supposed to revolutionize shooters with the SMART engine (Smooth Movement Across Random Terrain). Easy joke: SMART is dumb. Ok, now that that's out of the way, SMART seemed like a good idea. Unfortunately it is not "smooth" in the least bit. If you hold the button down while standing next to an object, nothing happens, you have to back up and get a running start. It doesn't work well on "random" terrain either, certain objects will not be climbed or jumped over like the small robot vehicle you're taking cover behind. The running, jumping, mantling, and sliding felt so much better in Crysis 2 (which came out 2 months ago) that Brink already feels dated.
Worse, for a shooter, Brink's shooting just doesn't feel right. I'm not sure if I ever got a head shot. The guns didn't feel very different once you get beyond the gun type (shotguns felt different than assault rifles, but there are half a dozen different assault rifles and I couldn't tell the difference between them or worse between any AR and any SMG).
The party system for multiplayer doesn't even exist on the XBOX, it just uses your XBL party. I don't know how this works on PSN since the PSN is still down. There's no lobby system to set up the game before going in, the leader goes in and you join him. Everything about Brink felt like I was going backwards in game technology.
There are only 8 maps for multiplayer, and the levels are the same as the campaign. In the story, you just play with bots to fill in the empty slots. You can play either side for a total of 16 scenarios (plus 4 what-if missions). This obviously gets repetitive very quickly. For some reason, you don't get credit for beating the missions in multiplayer, so enjoy doing them again by yourself if you want the rewards. WTF? When you're playing multiplayer, pray you are on offense, because if you are on defense you will have to defend the objectives for 20 minutes. This is extremely tedious and leads to a lot of rage quits.
I was excited when I saw Brink had different classes (Soldier, Engineer, Medic, and Operative). I hoped it would be like Borderlands where each class was different. Unfortunately, these classes amount to little more than one specific ability. The classes don't feel different at all and you will often forget which one you are until you get to the objective and find out you are not the right class to complete the job and have to back track to the command post to switch your class. The different body types do make a difference, but you have to play a few hours before the light body type (the one that can do all the cool stuff you saw in the videos) becomes available. Sadly, Brink is just not worth your time.
TL;DR We've sent one copy back unopened and will be selling our other copies ASAP!
Bottom line: Flush it