The core of any shooter is its armory and Brink disappoints here, too. The starter SMG doesn’t feel much different than the most powerful shotgun, and even then the weapons all feel like pea-shooters. Enemies take way too many bullets to kill — it often took me a full clip to off an opponent. With Brink it doesn’t sound or feel like I’m filling fools with buckshot, it’s more like I’m having a backyard BB gun fight with my neighbors, all of us making our own bang-bang sounds with our mouths.
Each arena is a claustrophobic color swap made up of a seemingly endless series of choke points. These maps don’t take advantage of the different classes or even the one-button parkour system. They’re flat, ugly, and boring boxes.
We’re six years into the current console cycle. By now you’d think developers would have a handle on the hardware they’re making games for. Nope. Brink’s graphics are laughably bad, with textures loading so slowly that if you stop running and look down you’ll have to wait a moment for the rendering pass to catch up with you. If you spin in a circle fast enough you’ll see textures drop out, only to reappear once you stop.
Online shooters change pretty fast. Brink can’t change fast enough. Right now the game isn’t worth playing at all. Until there are massive balance tweaks and reliable post-launch maintenance (given the issues, Ars Technica went so far as to hold off on reviewing the game altogether) this is one floating city that's dead in the water. Even in the week I spent with it, Brink got boring incredibly fast. How will it fare as it ages when it seems so little care was put into it before release?
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