Grizzly Gaming

Friday, August 5, 2011

Brink DLC "Agents of Change" free for limited time

It’s been a while since I played Brink last. After completing the campaign missions a few times each, I really didn’t find much reason to keep playing. The game itself is fun and I like the concept but considering it doesn’t play as smoothly as current best-selling FPSes (Halo, COD, Battlefield etc.) and the online mode is odd at best and broken at worst, it’s tough to make time for Brink.

Earlier this week, the first DLC pack for Brink, dubbed “Agents of Change,” was released and is free for the first two weeks. The pack includes four new missions – two per side – that take place in the bright color schemes of the Founder’s area of The Ark. Unfortunately, these missions are no more or less exciting than the previous missions available in Brink – so if you weren’t wowed before, “Agents of Change” probably won’t do much to bring you around. Also included in the pack are new abilities (the UAV, Napalm Grenade, Pyro Mine, Field Regen Unit and Tactical Sensor), two gun attachments (bayonets and shields), as well as new oufits and clothing items (The Limey and Sad Punk).

I’m not very certain why exactly Splash Damage is giving this content packed DLC for free. Whether it’s because they felt guilty because Brink was a mess at launch or because they’re just naturally generous, I don’t really know. What I do know is that it isn’t often we gamers are offered a DLC pack stuffed with content for literally nothing.

The two new missions take place in the bright, clean, futuristic Founders’ area. In the Founder’s Tower, the Security Forces must find and disarm a bomb planted by the Resistance fighters. The Resistance are making another attempt to destroy the Founder’s Tower and it is up to the Security to stop them. In Labs, the Resistance are making a push to steal an experimental substance from this as-yet untouched laboratory area deep underneath The Ark.

I’ve said it before but it bears repeating – Brink is an unfortunate game. Prior to its release, Brink seemed to have so much promise. The way Splash Damage presented the game, which combined free-running mechanics with a vibrant color palate and objective-based gameplay, sounded like it had an incredible amount of promise. After playing it though, I’ve consistently found that Brink is not much more than a buggy, sluggish, chore of a game. Playing Brink solo will test your patience to no end – enemies are relentless and near impossible to outsmart while friendlies run around aimlessly, getting gunned down without doing much. It’s clear that Splash Damage intended Brink to be played online but the online mode was a laggy mess when the game was released. And the current online situation doesn’t seem to be much better.

I played through all four chapters of “Agents of Change” earlier today and each time I played online, I found myself in a game with exactly one other human player. One. I’m not sure if the community for Brink has already disintegrated or if the alleged game updates from Splash Damage (that were supposed to limit the number of human players per game to minimize lag) have anything to do with it, but playing with one other human just isn’t fun and definitely not what you want from an online FPS. I’ve also ruled out my own connection as the problem, considering I’m using the fastest FiOS speed available and no one else in my house was using the network while I was playing. I found the whole experience pretty odd (and a little disappointing) and will continue to play periodically to see if I can eventually find more well populated games.

I’ll probably play Brink a handful more times before retiring it back to the “Reserve” pile of old games I’m not playing but don’t want to sell off. I wish Brink offered a better overall package than it presents because I love the setting, the art style and the play style of the game, but its execution and glaring online problems make Brink little more than a “what could’ve been” game.


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An avid gamer and long-time pro wrestling fan, stay tuned to Grizzly Gaming and the Delco Elbow Drop for game reviews and pro wrestling news.

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