Friday, May 13, 2011

Brink - Game Review

Where do I begin...

OK, there is a troubling trend afoot.  More and more we get half baked games and we accept this in hopes things are repaired in the near future.  The game industry seems to be the only industry that can pull this off.  Could you imagine if a car company shipped a new car without the doors but promised they'd deliver them later?  Perhaps that is a terrible comparison, obviously our safety isn't at stake if a game doesn't work.

Brink had looked so promising, I really hoped this game would fulfill my FPS void for the Summertime until Battlefield 3 and Gears of War 3 hit the shelves.  I will say before I go into too much detail that I continue to play the game, there is something there that keeps me coming back.

The Good
  • Character customization is amazing.  You really feel like you have an identity in this game.
  • Art style is awesome.
  • Traversing the levels is unique and works very well.
The Bad
  • AI.  Your AI buddies are all like Rambo, but with slightly more brain damage.  It's mind numbing when they grab the intel and continue to run into choke points and enemy fire where clearly the rest of the team perished only to die and leave the intel there for the enemy to reclaim.  This can be an endless loop until you can beat your AI teammate to the intel.
  • There are lots of guns!  What is so bad about that you may be asking yourself?  Virtually all guns are available to you immediately and they are very much alike with the exception of a few.  I myself believe that the leveling up to unlock weapons and attachments is a great model and wish it was employed here, of course that only works too if there is a slight improvement to each weapon.
  • Completing challenges to unlock items only works if you DO NOT play with friends!  After playing and beating a challenge with my brother online I was rewarded with nothing.  When I played by myself not only was the challenge way easier but I was then rewarded with the ton of unlocks.  They could have done better with different rewards based on the number of players.
  • Campaign is way short.  What is good about the campaign is you can play two sides of the story.
  • Level design is not too bad, but is kinda boring.  Maybe the Call Duty franchise spoiled me but it lacks ambiance.  That, like anything, is debatable though.
The Ugly
  • Multiplayer is broken!  Playing in public matches is so laggy you can't even enjoy a match.  You might find yourself trying over and over again to find a good match but will always fail.  It's evident that they knew this even when the left the game go to Gold status because a day one patch was prepared to address some of the issues.  I'm not sure what it fixed but I can say it wasn't the multiplayer.  For a game that has a ton of focus on multiplayer this is almost laughable.  I willing to bet some corporate a-hole came in with the intention to get this game to market.  Do you remember Microsoft's Vista?  Yeah, same shit happened there.
Save your money for now.  This game still has hope but I won't hold my breath.  I hope they spend their money wisely and make right on this game soon.  Expect to see a lot of used Brink games at your local GameStop for a bargain price, my copy may end up their soon.

Verizon Customers Awaiting Windows Phone 7

I, like others, have been anxiously awaiting the arrival of a Windows Phone 7 to hit Verizon.  It's been a long road of rumors, speculation, and corporate silence.  

Every day 2 or more articles pop up covering the same shit that someone else reported on.  I'm not going to do that here.  I'm more interested in expressing my anger on how poorly the release has been handled.  Who's to blame?  I don't know, don't care anymore, I'm just bored and thought I'd write this.  I'm not going to make any empty threats to jump ship from Verizon, no phone is worth that and Verizon could care less anyways.  

Why am I so upset?  Because I'm a small time developer who will not release his apps until he can test them on actual hardware.  I'm in a unique position.  On one hand I could go to Craigslist and buy a unlocked version of the phone for testing.  On the other hand what if the rumors were true and one week from now that damn phone finally comes in on Verizon and I've just threw $299 down the drain on a phone that I can't activate because it's on AT&T. 

On to my point.  Microsoft did say June, but all the shitty factless news coverage kept bringing me hope that I wouldn't have to waste money on an unlocked phone.  That just maybe, just maybe, I'd have a phone I could use on Verizon.  I guess I share some fault here because I gambled.  I just wish someone at Verizon or Microsoft would have spoke up to squash the rumor mill.

Sigh, I'm just another person ranting though and anxiously waiting...
On a good note, at least I have extra time to polish my apps as I wait.

If you're interested in hearing the voice of many on this matter, follow this link

To keep continuity, I like others, have posted this without any research or facts to back me up.  Really I should hate myself for adding to the mindless cloud of WP7 coverage.  I do and will probably drown my sorrow away tonight.