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Brink hands-on: Slick shooting meets Mirror’s Edge… with added Hannibal Lecter masks and mohawks

A string vest-sporting, Joker wannabe with green dreadlocks and sandals, you say? No problem

For most games, customisation means fitting your stoic space marine with a different coloured helmet or slightly shinier shin pads. Not so in Brink. Points can be blown on a variety of headwear, masks, facial features, clothes and accessories. Couple this with the game’s three different body types (Medium, Agile and Heavy) – which effect both how quickly you move and how many heavy guns you can carry – and you can design dozens of radically different freaks.

Above: We may have Photoshopped thedude on the right, but its fairly easy to recreate someonesimilarlyscary with Brink's custom character creator

It’s not just your character that can be customised to your liking, though. It’s also possible to modify your firearms within an inch of their homicidal life. Even more in-depth than the amazing system in Metal Gear Solid 4, you can spend your points adding loads of different scopes, silencers and muzzles to your implement of death.

Above: Oh, and you can totally give your gun a Doom lick of paint

Pity the core shooting isn%26rsquo;t as impressive

Colour us Buzz Killington the Third, for ending things on a bit of a downer, but currently Brink’s combat feels slightly weedy and insubstantial. Right now, the core shooting isn’t quite on a par with the big hitters of the genre. Technically, there’s really nothing wrong with the action. Guns just don’t pack the impact of a Killzone. This is partly understandable, considering Splash Damage is trying to maintain a breakneck pace throughout. But that doesn’t excuse the factBrink's vast array of automatic rifles and pistols all feel fairly samey.

Lets not bow out with a manic depressive frown, though. Because what Brink does well (namely fast-paced, exciting tactical shooting and the brilliant SMART system); it does really sodding well. The factit also packs the weight of a single-player experience into multiplayer games – thanks to its story – should also be commended. Stupidly long fingers crossed Splash Damage can iron out the game’s few problems before the game launches in mid March.

Feb 28, 2011