What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Brink is an online-focused first-person shooter, but that it's not a military simulation. Characters have a cartoonish appearance, and the action isn’t quite as realistic as in other shooters, such as the Call of Duty games. That said, a small amount of blood is depicted when soldiers take hits and they often cry out in pain. Plus, you can shoot wounded soldiers lying on the ground waiting for help. There is some cussing heard in the game. Parents should also note that this game supports open online play, a feature that Common Sense Media does not recommend for pre-teens.
What's it about?
Set on a floating city in the near future, BRINK imagines a world flooded by an environmental catastrophe with the last remnants of humanity duking it out for supremacy. One side, labeled simply “security,” is trying to maintain the city's status quo, while a second, the resistance, thinks that the floating town’s higher-ups are hoarding resources. Neither side is obviously right or wrong. Players can choose which faction they wish to become a part of as they fight through the campaign, which is played out on the game's expansive multiplayer maps. Missions can be undertaken with computer-controlled bots or human-controlled avatars for allies. Both solo and online games see players actively switching between several classes, including soldiers, medics, operatives, and engineers. Each has their own special abilities and often only one type is capable of completing a given objective.
Is it any good?
Brink brims with good ideas. Players move smoothly through environments, climbing walls and leaping over objects with grace simply by holding down a bumper button. A deep class system forces players to rely on each other to accomplish specific objectives, exchange status bonuses, and even use teamwork to locate and disarm enemy mines. And its graphic novel-like character models are nothing if not memorable.
Unfortunately, it's also hampered by several significant issues. Weapons feel weak and unsatisfying. Default movement speeds are frustratingly slow. Maps are designed to force whole teams through narrow choke points into confined areas, encouraging face-to-face gunfights and discouraging subtle strategies. And while there are dozens of class upgrades, few earned abilities feel as though they confer a significant battlefield advantage. Brink has plenty of potential, but it goes largely unrealized.
Online interaction: Though it can be played offline with computer controlled characters, most players will spend the vast majority of their time online, where they can freely communicate with each other using headsets. Open voice chat means players may be exposed to inappropriate language and topics of conversation, and could potentially share personal information with one another.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about violence in games. Are violent games with a cartoonish look less worrisome than those that strive for graphical realism? How do you determine how much violence is too much when evaluating whether a game is safe for your kids?
Families can also discuss online safety. How do you ensure you remain safe while chatting with strangers?