A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Teamwork between players is paramount should they have any hope of success. However, the morally gray narrative makes it difficult to determine which -- if, indeed, either -- side of the conflict is fighting for a righteous cause. Plus, the game glamorizes and sensationalizes combat.
Positive Role Models
Your customizable characters are simply mute avatars. However, other personalities in the game occasionally attempt to justify the violence in which they engage. All of the characters use violence as their sole means of resolving conflicts.
Ease of Play
Standard first-person shooter controls let genre veterans hit the ground running. A 20-minute tutorial video at the game's outset walks rookies through the basics. Difficulty settings exist, but when playing online the level of challenge depends almost entirely on the skill of your human allies and opponents. You can choose whether you want to play with people ranked higher than you.
Violence & Scariness
Players shoot opposing human characters with a variety of weapons including rifles, handguns, and emplaced turrets. Small amounts of blood are depicted with each hit, and combatants often cry out in pain. Prone, wounded soldiers waiting for help can be fired upon.
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Spoken dialogue includes infrequent profanity, including the words "hell," "bastard," and "s--t."
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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.
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.