Common Sense Media says

Online first-person shooter has some blood, mild profanity.





What parents need to know

Positive messages

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.


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.

Not applicable

Spoken dialogue includes infrequent profanity, including the words “hell,” “bastard,” and “s--t.”

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

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.

Parents say

Kids say

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?

Game details

Platforms:PlayStation 3, Windows, Xbox 360
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Bethesda Softworks
Release date:May 10, 2011
Genre:First Person Shooter
ESRB rating:T for Blood, Language, Violence (PlayStation 3, Windows, Xbox 360)

This review of Brink was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Adult Written bySuper Hero Movie Fan May 31, 2011

good but dont buy it.

a bit violent with good role modles and bad ones.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Parent of a 5 year old Written bypud9bri May 18, 2011

A solid shooter that good for kids 11+

A decent shooter game that actually isn't rated M for mature. Most worthwhile (gameplay-wise) shooting games are too graphic or explicit for anyone under 17. This one is actually pretty good, and it's suitable for pre-teens (ages 11+). Has a slight learning curve to the game, but is fun once you get the hang of it.
Kid, 11 years old May 15, 2011

Learning from the Past, but highly fun and addictive

Brink is really fun and addictive it has nice graphics and involves teamwork. The game does actually copies some of my favorite games like Quake and Team Fortress. The violence is okay its not COD style violence but it is a bit bloody. Alo one of the best things about Brink is that you can make your Character Jump, Run, Slide and corner enemies while shooting and thats REALLY fun to do. Brink is a nice shooter that is worth trying out.


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