is a First-Person Shooter
developed by Splash Damage
, creators of the Enemy Territory
series. It is published by Bethesda Softworks
and was released in May of 2011.Twenty Minutes into the Future
, a green initiative to create a self-contained, self-sustaining city results in The Ark
, a shining white utopia
located somewhere out to sea to hide it from unscrupulous parties.
It originally housed about 5000 civilians, workers, security forces, etc. Fast forward to 2025. The sea levels have risen, displacing millions of people all over the world.
Some of these people decide to get on boats and set out in search of the Ark. Most never reach their destination, but a lucky few (about 45,000) manage to find the Ark. Our Aquatic Arcology
is now dangerously overpopulated, cut off from the outside world and its once-sustainable resources are now quickly dwindling. Enter The Resistance,
angry refugees who believe that the Founders are hoarding resources and not doing enough to improve living conditions and reestablish contact with the outside world. Enter also The Security,
the Ark's police force, who have been forced to crack down in an effort to maintain order and preserve the Ark. Both sides are now on the Brink
of total war.
The folks at Splash Damage promise a bold new fusion of single player, Cooperative
play, where your character will move from one to the next seamlessly. You will earn Experience Points
for whatever you do no matter who you're playing with, and earn new items for Character Customization
. You will also be able to move through the environment Le Parkour
-style using a context-sensitive, one-touch interface that allows you to jump, vault, slide and wall run all over the place.
Poor AI, bad coding and gameplay elements combined to kill the title on initial reviews and early after release with the end result being a critical and commercial failure that didn't last for very long as a viable multiplayer game, with a competitive scene that was dead on arrival.
Brink provides examples of:
- Absurdly Low Level Cap: The level cap of twenty (twenty-four with the free DLC) can be achieved within a relatively short amount of time compared to other games of this type
- A Father to His Men: Captain Mokoena to the security.
- After the End: As far as anyone Security, the Ark is the last site of civilization left. Mainly because the people presently living on the British Isles are brutal savages.
- And Your Reward Is Clothes: And hairstyles.
- Apocalyptic Log: The audio logs.
- A.K.A.-47: Several guns come off as this-the Drognav (Dragunov), Gotlung machinegun, and every pistol except the revolver.
- Armchair Military: The founders come off as woefully ignorant not only of the realities facing both sides of the conflict.
- Artificial Stupidity: Because of how the game is set up, toggling the difficulty to "easy" will cause your team members to behave just as stupid as the enemy, since it affects "computer controlled" characters. The main difference, though, is that you're usually on the attacking side, where there are multiple paths to a single objective, but just one main objective at a time. So while your team is running around in circles broken into three or four different squads running between secondary objectives, the enemy will have all of its troops stacked on the one thing you need to destroy/hack/repair/whatever, destroying you and your troops piecemeal. This has the side effect of making the defensive missions a cake walk, though.
- Ascetic Aesthetic: This was the Founders' design philosophy. It can still be seen in the original areas. This is not the case for the sprawling Guest areas.
- A-Team Firing: In most missions, a loss by the attacking team will show a cutscene of them falling back under heavy fire... without a single casualty taken on either side.
- Beleaguered Bureaucrat: Poor AWU General Secretary Joe Chen. The Founders simply ignore reason, and he has to deal with the mess.
- Boom Town: The guest slums would be this, but there's just not enough supplies to go around. What hasn't stagnated is literally sliding into the sea.
- Bomb Disposal: A key task of The Engineer is defusing demolition charges planted by enemy Soldiers, as well as mines planted by enemy Engineers. Also, a bomb disposal suit is one of the heaviest-looking outfits available to Security, aptly named The Bomb.
- The Cameo: Many of the introductory cut-scenes show the player's own character in the background or playing a minor role, never speaking.
- Character Class System: Your character can be one of four classes, and you can switch at any time from special stations that also let you switch weapons and such. The classes are The Soldier, The Engineer, The Medic and The Operative. There are also special abilities, some unique to each class and some general.
- Character Customization: Provides a slight subversion to the above trope. You'll also be able to tweak your character, not just his class, any time you want. Options include different tops, bottoms, face and head gear for the two factions, but you can also change core features like your face and body type. This is because your body type is actually a gameplay thing- The Big Guy can use big guns and take a lot of hits, but the Fragile Speedster has the most freedom of movement and Le Parkour ability. There is of course, a middleweight type if you prefer a balanced approach.
- The City Narrows: As far as the Founders are concerned, the whole of the Guest-built areas are this. True, it sure doesn't look like much. But that's what happens when boatloads of refugees have to build their own houses.
- City on the Water: The Ark.
- The Conscience: Each side seems to have exactly one member waging a valiant struggle to keep the rest of his side from Jumping Off the Slippery Slope. Those two guys really have their work cut out for them.
- Cool Mask / Faceless Goons: Both sides have a lot of optional gear that covers your face. The Security have gas masks, balaclavas and such, while The Resistance have bandanas, hockey masks and the like.
- The Cracker: The Operative class is able to hack enemy objectives and turrets.
- Crazy-Prepared: The Operative. One of his abilities is the Cortex Bomb, which is an explosive device implanted in his head, which he detonates when an enemy is about to execute him, allowing him to have the last laugh.
- Crystal Spires and Togas: Well, the crystal spires, anyway. The original Ark setup was a white, squeaky clean Shining City made of genetically engineered coral. By the time the game takes place its become somewhat dungy and unkempt- but that's nothing compared to the sprawling network of slums built of out of shipping containers that lie to the south of it. The whole look was said to be basically the "towers of Dubai VS. The favelas of Brazil"
- Curb-Stomp Battle: The infamous Container City map has the greatest potential for this, at least at the very earliest state.
- Custom Uniform: Standard procedure for The Security. This includes everything from a regular button-down police shirt to full-on riot gear and a Bad Ass military jacket.
- Cutscene Power to the Max: There are a couple instances, but for the most part this is averted. The picture caption above is also somewhat inaccurate. You CAN shoot while running around on walls and doing complex maneuvers, but because of how the SMART system works, it is very difficult to do it effectively.
- Demolitions Expert: The soldier focuses on the Stuff Blowing Up aspect of this trope, deploying HE charges and utilising grenades and satchel charges in combat. The engineer focuses on the Bomb Disposal aspect, though he can also plant landmines.
- Dreadlock Rasta: Many Resistance characters are seen sporting dreads. It makes sense, given that a sizable portion of the Ark's population is black and the Resistance are rebellious anti-government types. You won't see any Security types (played by bots) with this hairstyle. The white Resistance members usually have shaved heads or some kind of punk-rock hairdo.
- The members of Security can have dreads, but they have to have them in a ponytail or under a baseball cap.
- EMP: Operatives have access to EMP grenades, allowing them to disable enemy turrets.
- Escort Mission: Both teams have missions where the objective is to escort a hostage or a UGV. This is also one of the challenge paths.
- Experience Points: Earned for kills and objectives and used to gain perks and earn new clothes.
- Fingerless Gloves: You better hope you think they're badass, 'cause you're gonna be wearing a pair.
- Foreshadowing: "First protests, then violence, now kidnapping, what's next?" It involves a missile.
- Fragile Speedster: The light body-type, oh so much.
- Freudian Excuse: Apparently Chen's contempt for the forces behind the Ark stems from the fact that when he and his brother were helping construct it, said brother got buried alive in the concrete-like Arkoral.
- Fun with Acronyms: SMART: Smooth Movement Across Random Terrain. It's what the developers call your ability to interact with the level architecture in cool ways using only the sprint button.
- Gaia's Vengeance: How the Ark became one of the only habitable places on Earth.
- Gas Mask Mooks: If you're on the Resistance side then Security may have them if they use "The Bouncer", "The Shield" or "The Unit" head parts. (Though "The Unit" subverts it slightly by having the face still clearly visible.
- The Resistance themselves can become Gas Mask Mooks if you shove a "The Firestarter" mask on them.
- Gatling Good: One of the weapons unlocked for doing the two star Tower Defence challenge, also one of the Engineer's turret options.
- Good Hair, Evil Hair: Though in this case the good and evil parts don't really count. The Security tend to have official-looking short haircuts of the kind you always see cops and soldiers sporting. The Resistance have just about everything else, from mohawks to dreadlocks. Shaved heads go either way.
- Gun Porn: A huge variety of Standard FPS Guns are available, of which many features- barrels, sights, etc- can be changed, tweaked.
- Gray and Grey Morality: The developers went out of their way to make both sides seem sympathetic. The Security are trying to conserve resources and their home, The Resistance are trying to improve their lot in life and escape from it. They wanted to avert both La Résistance vs. The Empire and Hero Cops vs. Evil Terrorists.
- An example from a developer interview—one map, played as Security, involves eliminating a Resistance biological weapons lab. The same map, played as Resistance, has an objective of defending a vaccine manufacturing area. The developer was quoted as wanting players to make the connection that vaccines are developed from viruses. Complicating the issue is that both sides appear to be operating under limited or false information.
- Which is highlighted with neon-green paint in the final What-If mission in the Resistance's campaign, where they destroy a vital component of The Ark's function, fatally irradiating the whole thing, and are then berated by their leader, Chen, for not realizing that he was only bluffing.
- Or when the Resistance's goal is to leave the Ark to reintegrate with the outside world (crippling the Ark's ability to remain functional in the process) when Security already thinks that the world has become a horrid Mad Max wasteland, and the men they sent to discover this were all slaughtered, when in fact there are peaceful civilizations out there, they just don't know about it.
- Perhaps the clearest example of this is the briefing and opening cinematics for the mission where the resistance plans to launch a missile into Founders Tower. Chen informs the resistance that the tower is empty and it is merely a symbolic blow. Mokoena tells his men that the tower is in fact occupied and that a strike on it would kill thousands of people; one of the security officers mentions that if it were to be destroyed, it would take a dozen other pelgos with it, presumably from falling debris. It's unknown who was telling the truth
- In the "Agents of Change" DLC, Chen tries to blow up the tower the old-fashioned way, with actual explosives. He tells the Resistance rank-and-file that the explosives are "fireworks" to form an ad-hoc lighthouse to signal the outside world. This would presumably cause devastation comparable with the missile strike.
- Portrayed visually when playing as each side in the single-player campaign. When playing as Security, the Resistance includes guys with evil clown masks and spiky shoulderpads. When playing as the Resistance, the Security includes guys wearing ridiculously-flashy outfits and football gear.
- Hanlon's Razor: Chen seems to have forgotten this when dealing with the founders...
- Healing Shiv: High-level medics can use a Lazarus Grenade which deploys life syringes to injured teammates in its radius.
- I Lied: A rare positive example. In the Non-canon ending for the Resistance, Chen was bluffing when he said that if the Guests weren't allowed to leave, he'd blow up the Ark's reactor. Unfortunately the rest of the Resistance doesn't know about this, and blow up the reactor, condemning everyone on the Ark to death by radiation.
- I'm a Humanitarian: It's heavily implied (through loading screen flavor text and some audio logs) that human corpses and "biological waste" are reprocessed into food.
- Infinite Supplies: You have a Supply Meter which governs how often you can use abilities, whether class-specific (healing, detpacks, repairs etc.) or general. You have limited uses at any one time but the meter continually regenerates. More to the point of the trope, as long as there's an alert Soldier around resupplying you, you won't run out of ammo.
- Each ability has its own cooldown meter. Interestingly, grenade use has one as well. Barring said cooldown (of varying length depending on the type of grenade), you have infinite grenades.
- In the Hood: The Resistance "The Anger" jacket.
- Jack of All Stats: The Kalt Pistol, The Kross Submachine Guns and The Gerund Assault Rifles, as well as Medium Builds.
- Kick Them While They Are Down: Players who lose all their health are initially only incapacitated. It takes a lot of damage, but you can finish off a down opponent from afar, or finish them in one hit with a melee attack. Opponents hit by molotovs or melee attacks can also be executed in this way, but be careful- stunned opponents can still shoot back.
- Or worse - if it's an Operative, they might have a Cortex Bomb that explodes if you try to finish them off.
- Medics can revive themselves when downed after taking a certain perk.
- The last set of abilities you can purchase at Rank 5 includes a Last Stand perk. Although anyone who takes this perk is significantly easier to kill when incapacitated, they are able to continue fighting with their secondary weapon after a few seconds.
- Kill and Replace: This is The Operative's method of disguise. A cursory scan of a fallen enemy using his PDA enables him to disguise as that enemy.
- Land Mine Goes Click: Mines can be planted by The Engineer. They are invisible at first, and are revealed if stepped on. However, they do not detonate until stepped off of, so a careful player can save themselves by waiting for a friendly Engineer to disable it. Operatives can always see concealed mines and can "mark" them simply by iron sight aiming at them for a few seconds, revealing them to friendly sight and radar.
- Lantern Jaw of Justice: Due the exaggerated art style, the huskier characters often exhibit this.
- Le Parkour: All the player characters can do this, although how much you can do depends on your character's body type. Where you look and where you are affects what you do. For example, say there's a ledge you want to get to, with another wall standing perpendicular to it. Run at it with the SMART button and you'll hop off the near wall and grab onto the ledge.
- To wit, heavies can only vault, middleweights can vault and mantle, and lightweights can vault, mantle and wall-hop.
- You can also use the jump and duck buttons, which is harder to master but gives you more control and actually performs moves faster.
- Limited Wardrobe: Averted; the characters in the cut scenes are shown to change clothes and hair styles over the course of days, often appropriate for the situation(a man being called for a resistance mission unexpectedly is dressed in his work uniform). One of the What if? missions, that assume you failed an earlier one, show a resistance member to have lost an eye in the failed mission.
- Magic Tool: Engineers, Medics and Operatives all have one tool they use in all of their class-specific activities
- Molotov Cocktail: Special weapon for Soldiers
- Monster Clown: Face paint for the resistance.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Both the Resistance canon and non-canon endings. In the former, they succeed in getting off the Ark via plane, but we find out from the Security version of the mission that the rest of the world is a Crapsack World even worse than the Ark, and the Founders don't want to make contact with them, assuming they'll come for the Ark's Lost Technology. They may be right. Later changed when we find out there was civilized life outside of the ark in the Agents of Change DLC. In the non-canon version, Chen threatens to destroy the Ark's main reactor if the Guests aren't allowed to leave, which would kill everyone. The Resistance does, then we hear Chen tell his second-in-command he was bluffing as it goes critical.
- Godzilla Threshold: In the resistance canon ending, this is crossed; Sure, people beyond the Ark may well be hostile savages, but the sad fact of the matter is that the Ark is dying; the arkoral has gone sterile and the Ark is slowly crumbling out from beneath them, and the Guest slums are not so slowly rusting away. Ironically, Chen and the resistance don't know that they're crossing this line because they don't know about the hostiles in the outside world, and more so, the resistance members themselves don't know that the line needs to be crossed as Chen hasn't told anyone - Founder or Guest - about the problem with the arkoral.
- No Blood for Phlebotinum: In this case, the war is over the basic human necessities of water, food and living space.
- No Name Given: The three resistance fighters and security officers in the cut scenes. Their bots do have names in game play, but these are randomized and subject to change.
- No Place for Me There: Chen believes should the resistance's plans to escape the Ark work, he should give up his seat on the plane to someone younger, someone without blood on their hands. In the end, he does stay behind, and the war with security continues over the ark's marketable resources
- Obstructive Bureaucrat: The Founders, much to the consternation of both the Security and the Resistance.
- Obvious Beta: The PC Version, at least. Numerous startup bugs, random crashes to desktop, sound card issues, etc.
- This seems to hold true for the 360 version, at least in regard to the online. As of this writing (day after the release), the online multiplayer is so plagued by lag that it renders the game almost completely unplayable, even with a fantastic internet connection.
- It's now been updated to fix most, if not all of the lag problems, at least on the 360 version.
- One-Hit Kill: Intentionally averted by the developers - no single weapon is capable of killing a player outright with one shot, not even sniper rifles or grenades.
- The Password Is Always Swordfish: In a cutscene from the Agents of Change DLC.
- Pistol-Whipping: When using a rifle or other two-handed weapon, you'll hit them with the butt, stunning them, when you use a melee attack. Using a pistol gives you a knife attack which deals more damage but does not stun opponents.
- Poor Communication Kills: Chen refuses to tell the Founders Council that the arkoral is going sterile and dying and that the Ark is literally crumbling beneath them, all because he fears he'll be used as The Scapegoat and nothing will change. Had he shared this information, the Founders may well have been motivated into action and decided to risk contacting the outside world.
- Primal Stance: A lot of the characters stand slightly hunched, but the heavy body type is especially guilty of this.
- Psycho for Hire: Its suggested that several resistance fighters are either this or believed to be this by both Security and the resistance leaders. Joe Chen regrets the need for "men of violence" to accomplish what needs to be done, but considers it necessary.
- Not that security are immune to this; Mokoena worries about taking men like this into the security forces. Like Chen, he tolerates them as long as the Ark is in a state of open warfare, but promises himself that they'll all be purged from the ranks as soon as hostilities cease.
- Punch Clock Hero: Most of the Security are just regular cops. Some of those just signed on for the extra water ration. Time to fight a war!
- The Quiet One: Your character appears in several cutscences, but always off and away from the group, not partaking in any conversation.
- Rag Tag Bunch Of Misfits: The Resistance, of course. They armor themselves with whatever they can find, from sports armor to industrial gear to car tires. The Security also exhibit elements of this, a good chunk of them are ordinary beat cops wearing a mixture of newer sports gear and various types of real armor.
- Real Is Brown: The developers are also trying to avert this. One of their stated goals is to bring color back into shooters. There is a bright and varied color palette for environments, characters and even the guns. For example, Container City is filled with bright, multicolored shipping containers.
- Regenerating Health: You can regenerate your health, but once you've lost the bonus health from a medic's buff, you've lost it for good.
- Romanticism Versus Enlightenment: The security guards are enlightened, all wearing uniforms and defending the established government with a military style or order. The resistance is more lax, with everyone wearing whatever with informal interactions and opposes what they view as an oppressive government. Did I mention that both sides believe they are right?
- Sanity Slippage: Chen seems to be losing it a little, getting increasingly paranoid and power-mad.
- Scars Are Forever: Once you pick scars or tattoos, you cannot change your selection. Makes sense, really.
- Sentry Gun: The Engineer class will be able to deploy these. Indestructible ones protect each team's spawn area.
- Sequel Hook: The scouting mission you were sent on, and Barbara Elmhurst's last diary.
Elmhurst: "What's this? 'Demolish the house and build a boat. Abandon wealth and seek survival. Spurn property, save life. Take on board all living things' seed.' Who wrote this?"
- Your guess is as good as mine. Is it a mass exodus of extremists? An invasion from the mainland? A colonization effort? The birth of radicals even by Chen's standards? Or every one expcept for the one about the invasion? Your guess is as good as mine.
- Shining City: At its inception, The Ark was this. Though it has fallen into a state of minor disrepair, its shiny origins can still be seen, most clearly in that big central tower. The arrival of the Guests and their building up of sprawling slums around the central Ark proper has turned it into a decaying Mega City.
- Shout-Out: Several, contained in the pre-order bonus outfits, to Fallout 3 and Doom 3.
- Slobs Versus Snobs: Guests versus Founders, if you want to boil it down.
- Standard FPS Guns: Pistols, magnums, machine pistols, submachine guns, assault rifles, shotguns, sniper rifles, machine guns gatling guns, grenade launchers... This game doesn't skimp on firepower. Most of the above can be customized with different parts.
- Spider-Sense: One of the aforementioned skills is the ability to know when an enemy has you in his sights.
- Spiritual Successor: To the Enemy Territory "series".
- Status Buff: The Medic can restore lost health bar sections and add one extra when he uses his healing tool, while The Engineer can buff weapon damage. Certain command posts provide team-wide buffs (like extra health or supply bars) when captured.
- Engineers and Operatives are able to buff the command posts - the Engineer's buff causes the post to give an extra bar of health or supplies, while the Operative's buff makes the post take longer for the other team to hack into.
- Stuff Blowing Up: Looks like there will be plenty. This happens to be the specialty of The Soldier, who gets to use molotovs and demolition packs.
- Taking You with Me: Downed Fire and Cortex Bomb can both by used by a downed player to take revenge on whoever attacked them.
- Tower Defense: One of the challenge paths, although it can be done without actually having the turret ability.
- Unreliable Narrator: You're never quite sure which side is giving correct information.
- Example: One of the resistance's biggest motives for wanting to escape the ark is a plague ravaging the slums. A security officer mentions that it's really just the latest strain of flu. A resistance fighter even questions why the founders would hesitate to look for outside help since the sickness threatens their children as well, but another, more extreme rebel counters that it doesn't threaten them as they live in much better conditions with more medical supplies to spare. It's unclear whether Chen's lying about the whole thing to rile up the guests, or the founders have been lied to about the nature of the sickness. Another Security fighter is seen in the opening cutscene wondering why Nechayev was in the infirmary, which Chen claims to be because he was tortured. Given how slowly Nechayev moves, it seems quite likely.
- Used Future: The Founder's vision for a new utopia has faded as of late.
- Viral Marketing: the Italian Playstation Store used to have a bug back in Summer 2010, in that the download link for the Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep trailer redirected to a Brink icon. This was fixed just a few weeks before the release of the former. Some have since suspected this to be more than a coincidence.
- Walking Shirtless Scene: Possible look for the Resistance members.
- What the Hell, Hero?/What Were You Thinking?: Chen's reaction to the aftermath of the What-If mission where his forces take matters into their own hands and destroy the Ark's reactor.
Chen: I said THREATEN to do it - not ACTUALLY do it!
- Your Terrorists Are Our Freedom Fighters