Monday, February 12, 2024

Cloud Monday - Brink - Part 1 - An Interesting Approach To Single Player Missions

This week's Cloud Monday video is part 1 of playing the PS3 version of Brink via the PlayStation Plus Cloud Streaming Service to my Japanese launch model PlayStation 4. I have previously uploaded the PlayStation 3 XMB game Previews for the Beta to Brink, version 1.00 and version 1.01, but it was so long ago i don't really remember much about the game. i know that it didn't do as great as they expected and i remember there being some complaints at the time, but i don't remember what specifically the main issues with the game were.

It starts well with an interesting intro video detailing the story of the game. it tries to provide both the point of view of both sides as when it finishes it asks you to pick a side to play as. Whilst the following character customisation section was easy to navigate, i wasn't a fan of the character design. i didn't like how at this point, it asks you to customise and at first glance it looks like there are lot's of options, but in reality a lot are locked behind progress. i would've preferred the lock stuff to be separated.

Brink has an interesting approach to the tutorial in that it's a video, longer than i expected. it's very detailed and seems to go over everything. There's bonus XP for watching it. i was just surprised that there was no where to go and practice it. the video is a lot to take in and i honestly forgot a few things as i played.

The online servers for Brink are offline, but it does have a single player mode. i was really interested to see how this would work not just in this game but also as something that's being played in the cloud. some of the best designed games are those with lots of auto saves and manual saves. It soon became apparent that the single player part of the game is built inside the multiplayer. It was never made clear if your progress was being tracked with an auto save, so if Sony does disconnect you from the service you could hop back into where you were, or not. personally, i think that there is no auto save/check pointing and if you're disconnected you'll have to start again from the beginning. 

As the single player mission are timed, the compromise is that you won't loose too much progress other than the mission you're currently playing. But the fact it's being played inside a multiplayer shell also means how it works is kinda interesting. What took me a little time to realise is that i can respawn. i kept on expecting my team mates to heal me but when i understood the respawn mechanic other aspects started to make sense. i had noticed that the enemy was relentless but so where my team mates. but i also noticed that players on both sides were getting killed. now i understood that both sides have a respawn mechanic. A bonus to dying is that you're able to respawn and change your job to suit what's happening. I only tried out the medic, but by the end of the video it was clear that the medics job in this mode isn't that beneficial as the Ai players die so quickly. 

I wouldn't say the Ai players are that smart either. it wasn't too frustrating playing with them, but it certainly was unpredictable. Ultimately, it's great that we're able to still play this game. it looks good, the cinematics were great, but i still don't like the character art styles. aspects of the game feel very modern, so it's possible the game was ahead of it's time, but there are certainly aspects of it's design that feel very much of the PS3 generation. Having the ability to play it on PlayStation Plus in the cloud is a bonus, but it's clear that the game isn't designed well enough for it. Part 2 of playing Brink is will probably be more about experiencing this past game.