On the Brink, Part 2: Togs of War

David Hodgson returns today with part 2 of his “On the Brink” series that previews Prima’s Official Game Guide for Brink.

Customization is a massive and constantly-evolving part of Brink; your character is continuously changing in terms of appearance, abilities, and the types of weapons utilized in the struggle for the Ark. The Official Brink Guide furnishes you with these details too, and in this blog post, we reveal some of the nattiest gear, best abilities, and finest character builds you’ll find in the guide. The character you choose to play as can flip between factions at the touch of a button (literally; it’s the Y one on the Xbox 360). This means you’re creating two different variations of the same sinewy killing machine; and many of the accouterments you can plaster all over your fighter showcase the different looks for each faction: The Resistance goes for a tattered, post-apocalyptic look while the Security sports the latest in police special-forces wear and scary facial gear. As your career in the game progresses, more and more shirts, jackets, pants, head gear (and let’s not forget facial hair and scars) are unlocked enabling you to create some incredibly “cool dudes”, or incredibly horrific “style atrocities”.

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On the Brink, Pt.1: Campaign and Freeplay Overview

Heeeee’s back. David Hodgson, the man behind the Fallout 3 and New Vegas strategy guides, is now on the Brink. Over the last few months, he’s locked himself in a room — with only a copy of Brink and a red phone that dials directly into Splash Damage HQ. The result is a pretty spectacular game guide from Prima that comes out on launch day.

Below David details the guide’s coverage for the game’s Campaign and Freeplay modes. Head back on Monday and Tuesday for more details on the guide.

Take it away, David.

Campaign and Freeplay Overview

For the past seven weeks, I’ve been lucky enough to work with the legendary first-person shooter stalwarts over at Splash Damage with a single purpose in mind: The creation of the most tactically beneficial guide to Brink. This involved copious Campaign sessions, romping around every nook and cranny of each map, and figuring out optimal routes, sniping spots, and which augmented firearm caused the most mess. There was even time to outfit my Resistance freedom-fighter/Security police veteran with a variety of pleasing jackets, grotesque facial scars, and ludicrous beards. But that’s for the second and third blog posts. For now, let’s take a look at what’s in store for those seeking knowledge of the Campaign and Freeplay sections of the official guide.

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Brink Community Q&A, Part 1: Stats Site and more!

Today we’ve got the first round of answers to your questions for Brink’s game director, Paul Wedgwood. Learn more about our upcoming stats site, gameplay specifics, Linux support, and more.

Without further ado, here’s Paul…

Will you show people their rank and status online like Bungie has done with Bungie.net?  – Vapor Chaos

We’re currently working on a stats website for Brink where you’ll be able to see your progress through the game along with a whole bunch of statistics, including abilities, weapons, and even SMART moves. It’ll also display summaries of your most recent matches and even show the overall status the on-going civil war raging on the Ark. We’re very much looking forward to launching the site and think you’ll really enjoy exploring it.

More on that soon!

How well is BRINK prepared for the competitive eSport scene? — Trivve

Splash Damage has a long history of supporting competitive players, starting all the way back with Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory – that game is still being played competitively to this day, eight years after its release. We’ve also got a fair few guys here at Splash Damage hailing from the clan scene, including myself!

As with our previous games, Brink features the competition-friendly Stopwatch game mode. If you haven’t heard of it before, it’s pretty straightforward. Both teams take it in turns to play on the attack and the one that manages to set the faster time wins. If neither team manages to play through the whole map within the timelimit, Brink will first check which team managed to make more progress, and if that’s tied too, the team with the most XP wins.

We’ve also made sure that our maps scale down to 5 on 5, since we know that smaller team sizes are very important for clan matches. We even have a special matchmaking playlist right in the console versions of game that’s set up for these smaller team sizes. This playlist also turns on friendly fire and voice chat, while switching off things like Command Post buffs, bots, and overtime for the rawest competitive experience possible. On the PC, you’ve got dedicated servers of course, so all of these settings are at your disposal as well.

Of course, all of that doesn’t even take into account Brink’s unique, objective-driven gameplay that’s all about working together as a coordinated team. We just had a big community tournament here at the Splash Damage offices, and the variety of tactics being used there was a huge amount of fun to watch. We can’t wait to see all the crazy things people come up with once the game is released and people are really diving into it!

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Brink by Numbers

When you get your hands on Brink next week, you’ll see it offers tons of variety. But exactly how much? Recently our Brink statisticians did some crunching and came up to some crazy numbers that reach into the quadrillions.

  • Voice Packs: 8
  • Number of ways to die: 45
  • Individual weapon sounds: 4,500
  • Lines of Dialogue: 26,000
  • Minutes of Music: 60
  • Weapon attachment combinations (not counting for Resistance variations or pre-order content): 4,963
  • Unique Security Characters (not counting minor tint variations or body types): 4,530,240
  • Unique Security Characters (not counting minor tint variations but including body types):13,590,720
  • Unique Security Characters (including minor tint variations, but not body types)15,775,119,360,000,000
  • Unique Security Characters (including minor tint variations and body types) 47,325,358,080,000,000
  • Unique Resistance Characters (not counting minor tint variations or body types): 4,530,240
  • Unique Resistance Characters (not counting minor tint variations but including body types):13,590,720
  • Unique Resistance Characters (including minor tint variations, but not body types): 18,307,441,152,000,000
  • Unique Resistance Characters (including minor tint variations and body types): 54,922,323,456,000,000
  • Total Unique Characters (including minor tint variations and body types): 102,247,681,536,000,000

Get SMART Series: The Battlefield

Today we conclude our Get SMART Series with a video providing strategies to survive Brink’s battlefield. Learn more about effectively using command posts, turrets, mines and more.

Whether you’re siding with Security or Resistance, the six Get SMART videos will better prepare you for Brink’s release next week. In case you need a recap, here’s the previous five videos.

Weekend Update: Brink

In the previous update that just went up, you might have noticed one game missing… BRINK!

With just over a week until its release, GamersPortal.com is having a community roundtable for the game tomorrow at 7 PM EST. Visit their blog for more details.

Beyond that, get the latest on Brink at these sites:

  • USA Today – “Five Things You Didn’t Know About Brink”
  • GamaSutra – “A Missive From the End of Genre: How Brink Works”
  • VGRevolution – interview with Splash Damage Community Relations Manager Steve ‘badman” Hessel
  • Edge – Audio Director Chris Sweetman sounds off on game audio
  • Machinima – interview with Paul Wedgwood from our PAX East event
  • IGN – interview with Chris Sweetman
  • PS3 Trophies (or Xbox 360 Achievements) – interview with Lead Designer Neil Alphonso

Catch additional preview coverage at JoystiqRock, Paper, ShotgunUFREPlayer Affinity, and Games Xtreme.