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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RAGE Graffiti Contest & Sweeps Announced!!

We’re excited to announce our RAGE Graffiti Contest and Sweepstakes on the official Facebook page for RAGE. Inspired by the graffiti found in the game, one lucky winner’s graffiti design will make it into the final versions of RAGE. In addition to bragging rights, this winner will also win a free trip to QuakeCon 2011, taking place August 4 – 7 in Dallas, Texas, and a brand new iPad.

The artistically challenged can also enter the sweepstakes where the winner will also win a trip to QuakeCon 2011 and an iPad.

Folks can enter both the contest and sweeps between now and May 31st at 11:59 PM EST. You must be 18 and up and living within the Continental US to enter. For more details, including the full rules, visit RAGE’s Facebook page.

New Hunted Video — Call of the Forge

Hunted is just over a month away and to help get you ready, we’re releasing several behind-the-scenes videos. In the first video, Call of the Forge, the developers discuss the world of Hunted and the secrets the Demon’s Forge hold

Stay tuned for new videos, and be sure to catch up on the recent press coverage highlighting Crucible — the game’s level editor.

European community tournament for Brink announced!

Wanted to share details on this awesome opportunity for Brink fans in Europe.

Put together by our colleagues in our London office, between May 4th and May 6th, they’ll be running a community tournament at Splash Damage HQ — pairing gaming journalists with members of their respective online communities. Together they’ll form four-person teams (one journalist, three community members) competing against other community teams in Brink’s Stopwatch mode.

To find out how you can get involved (including rules), check out the sites participating:

The winners of the event will receive either an Xbox 360 or a PlayStation 3, plus a copy of Brink.

What we’re playing

While it’s been awhile since the last time we did one of these, I can assure that we not only love playing making games, we still use up our free time playing them. With a slew of awesome games now available (including Crysis 2, Total War: Shogun 2, and Marvel vs. Capcom 3), not to mention a new system (Nintendo 3DS), we’ve got plenty to keep us busy before and after work.

This week’s featured game is Superbrothers: Sword and Sworcery EP (iPad) — currently being played by Harvey Smith (Arkane) and Michael Musick (id).

Below you’ll find all the games we’re playing this week that aren’t Portal 2 (it’s almost here!). Let us know the games you’re playing and what you think we’re missing out on.

Harvey Smith: I’m playing Superbrothers: Sword and Sworcery EP (shown above), which is by far the best adventure game I’ve played in many years. It has a sense of wonder and mystery that most games lack, delivered in parts by the minimal storytelling, by the very analogue touch gameplay controls and even activation UI, and by the distinct (and unusual personality) of the setting and fiction.

Shinji Mikami: F1 2010.

Matt Hooper @id_Hooper: Crysis 2, Torchlight, Dead Space 2, and Bullet Storm.

Cory Dornbusch: Total War: Shogun 2 and Team Fortress 2.

Aaron Mitschelen: Rift. Also playing  Disgaea 4 in Japanese.

Mark Lampert: Unreal World.

Frank Matzke: Super Street Fighter IV (3DS) and  Crysis 2. Continue reading full article ›