If the gaming industry had something like IMDB, you would see Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory, Enemy Territory: QUAKE Wars, Fable 2, The Sims and the Syphon Filter, just to name a few, under Richard Ham’s bio. Later this year, Richard will add creative director of Brink, a new first person shooter being developed by Splash Damage and set to be released this fall from Bethesda Softworks, to his resume.
What is the background and setting for the game?
Brink is set on the Ark, a massive artificial city floating far out in the Pacific Ocean, built as a prototype for mankind’s “perfect green future.” It’s a complex that should house around 5,000 people, but unfortunately, the ocean levels have risen, and people from all over the globe have come to Ark as refugees, overrunning the place with a population of 50,000. Resources are running out and people are scared, leaving the whole place on the brink of all-out civil war. When the game starts, you choose if you want to fight as a member of Ark Security or the civilian Resistance movement. Each side of the
conflict has their own goals and objectives, and each side thinks they’re “the good guys.”
What are some of the locales gamers will see in the game?
You’ll see a variety of areas of the Ark, some of them run down and falling apart (the slums of Container City, or the abandoned Shipyard for example) while others will still be beautiful beacons of that perfect world the Ark set out to create (such as the now-deserted airport of the Ark or the Resort pelgo).
What are some of the weapons we will see?
We’re looking to have 24 guns in the game, broken into four groups: there are five pistols (including semi-autos, full autos, revolvers), seven “light weapons” (like sub machine guns and sniper rifles), seven “medium” weapons (assault rifles and shotguns), and five “heavy weapons” (think HMGs and grenade launchers). So there’s a wide variety, and the ones you get to use are based on the body type you choose for your character – the bigger your character is, the bigger the guns he can carry.
Will vehicles be used in the game?
There are missions where vehicles have to be escorted, but players will never directly control vehicles themselves. Brink is all about the intensity of up-close-and-personal, in-your-face infantry combat, and vehicles just didn’t fit that vision.
However, what we have added to the game instead is what we call “freedom of movement.” In Brink, you’ll have the ability to scramble all over our levels in ways you’ve never experienced before in a high-action shooter. You can climb up 15’ tall walls, slide under low obstacles to knock enemies down, and do cool wall jumps to reach areas that sometimes even our level designers didn’t realize you could reach. This is all accomplished through a really intuitive control system we call SMART, which stands for Smooth Movement Across Random Terrain. When you hold down the SMART button, you tell the game that it should automatically avoid obstacles by sliding or mantling. This lets you focus completely on the tactical side of our firefights, without having to worry about learning a new control system or timing your jumps or slides correctly in the heat of battle.
What forms of multiplay does the game include and will there be co-op play?
Brink is unique in that the entire game is multiplayer and single player at the same time. Say you’re playing a level by yourself and a friend comes home from work and fires up his copy of Brink. He’ll be able to hop right into your game, seamlessly changing it from a single player to a cooperative experience. Brink supports up to eight players playing cooperatively like that.
Similarly, if you make your game completely public, players can also join it on the side of the opposing team, fighting against you. Of course, from their point of view, they’re playing their version of the story and you’re the enemy.