When it comes to quantifying “anticipation” – which is the remit of this Top 100 – new IPs naturally get an inherent bump up the pecking order. We pretty much know what we’re going to get in Gears of War 3 and Dragon Age 2. Sure, there’ll be updates, advances in technology and newfangled bells and whistles to play with, but in terms of raw expectation, nothing beats a completely fresh and beguiling experience like the promise of a new IP.
Splash Damage’s Brink has all the hallmarks of becoming a lasting franchise for the London based studio. Through numerous developer diaries and our almost rapacious consumption of any new details about the game, we know Brink is set in a bleak future on a drowned Earth. Not that things were always languishing in deprivation, the scene of the game, a floating haven name The Ark, envisioned as a utopia; a paragon of efficiency and ecological balance. Unfortunately The Ark was only ever designed to support a population of 5,000, and when the yahoos got wind of its existence and ballooned that count up to 50,000, the pinnacle of societal structure crumbled into total anarchy we all know and love.
Two warring factions now roam The Ark; the Resistance – descendants of the riffraff who managed to locate the secret metropolis, availing of the safety it provided from rising sea-levels, and “Security” – scions of The Ark’s first police force, charged with keeping order in what was once a lawful city.
Visually the game is beautiful, the avatar creation process almost rivaling that of what some now see as the benchmark in the industry – the ill-fated APB. You can conjure up colourful and flamboyant characters on a whim, setting the car-tyre wearing freakazoids loose in a dystopian world to play, fight and generally make a nuisance of themselves to the opposing faction.
What also has our interest piqued here at TheSixthAxis is Splash Damage’s proprietary and novel SMART system. Somewhat linguistically wrestled into submission to mean “Smooth Movement Across Random Terrain”, the game’s lauded navigation mechanic is like Mirror’s Edge times a thousand. Using the environment as a launch-pad/playground, characters can vault, slide, skid and lob around the place like a hopped up Spider-Man.
The game features four classes: the Soldier (grunt), the Medic (doc), the Engineer (tech) and the Operative (hacker).
As we rush toward our top 20 most anticipated games of 2011 we’re starting to enter an arena of games that not only do we have high hopes for, but also titles that we’ll be absolutely gutted if they don’t pan out. We’re quietly confident about Brink, however, and so should you be.