Splash Damage’s Ed Stern has said the reason the developers have stayed away from a heavily scripted story in Brink is for more replayability.
Speaking with TSA, Stern said it here’s “absolutely nothing wrong with a well-scripted FPS,” but there’s not always “a pressing need,” for players to replay story scenarios “other than to beat their best time, do it all with headshots, etc.”
“The gameplay experience isn’t always enormously different,” said Stern, “and the single-player campaign sometimes inadvertently but actively misleads you about what the multiplayer will be like, which can lead to a horrible lurch: you go from a game you’re enjoying, and good at, and beating, where everything tends to happen in front of you, to suddenly being shot in the head from every possible angle by unpredictable enemies who have as much health as you do, who don’t just fall over when you shoot them twice, who maneuver much more aggressively than AI opponents, won’t let you take cover – and often freely share their observations upon you, your playing style all over VOIP.
“So, before I forget, VOIP in Brink is Friends List-only by default. Brink is all about replay value. Our first game, Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory, is eight years old and has had over half a billion matches played. We want players to not just play Brink, but replay it, over and over, in a meaningfully different way every time.
“But no matter how scintillating the writing and acting, there’s only so many times you’ll want to watch an intro cinematic, even if you do get to see your character as an extra in the background, their clothes, hairstyle and facial ornamentation growing ever more extravagant as the foreground characters go through their drama again and again.
“And once you finish one faction storyline, you can see the same events in an entirely different light in the other storyline, and then replay those maps again in a completely new way using the abilities you’ve unlocked as you level up, perhaps as a new body type (Heavy or Light, or stay as Medium), and with the weapons and attachments you’ve unlocked while polishing your skills and tactics in the challenge levels.”
Splash Damage has promied Brink will make playing with strangers fun with its 16-person drop-in, drop-out multiplayer. We’ll all know for sure once it releases on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 in May.