Bethesda Softworks’ Brink is a first person shooter due to be released in early 2011. The game allows you to play as one of four different classes, each with varying levels of offensive and support capabilities in order to best suit your play style. The world we knew has flooded, and what resources remain are fiercely contested by those claiming to be in control, and the rebels who would tear their system down.
One of the game’s biggest selling points at the moment is its inclusion of a virtual adaptation of parkour known as SMART, or Smooth Movement Across Random Terrain. Similar to real-world parkour, SMART will allow the player to jump, scale and shimmy across difficult areas of the map, the game engine intelligently reacting to their movement relative to nearby obstacles, without needing a complex input sequence to accomplish this.
To help promote the game – under development at British studio Splash Damage – a series of films is being produced under the title Beyond The Brink: European Parkour Tour. Englishman Daniel Ilabaca is one of the world’s most famous parkour practitioners, and as part of the Beyond The Brink tour he visited cities in 8 countries worldwide, meeting up with other free-running enthusiasts to shoot breath-taking shots of themselves in action.
Realising that the sorts of stunts performed in parkour games are not merely digital fancy but exploration of the limits of the human body’s capabilities can be quite a wake-up call to those for whom exercise consists of a trip to the shop for milk. Whether games like Brink (and others such as 2007′s Mirror’s Edge) encourage gamers to get into high-energy outdoor pursuits or not is highly debatable and subjective, but with Guitar Hero prompting folk to pick up a six-stringer and have a go it’s not unreasonable to expect that, should Brink turn out to be any good, we may see an above average rise in running shoe purchases next Spring.
To watch the rest of the short films, check out the official Youtube channel.