Insert Credit: “Brink”

Insert Credit: “Brink” (photo)

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Insert Credit endeavors to suss out where you should be allotting your video game allowance, sifting out a single title from many and crowning it as The One Game You Need to Get This Week. Don’t consider these reviews, gentle reader. Rather, think of Insert Credit as a mix of hands-on time, informed opinion and intuition.

For the week of May 11, 2011, you should insert credit into: “Brink”.

Most video games put a premium on a certain kind of pretty. Square-jawed heroes with smooth skin and full heads of hair prowl pristine virtual worlds. Even when the textures on things are supposed to look dirty, there can be a lack of weight.

“Brink”–the new first-person shooter developed by the UK-based Splash Damage studio–doesn’t suffer that problem. It lets you construct an avatar that looks beaten-up and lived-in, with surgical staples, tattered clothes and receding hairlines all among the options for customization. And you take that wrinkly, pockmarked character into a massive seafaring vessel called the Ark, which began as a floating city eco-experiment but decayed into chaos. A near-future ecological disaster causes seal levels to rise and brings a flood of refugees to the Ark. Decades of dwindling resources and increasing demand make the Ark a powderkeg which explodes into the battles Brink throws you into.

Brink Launch Trailer
– Watch more Videos at Vodpod.

You can either play as the Resistance, the underclass fed up with the Ark’s elites secreted away in the spires of the arc, or as the Security, the cops on the massive seaborne community. Resistance warriors want to escape the Ark, while Security try to establish order out of the tense chaos.

As commentary-driven as “Brink” is, uts gameplay design is what’s most worth checking out. Splash Damage set out to quiet the angry chatter that accompanies so many online games by creating systems that always make you feel directed and helpful. You can change your combat role at any time and then get prompts as to how best to help your team’s efforts. So, if you’re a Medic, you needn’t hear some dude yelling about how he needs health. Voice and text prompts from the game point you to where you can help.

The result leaves you feeling like you’ve accessed the best part of your gamer nature. You’re building defenses, hacking into networks, buffing teammate’ health or keeping them flush with ammo. Sure, there’s shooting aplenty but it doesn’t feel as nihilistic as other FPS experiences.

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Millennial Wisdom

Charles Speaks For Us All

Get to know Charles, the social media whiz of Brockmire.

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He may be an unlikely radio producer Brockmire, but Charles is #1 when it comes to delivering quips that tie a nice little bow on the absurdity of any given situation.

Charles also perfectly captures the jaded outlook of Millennials. Or at least Millennials as mythologized by marketers and news idiots. You know who you are.

Played superbly by Tyrel Jackson Williams, Charles’s quippy nuggets target just about any subject matter, from entry-level jobs in social media (“I plan on getting some experience here, then moving to New York to finally start my life.”) to the ramifications of fictional celebrity hookups (“Drake and Taylor Swift are dating! Albums y’all!”). But where he really nails the whole Millennial POV thing is when he comments on America’s second favorite past-time after type II diabetes: baseball.

Here are a few pearls.

On Baseball’s Lasting Cultural Relevance

“Baseball’s one of those old-timey things you don’t need anymore. Like cursive. Or email.”

On The Dramatic Value Of Double-Headers

“The only thing dumber than playing two boring-ass baseball games in one day is putting a two-hour delay between the boring-ass games.”

On Sartorial Tradition

“Is dressing badly just a thing for baseball, because that would explain his jacket.”

On Baseball, In A Nutshell

“Baseball is a f-cked up sport, and I want you to know it.”

Learn more about Charles in the behind-the-scenes video below.

And if you were born before the late ’80s and want to know what the kids think about Baseball, watch Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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Crown Jules

Amanda Peet FTW on Brockmire

Amanda Peet brings it on Brockmire Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

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GIFS via Giphy

On Brockmire, Jules is the unexpected yin to Jim Brockmire’s yang. Which is saying a lot, because Brockmire’s yang is way out there. Played by Amanda Peet, Jules is hard-drinking, truth-spewing, baseball-loving…everything Brockmire is, and perhaps what he never expected to encounter in another human.

“We’re the same level of functional alcoholic.”

But Jules takes that commonality and transforms it into something special: a new beginning. A new beginning for failing minor league baseball team “The Frackers”, who suddenly about-face into a winning streak; and a new beginning for Brockmire, whose life gets a jumpstart when Jules lures him back to baseball. As for herself, her unexpected connection with Brockmire gives her own life a surprising and much needed goose.

“You’re a Goddamn Disaster and you’re starting To look good to me.”

This palpable dynamic adds depth and complexity to the narrative and pushes the series far beyond expected comedy. See for yourself in this behind-the-scenes video (and brace yourself for a unforgettable description of Brockmire’s genitals)…

Want more about Amanda Peet? She’s all over the place, and has even penned a recent self-reflective piece in the New York Times.

And of course you can watch the Jim-Jules relationship hysterically unfold in new episodes of Brockmire, every Wednesday at 10PM on IFC.

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Draught Pick

Sam Adams “Keeps It Brockmire”

All New Brockmire airs Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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From baseball to beer, Jim Brockmire calls ’em like he sees ’em.


It’s no wonder at all, then, that Sam Adams would reach out to Brockmire to be their shockingly-honest (and inevitably short-term) new spokesperson. Unscripted and unrestrained, he’ll talk straight about Sam—and we’ll take his word. Check out this new testimonial for proof:

See more Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC, presented by Samuel Adams. Good f***** beer.

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