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Brink - 15 ways to dominate

Run, jump and kill - how hard can it be?

We're on the cusp of something special here, readers - the lip, one might say, the threshold, the verge, the bleeding edge - hmmm, what's the appropriate word? Oh. Right.

Splash Damage's Brink, a pan-Atlantic mish-mash of Waterworld and Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory, is due in stores by the end of the week. It's a bit of an oddity among shooters - a glorious oddity, but an oddity nonetheless. There's the scoring system, for instance, which defangs brute murder, and the much-touted "SMART" parkour mechanic, which sees lighter characters scurrying all over the scenery like they've got live weasels in their trousers.

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Struggling to make sense of the proceedings? Don't worry, we have some easy-to-remember tips - 15 of them. Adhere to the following and there's a reasonably good chance you won't spend launch weekend surfing spectator cams.

1. Skills Do Not Equal Kills

If you want to understand, appreciate and even - dare we say it - master Brink, you need to let go of the idea that picking a spot, framing the nearest chokepoint in your crosshairs and waiting for signs of movement is the best way to progress. Experience earned for downing tangos is miniscule next to that you'll reap for completing objectives or making use of your class abilities. Don't bother stealing other player's kills, either - EXP rewards are proportional to how much damage you've inflicted, so the first shot is just as valuable as the last.

2. Rock An Engineer

When it comes to climbing ranks, you can't beat an Engineer. They can buff nearby players, mine thoroughfares and terminals, and set turrets - all of which should ensure a thunderous torrent of EXP.

3. Bring An SMG

Brink's maps are small, with plenty of interior spaces and enough tactically advantageous free-standing furniture to sink IKEA. In that kind of environment, a short-ranged automatic with a high rate of fire is your best friend. Fielding a Heavy torso? Pick a submachine gun as your secondary, using it to mop up stragglers in between bouts of chaingun punishment.

4. Mine Safety

Brink's mines only detonate once you step off. Explosives underfoot? Call in a friendly Engineer to defuse that puppy. Of course, when time is short you may prefer to take a fall for the team.

5. Use Grenades To Make Space

Frags aren't for killing people with - they're for bullying people with. Brink's grenades have a modest blast radius and do relatively little damage, even with an upgrade or two, but they'll bowl players over like yelling, tattooed skittles. The mere thought of that humiliating dive is often enough to make an enemy give ground.

6. Turret Etiquette

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There's nothing quite like the satisfaction of seeing yellow numbers flash past as one of your turrets catches a foe point blank. Don't put too much weight on the little blighters, though, as they're easy to wreck. Position them beside doorways to blindside players hastening towards an objective, or above stairwells where they're a little bit safer from grenades.

7. Shotguns Are For Sliders

Slide-tackling an opponent - particularly when they have the edge in firepower - is a stylish way to set up a kill, but at that range it's easy to miss. Unless you're wielding a shotgun, that is.

8. Corpses - An Operative's Best Friend

Engineers, Medics and (obviously) Soldiers can afford to take time out from repairing, healing and explosive-rigging to give and receive punishment, but if you're an Operative, steer clear of firefights till the fight's been and gone. That's when you can bust out your neat iPod surrogate and drain the identity out of corpses, assuming the enemy's guise and colours. Or even better, hack into his communication unit to flag the entire enemy team on mini-maps. Delicious.

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