STAFF REVIEW of Brute Force (Xbox)

Tuesday, June 17, 2003.
by Yellowlab

Brute Force Box art I had no idea what to expect from this much delayed game when I first popped it into my Xbox. And after playing for the first half hour, I was starting to get real worried that this was going to be a total suck fest. But, then slowly the game started to evolve and piece by piece you start putting your team together of Tex, Flint, Hawk, and Brutus. Once the total team was in place (about 4 levels in to the game), and I adequetly learned all their individual strengths and how to use them (about 5-6 levels into it), I found this was a really fun game, with just a few minor flaws. If there ever was a need to rate a game a 4.75 out of 5, Brute Force is it. So, I'll rate it a weak 5 out of 5 just for it's originality and at times perfect gameplay.

Once you learn each individuals strengths and weaknesses and how to control your team, this game really kicks into high gear. It's very fun to come into a new environment and scout out how to attack it. For example, you can scout it out with Hawk (who can go invisible for short time periods), place Flint (an excellent Sniper) up in high ground, and then attack with Tex and Brutus who are the muscle and close combat fighters. Each player has a special ability, such as Hawk's invisibility, Flint's automatic targeting, Tex's ability to weild two guns at once, and Brutus's heat vision and ability to heal himself. Commanding the fighters is easy after a few levels and you can switch to any fighter with a single touch of the D-pad. There is just a few things wrong with Brute Force. First off, some of the weapons look and feel weak. Secondly, the Osiris levels suck in comparison to the other 5 environments, and lastly, Brute Force is not Halo. The last one sounds stupid, but seriously, BF controls nearly identically to Halo, so it takes some time to adjust to the fact it isn't Halo. Once you get used to the fact that BF is a totally different style of game, it becomes more enjoyable. As for the multiplayer, I liked the system link co-operative mode (something Halo doesn't have). I did not care for the deathmatches as they didn't seem as gripping or as fun as Halo's. Brute Force has a few additional bells and whistles that are worthwhile such as keeping statistics (total number of kills, what character you use the most, etc...).

Some of the FMV's are very good. With the exception of the Osiris levels, the rest of the levels look good and are immersive. The characters are all unique and have a distinct attitude and look. I will say that overall, the graphics were not quite up to the level that I was initially hoping, but at the same time they are all very solid.

The voices are well done and are intentionally cheesy. The group can have some funny lines and the characters react differently depending on who is still alive in your group through the levels. The weapon sounds could have been better, as I found them to be a little weak. Overall, the game sounds great on a DTS 5.1 system.

Overall BF was an excellent game, but there was room for improvement. Scrap the Osiris levels...Improve the weapons...make a cohesive storyline

Overall: 10.0 / 10
Gameplay: 9.0 / 10
Visuals: 9.0 / 10
Sound: 9.0 / 10


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