Review by Invader Zorka
"May the Force be with you"
Brute Force was released under much hype on March 28th, 2003. I can testify to this as I was one of the dozen or so people waiting in line that morning. This review does not take into account the personal expectations I had for Brute Force, instead I'll review it based on it's own merits.
Story - 7.5
The story is rather bland and straight forward. It's quite obvious that the story wasn't Digital Anvils main focus. However all is not lost, because the characters and the dialogue between them is rather entertaining despite the fact that they are your common stereotypes.
Music and Sound - 10
The music in Brute Force is subtle most of the time, the minimalist approach actually works quite well. Especially when using stealth or sniping. When the music picks up it's as frantic as the battles themselves.
The sound is one of the Brute Forces best aspects. All the sounds of combat are there and it helps to immerse you into the world of Brute Force. The voice acting is top notch all around and the little grunts and one liners the enemies say are entertaining.
I'm not a graphics person, so instead i'll focus on the graphic design instead of how many polygons each character has. The first thing I did notice however was the small amount of jaggies in the first level on the planet Estuary, as the game progresses the jaggies seem to disappear until you reach Estuary again. The high detail of the planet, with all the plants and rocky terrain might be the cause of that.
The character design is straightforward, but some of the effects are really nice. Hawk and Flints hair move around as you walk, and Brutus kicks up dirt when he charges, these examples of some of the effects also help immerse you into the game.
The simple and intuitive squad command menu is awesome. Brute Force is like Ghost Recon on ''arcade'' crack, entertaining and simple, instead of the other way around. Yet Brute Force is as simple as it strategic, teamwork is needed to survive the harder difficulties where run and gun tactics just won't cut it. Whether it be Flints environmental positioning, Hawks scout and asses features or Tex's raw power, there's always flexibility in combining each members skills in order to create new tactics, strategies and ambushes.
The Gameplay itself is entertaining as well. Everything is easily accessible and the physics engine make for some interesting deaths. One minor gripe I have is switching to the powerblade with Hawk, it would have been nice if she could have had her button for it.
Overall - 9/10
Brute Force may not be for everyone, it has its shortcomings. However it deserves at least a rental from anyone even remotely interested in it. Some quality time with the game will reveal its depth and the those shortcomings will begin to look trivial. Since it's release i've been playing Brute Force non stop, and it's now become one my favorite games of all time.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 05/30/03, Updated 05/30/03
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