Review by robcram

"A review that does not mention Halo."

Brute Force has been in development for what seems like an eternity. Announced ages ago and then as release dates kept slipping looking like it was never going to surface. Well the wait is over as Xbox owners can now play this long awaited game. Does this game deliver? Hell yeah it does.

Brute Force is a squad based arcade shooter. A bit like ghost recon but a lot more arcade influenced. You control a squad of four which comprises of a sniper (Flint) shock trooper (Brutas) heavy weapons expert (Tex) and a scout (Hawk). These remain fixed as you play through the 18 missions on offer although how you use them is entirely up to the player. Each member has his/ her owns special abilities such as Auto targeting , dual weapons, cloaking or even infrared vision coupled with health regeneration. Again utilizing these is very much down to player preference. The general goals of the missions are to eliminate the enemy with as little fuss as possible. With a wide range of weapons available which can be found from fallen enemies or allies scattered around the levels. Some more hidden than others. Ranging from Sniper rifles to bio and laser rifles, shotguns, rocket launchers and more. There are 3 levels of difficulty and you are scored accordingly. It is at this point as a player to adopt one of 2 schools of approaches. Do you run and gun your way through the levels, where the only strategy is kill kill kill (which on the harder settings will result in many player re spawns). Or do you take your time using squad tactics and the abilities of your team. You can switch between any member of the squad at will and are able to issue squad or team member commands with the d-pad such as hold ground, cover me, fire at will or the excellent move to command. The A.I of your squad here is generally very good although not perfect. Using this approach is a far more satisfying experience as you get to appreciate the nuances of the game such as the terrain and enemy A.I. Either way its a choice again for the player to decide which path he or she is going to take.
Graphically BF looks great with some nice visual effects used and interactive environments. Your squad also looks very crisp which is all the more apparent with the 3rd person view the game uses throughout. Controls are very fluid and will be mastered in seconds by anyone who has played a fps before. The sound is also very good with some great comments from your team and enemies. Music is also sparse yet fitting for the situations you are in.
Brute force not only has a great single player game but also an excellent multi player game too. You see anyone can join a campaign game at any time which is a cool feature. Say the phone rings and your buddy is still playing you don’t need to pause, just quit and let your buddy continue, then rejoin once you are ready. There is a death match mode and an interesting Squad Death match mode which are fun but not as good as the co-op campaign. This is due to the fact that this game has opted to not include any bots for these game types. Also the game does support Downloadable content via Xbox live but sadly no xbox live multi play. A move which has caused many to score this game lower than it should. In my experience with or without live this is a very cool and entertaining game. Easy controls, great graphics, freestyle game play and a whole lot more. If you like guns, brains, action or all three then Brute Force is your game. Get hunting now.


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 06/12/03, Updated 06/12/03


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