Review by aliabuaziz

"Play the game as a squad and you'll love it"

Brute Force Review [UPDATED]

This review will tell you how the game is, when you play it the way Brute Force was meant to be played. It seems to me many ''professional reviews'' have approached this game all wrong. I can prove this when the reviewers write comments such as ''Hawk is fairly worthless,'' ''I used Tex exclusively,'' and ''mindless shooter''. The game indeed does have tactics involved that you should use if you want to get the most out of the game. And although you do not HAVE TO use these squad-based tactics, you will enjoy the game much more if you do use strategy and every character. If not, you will rob yourself of a experiencing a great game.

Gameplay: 9/10
The game starts off slow because you do not have your full squad yet. However, once you get your squad, become accustomed to the controls and issuing commands, the game becomes fantastic. You can approach each battle in different ways. You can send in Hawk cloaked and use her powerblade to kill a few enemies. You can find a hill and snipe from a location. Or you can send your bruisers, Tex and Brutus to just fire at will. However, the best approach is a combination of all these aspects at once. Certain situations call for certain skills. Ultimately the gameplay is very fun, but the game does not fully deliver its promises of redefining squad based shooters.
The multiplayer options are few with only Deathmatch and Squad Deathmatch. No XBox Live support also hurts. However, the game can still be played online through XBConnect or Gamespy Tunnel. Playing co-op builds from what HALO did and then advances it using the System Link possibilities.

Story: 6/10
The story is good, but not great. It's been done before, and is similar to any space sci-fi games you have played before. You are part of a Confederation and must battle renegade militias, religious cults, mutants, and a lizard race.

Graphics: 9/10
I have completed the game and have found none of the slowdowns that other people have claimed. I have played the majority of the game with 1 or 2 players. There is an occasional hiccup with some of the particle effects, but nothing that detracts from the gameplay. The character models of your squad and enemies is top notch. The environments may get repetitive early on, but I find it a good change of pace from the indoor only levels many other shooting games have. The game certainly takes advantages of the XBox's capabilities, but is not as great as graphical beauties like Panzer Dragoon Orta.

Sound: 8/10
I really really love how music isn’t going on throughout every sequence of the game. Honestly, having some cheesy music in the background when just looking for a briefcase or something is rather bland and dull. What you hear in Brute Force is the wind against the grass, the steps of your squadmates, and gun fire as you go through the levels. The female voice acting is great, Tex fits the bill, but Brutus' voice is out there.The musical scores, when used in some of the more action-packed sequences and cutscenes do fit the game very well. More options for the sound would have been appreciated, as more Xbox games ought to utilize the own-music features of the Xbox.

Value: 9/10
It's $50. It's not a short game as far as action games. In fact it is longer than other action games like HALO, Max Payne, Red Faction 2, Timesplitters 2, etc. etc. Because you can approach each level differently, you can replay this game. I am on my second time through. The game's multiplayer is very fun and is a great change of pace from the same old HALO you have been playing for 18 months now. I have a feeling this game is going to be in my XBox for a long time!

Overall: 9/10
This game is not everything it was built up to be. It is not the next-HALO. It's not revolutionary. It's simply a very good game, at the level of excellence of Max Payne. I think many people came in expecting too much, and were disappointed. If you get this game and expect an action game superior to other console titles (on any system), you will definitely be satisfied. If you want $50 and the next-HALO today, you’re not going to get it. The disappointments that came with this game come from over-hyping and high expectations. It is a great, squad-based action game that should be part of your XBox collection.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 05/29/03, Updated 06/03/03

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