Review by Mousse420

"High potential hurt badly by uninspired levels"

I had high hopes for Brute Force, but took all the hype with a grain of salt. I was particularly excited when it neared release, as i love the idea of adding strategy elements to an action game, as well as 4 player co-op (very rare). Even better was the concept of each player in co-op playing a specific strategic role.
Tragically, a few weak points in some of the most important parts of the game's structure caused the whole thing to come crashing down. lets take a closer look...

Graphics: 8

The graphics are certainly clean, i don't recall ever seeing any out-of place bad textures or poor artwork. The four player models are beautifully animated, and look perfectly fluid when running around and performing actions. Everything looks decent, though many of the environments are less than exiting (more on that later)
While everything looks nice and clean as well as wonderfully detailed, the artwork itself and the character designs are far from original and don't even seem to be attempting to be anything but a generic video game setting. Enemies are, again animated reasonably well, but they are not interesting in any way.

Sound: 7

Instantly forgettable music and the same decent sound effects you hear in every game. The voices are good but again nothing special. I have nothing more to say about this. boring.

Gameplay: 8

This is supposedly where the game shines. I found myself somewhere in the middle of the road on the strategy issue. People who say you don't need to use all 4 characters and don't need to use any strategy probably didn't play this game on the brutal difficulty setting, because I found strategy to be absolutely necessary and i also found the two female characters to be quite useful and deadly. The downside is that i ended up using basically the same strategy every single time, and the game's physics and combat engines are not precise enough and don't offer enough variation in the action the way Halo did. Enemies are extremely dull and offer nothing more than typical gun-toting humanoids to shoot at. No big monsters, no interesting attacks, just guys who shoot at you and happen to look like lizards.

Level Design: 3

I singled this out in its own section because it must be know that this was the single worst part of the game and as far as im concerned caused its downfall. I dont know what engine they used to make this game, but after playing Halo and coming back to this i felt like i was playing Syphon Filter 3 on my PS1 all over again. All of the levels share the same sort of terrain, with weak little hills, pathetic buildings, and they just coulnt have made it more obvious that your on a fixed course and not in an actual place. add to this the fact that the settings are dull and unoriginal (an ewok villiage?!?! a junkyard?!?, how interesting is that to look at?). Me and my friends also ended up getting lost or not knowing what we were supposed to do WAY too many times, mostly due to the fact that EVERY part of the level looks the same.
As if all this wasn't already a slap in the face, they REUSE levels and just add more enemies or rearrange some stuff, and try to make you think you're playing a whole different level.
There were a few maps, particularly ''terrorist grotto'' that BEGAN to APPROACH what i was expecting in terms of level design.


Replay: 9

Great multiplayer and downloadable content take care of this one.

Overall: 7

I love the 4-player coop, and the strategy and the specializing characters, but the level quality drags it all WAAY down from a 9 to a 7 for me. WAY too much running in circles, being sent to the beginning of a level, not knowing what to do next, etc.
I would have been so happy with this game if i had spent 20-30 bucks on it, but $55 didn't seem worth it and thats why my copy is now back on the shelves at Gamestop. I would highly recommend this game once the price drops significantly, and I'm sure it will.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 06/02/03, Updated 06/02/03

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