Review by Apocalypse2

"The wait was worth it!"

I have been anticipating this game since I first heard about it, and over that period of time, I have allowed my hopes to get quite high. What I got in the final product far exceeded my expectations.

Be forewarned however, this game may not be for every one. This is not a run and gun shoot-em-up. To play this game effectively, strategy and mastery of every character is required. Those who try to get through the game thoughtlessly blasting all opposition will not find this game fun.

Sound and Music
The sound effects really add to the overall Brute Force experience. Each gun type has it's own set of distinct sounds. When firing, each gun has it's own unique report as well as reloading sound which adds to the realism. When zooming with a sniper rifle, you can even hear your characters breath. Great sound isn't limited to the guns however. When accessing a computer terminal, you will hear beeps and tones that are synchronized with flashes on the little screen. When you open a large metal door, the metal will squeak as it slides open. Depending on what type of ground you are walking on, your foot steps will make different noises. Bullets ricochet off of walls and structures with metallic clanks.
Though the environmental sound effects are great, some of the best sound comes from the enemies and your characters. When throwing grenades they will shout, and if you kill one of their partners they will comment, ''No, not JC!''. When you order your operatives, they do not move to silently comply, but chime in ''Will do!'' or things of that nature.
The music is great, because it does not overpower you, but rather dynamically adds to whatever situation you might find yourself in. When walking, music will be quietly drumming in the background, and upon engaging the enemy, the music will quickly get faster and louder. After fighting, the music will again fade, leaving you to enjoy the environment.

Visuals And Graphics
No stops were pulled in making this the most graphically beautiful game possible. As far as I know, every single surface in the game is bump mapped. The bark on every tree sticks out, you can see pits, lines and bumps in every single rock and boulder, etc. I was particularly amazed at one feature I saw. When the sky is bright, shifting clouds will effect the shadows on the ground! All lighting is done in real time. Weapons are extremely detailed, as are structures such as buildings and stationary objects like cars.

This is not a story driven game, but that's not to say there is a lack of story. Before each mission, you are given a brief synopsis, and mission objectives coincide with each story event. You get only what you need to know for each mission. I find a story that is not forced upon you in 15 minute cut scenes to be refreshing.

Gameplay and Multiplayer
Pure strategy bliss. Those who realize that this is a strategy game will love all of the options for completing each individual level this game offers. You gradually gain a squad of four operatives, each with a distinct set of skills. Scout, sniper , etc. Not only do you command a squad of four, but you can control each of them individually, and give orders as you see fit. Each operatives special abilities make every single one a functioning part of the squad. You can order you teammates on the fly to move to any position on the map that you see, to cover you, to hold ground, etc.

Quite possibly the best part of campaign is co-op. At any time, up to three players can join play by doing nothing more than plugging a controller in and pressing start.

Multiplayer deathmatch and co-op can be played on one console or over system link. Deathmatch can be played one on one or each player can command their own four person squad!

Replay Value
Three different difficulties and downloadable content as well as many ways to play each level make this game very replayable. Squad multiplayer is unlocked by finding DNA canisters throughout campaign, so players have a reason to keep playing.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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

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