Review by Emmit22Rules

"Looking for the next Halo? Buy Halo 2. Looking for a great 3rd person shooter? Buy Brute Force"

The long awaited arrival of Brute Force is here. Delay, after delay, after delay left gamers wondering when is Brute Force actually going to come out. Well that day has come and Brute Force has arrived. Microsoft, as usual, was hyping another Xbox game up to be the greatest thing ever. They even threw out the ''Next Halo'' line. Well, Brute Force is not the next Halo, you’re going to have to wait till 2004 for the next Halo. Brute Force is an excellent 3rd person shooter and that’s all. It incorporates squad-based action in a futuristic sci-fi setting, and while it’s not mind-blowing, it’s pretty darn good.

Brute Force is visually a real treat. The character models, both enemy and good guys are very well done. The levels feature varied terrain and a large draw distance. Some areas are very large and really make you feel like you’re on a large planet with lots of free space to roam. The weapons look very good as well and blasts from grenades and other explosions are all done well too. The cutscenes are also extremely well done. Microsoft always seems to make sure that there 1st and 2nd party games take advantage of the Xbox's beefy hardware and Brute Force is no exception.

Brute Force controls exactly like Halo. You can only carry two guns at a time; you can switch weapons with fallen friends or foes just like in Halo. I should note that certain characters can’t carry certain weapons. Tex who is like Rambo ripped from one of his 80's action movies can't carry small pistols. Hawk, who is a deadly female assassin, can't carry a minigun and so on and so forth. You also have several grenade and other explosive devices that you use with the left shoulder trigger. Each character also has a special ability. Tex who, like I mentioned earlier, is comparable to Rambo has a unique ability known as ''Berserk Mode''. When Tex is in ''Berserk Mode'' he wields both his weapons at once. So if you have duel miniguns, you're going to clear the room out of bad guys real fast. Brutus's (who looks like a lizard man) special ability is ''Vengar Mode''. While in ''Vengar Mode'' Brutus's screen turns shades of white and gray, with your enemies red (Brutus senses there body heat) making it easier to shoot down enemies. Also, you slowly heal and take less damage than normal. Hawk's (who is a women assassin) special ability is ''Stealth Mode''. While using ''Stealth Mode'' Hawk turns invisible; she also has a special weapon called the Powerblade which can kill enemies with one slash. The ''Stealth Mode'' and Powerblade combine to form a deadly silent attack. Flint's (who is a female sniper) special ability is ''Auto-Aim''. While using ''Auto-Aim'' you automatically target enemies, all you have to do is pull the trigger.

Brute Force has several difficulty levels including easy, normal, hard and brutal. The difficulty levels are appropriate, the game is easy on easy and brutal on brutal.

The sound in Brute Force is good, but it is really nothing to get excited about. The voice acting is pretty cheesy. After killing an enemy Tex sometime says, ''How does it feel to die?” The dialogue feels forced at some times and makes you wonder why they didn't say that line over again. The music is basically non-existent and at times it is, it is good, but like I said nothing to get excited about.

In Brute Force you control a squad appropriately named Brute Force. I already went over the squad members in the Gameplay section so I won't go over it again. The year is 2340 and you work for the Confederation. I'm not going to get into details for fear of spoiling things, but you basically go from planet to planet taking care of terrorists, unruly civilizations and other evildoers. The story in general is pretty dull and does a poor job of painting a picture of what is going on.

The action is what makes this game so fun, not the story. And when you have addicting gameplay and awesome graphics it doesn't take much else to get you to keep on playing Brute Force. Each mission also has a cash system, where you get paid according to your performance and your career numbers are all piled up for you to see. You can also link up your Xbox with several others for some multiplayer action. I have not done this so I'm not going to comment on how well/poor it works.

To Buy or Rent?
Brute Force is a buy in my book. It's got addictive action orientated gameplay, awesome graphics and full multiplayer support. At least give it a rent and stick with it as it gets more enjoyable once you get the hang of controlling your squad.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 06/12/03, Updated 06/12/03

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