"Let's hope someone takes Brute Force's DNA and clones it into a better game"

The long awaited and anticipated game known only as the 'Halo-Killer' finally makes its debut and delivers only half of what it has been hyped up and promised to do. Brute Force takes you on missions that cease and amaze you time in and time out at the lack of creativity, level design, and effort put into this game. To me it seemed like the entire game consisted of mirrors you come walk into and out of. Sure Brute Force contains the shiny graphics, and fun multiplayer, but aside from this, the entire rest of the game will bore you, fall apart before it even ends, and makes you think twice before disposing of that receipt. But that isn’t needlessly to say that I had fun in it. Let’s find out just what went right and wrong in this game.

Graphics -
Without of a doubt, the graphics are the best thing in this game. Down to the last blade of grass, and to the tip of Brute’s nose, every last item is bump mapped and stretched to the last of Xbox’s ability. Most of the environments in this game are beautiful as well and you might even stop and take a break by enjoying the scenery. Rarely are there ever framerate drops as the game stays at a nice and clear 30-40 Frames Per Second or how fast the game movement is where is pretty average. The weapon and character design look chrisp and sharp – the way it should; the way it is.

Final Category Score – 10/10.

Sound -
A little less award winning to that of the graphics, the sound is barely a factor in this game at all. Brute Force includes a mediocrity (at best) soundtrack that will be long since forgotten by the next day. The voice actors as well sound like about average at best (let’s face it, the average video game voice actors sound less than satisfying). However, the actual sound of firefights, grenades, yells, and booms – well it sounds pretty damn good as compared to the rest of this category. The bullet sounds might get repetitive, but they won’t piss you off past the line.

Final Category Score – 7/10.

Controls -
The controls are simple and painfully for that matter as well. Your entire squad is controlled by the D-Pad, so all you D-Pad fans out there will get stick with the analog. You stick between your squad by pressing up, left, right, or down (which you will receive all of your characters later on in the missions). As for the rest of the controller, you would move like this was a First-Person Shooter (which it is). I’m talking about moving with the left analog stick, and aiming with the right. Movement for that matter is slowed to a minimum. Whenever I would move forward, the character would slowly take his/her time walking slower than a solider on the lookout for mines. Therefore you have your reason as to why the levels take that much amount of time to complete. Aiming as well isn’t really an exciting time to do. You have to be dead on the enemy with the aim cursor (which is a pretty small cursor) for him to take damage. As for the items you contain (grenades, med kits, ect) you have to cycle with the B button (joy, more delays) and use with the Left Trigger. Sadly, you fire with the A button, not the normal Right Trigger. I’m not sure about you guys, but this needs perfection.

Final Category Score – 4/10.

Gameplay -
Only a squad of elites are the right people for the job codenamed ‘Brute Force’. In the year 2340, the human race meets an ‘evil’ alien race (how original). Therefore the Confederation sents out Brute Force in order to keep peace along the land. Who am I kidding? You go from place to place killing random people that you have no idea why you did so until you get to a place only three levels later in the game to understand so. Its all one big conspiracy I tell you. You’re basically forced to fight wave and wave of meaningless baddies and mini-bosses with no real ‘evil’ in the game. The enemy A.I. is average at best. The higher up you go on the difficult scale, the more damage you take from a bullet – that is all. To add to that excitement is the levels. We have six different worlds however they turn out to be almost the same exact place. All of it is basically valleys. Valleys with lava, valleys in the jungle, valleys with tall grass and later a pyramid in the middle of nowhere. This is my main concern with the game – the repetitive levels. Its like déjà vu even when it isn’t. You have four elites in the middle of nowhere doing things that doesn’t even require a fast finger to hit the fire button.

This elite group contains four members (two male, and two female); Tex – a futurist version of Rambo; Brutus – a lizard thing that can walk; Hawk – a female version of Solid Snake; and Flint – a female girl with mad sniper aim. Each one with these members can surprisingly carry only two weapons. They also contain skills or specialties. For instant, Tex can use two guns at the same time. Comes in handy with herds of enemies (in any case, it comes in handy all the time). Brutus the lizard can use “Spirit of Vengar” or basically infrared. Hawk can go cloaked and sneak up behind enemies for an easy kill. And Flint spots baddies with her sniper rifle dead on. Very thought-out I must admit. There is one down side though. Every time you die, your DNA is left on the ground for your teammate to pick up, and then clone you again. However, cloning costs money where you can only get from missions meaning you have to play more and not make any mistakes.

As for the rest of the gameplay – its there and in very nice shape. Multiplayer (System Link, or Split-Screen) can be very nice and very fun to enjoy with friends. Blasting your way through the game while having chats about other stuff really seems to burn the time. However, seeing as most of us review readers don’t contain more than one Xbox, the best you could do is four players (you could go higher if you play over Xbox Connect). So you really won’t enjoy the fun part to its fullest. Sadly, no Xbox Live, which only lowers the score of this review. I really don’t understand why Microsoft did such a thing; this could have been one of the elite titles for Xbox Live. Its just going to get downloadable content instead.

Final Category Score – 5/10 (Co-Operative and Multiplayer helped raise the score).

The Hits and Misses (A Follow-Up) -

+The amazing and drooling graphics and environments
+Co-Operative and Multiplayer points to the bull’s eye

-Repetitive level design
-Wave after wave of random foes to take down
-No solid plot or sense of where the game is going

50 bones, rent or buy -
The game probably has already gone down in price, but I still don’t think it’s worth your money. The single player is lacking really bad, but the multiplayer is very fun only to be enjoyed with friends that want to play this game. However, if you have another multiplayer game you play with your friends a lot – stick to that. Brute Force’s multiplayer is nowhere near a must buy. Also, unlike other people, I seriously just couldn’t get into this game. It was hyped up beyond perfection, but this game didn’t get really far. Let’s hope someone takes Brute Force’s DNA and clones it into a better game.

Final Reviewed Score: 5/10 - Fair.

Reviewer's Rating:   2.5 - Playable

Originally Posted: 08/28/03

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