Brute Force (Xbox) review
Brute Force is a tactical squad-based sci-fi shooter. You play 4 characters at the same time, going through various missions for the confederation, bringing bad people down through a complex storyline which i won't go in any further at this point, not to spoil the fun :p
Some elements in Brute Force are very impressive. The tall grass is very good and the character models are well made for a shooter. The CGI movies are among the best ever seen in a videogame.
The problems: the game is played with a third person perspective (camera behing the characters). This brings out the problems in the models big time. If we played Halo from a third person perspective, we would have noticed that Master Chief is far from perfect and is not equal in design quality to some other third person high quality games (although he is more than adequate for any first person game, since you don't ''see'' him). Brute Force bring out this problem big time as the character ''moves'' unnaturally.
Some levels are simply too uninspired to be interesting. Can someone tell me why there cannot be a videogame that doesn't include a ''lava'' level? I'm sick of the bland ''grey-rock'' and ''lava-red'' look with next to no details brought in the background...
The sound is good, very good, but not great.
Brute Force lacks the catchy main theme Halo had. The music is very good, but not, unfortunately, ''memorable'' like we hoped so from such a hyped game.
As for the rest of the sound effects, the usual ''booms'', ''bings'' and ''pows'' are top-notch. The voice acting is also equally good for most of the voice actors (only Hawk's and Tex's voices did i find to be a bit bland and too monotonous). Brutus (the green reptile-alien) is a joy to hear, with all the grunts and groans.
The game is simply put, the best since the beginning of the year on the gameplay side on the XBOX. It controls with a perfect copy of the control-scheme Halo used. Each characters can have up to two weapons + grenades, just like Halo. In fact the control aspect of Brute Force is so much like Halo that i won't even go eny further in this...
The D-Pad is used to select your characters and to give them orders. The game is actually very linear in it's presentation. Therefore you are usually left with the selection of the best squad member for the next stretch of road to make, and find the best tactical approach.
Be warned that this even though it controls like Halo, this is NOT Halo. You can't go in all guns blazing and expect to win. You have to think your way through and select your current character carefully.
Think about the current situation:
There is a base with an wide open door with armed bad guys inside who don't know you are here to destroy them. What will you do?
1) Use Tex, the berserker who can use two guns at the same time and which have lots of health to destroy everything in his path by entering the front door and shooting them before they can react? You'll probably gonna need a med pack or two before this is over though.
2) Use Brutus, the reptile alien, who can charge them and sustain more damage than others to get them up-close and personnal?
3) Use Flint, the sniper, hoping to catch a few one of them from a distance, but running the risk of alerting the base to your presence after you fire your first shot, making the rest of the job tougher?
4) Use Hawk, the scout, who can turn herself invisible enter the base undetected and kill the sentry guards before they know it, allowing you to enter with the rest of your team undetected?
5) Use a combo: position Flint on a structure in front of the base telling the AI to shot everything it sees, position Tex outside in front of the base, place Brutus near the door entrance and finally use Hawk to enter the base, kill a few guard then run outside when the rest of the guards are chasing her so they can get pummelled by Flint, Tex and Brutus togheter...
These kind of scenarios is what you'll have to constantly think about while playing Brute Force. The game trully is fun and worth a purchase (if you like tactical-based shooters).
The only reason i give this game only a 9.5, and not a perfect 10 for the gameplay is because it hapenned to me once that Tex fell into a lava pool, killing himself while i was not controlling him (i.e., the AI killed him). It only happened once, but once is still too much.
On a side note, the game is system link compatible with 4 players in split-screen per XBOX, up to four XBOX, up to 8 players at the same time. It is NOT Live compatible, unfortunately, although downloadable contents support through Live is present.
Brute Force is not exactly ''the next Halo'' like the hype would have let us think. But it is close enough to being one of the best game on the XBOX to merit a purchase and a possible sequel.
Community review by deedob (May 29, 2003)
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