Brute Force

Overview

When you think Xbox you think Halo. So it would make sense that if Microsoft published another shooter it would be just as good. Well Brute Force is a game that has been a big conversation piece in all Xbox discussions, and after many delays many of us were very skeptical if it would ever hit store shelves. But finally the game has been completed and it has been released. Was it worth the wait?

Gameplay

I have a feeling that many of you out there probably think the Brute Force is just a straight on shooter, and from the screens and trailers I could understand why. But Brute Force is actually a squad based strategic game rather then a full-on shooter (although it can feel like one at times). You and your squad will go on to fight evil to in the end go complete objectives.

The one thing that Halo did from the very beginning of the game was draw you in with its very impressive and interesting story line. Well Brute Force starts off with the initial cut scene, and once again compiles an interesting sci-fi storyline. The cut scene starts out with the death of the main character. And though at first this may seem a bit weird, this is a time where cloning is now easily possible. The confederation has made the super warrior of sorts, the perfect solider. Tex (a character in the game) is one of these super soldiers who can actually learn from his mistakes via a memory chip, which continues to expand his strength as a soldier.

You start the game as Tex, a pretty straightforward character that you will end up going through the whole game with. One thing that really is quite interesting about Brute Force as you go through the game you will find one by one more characters will join the team. Each character has his or her own special ability. Tex you will find can hold two weapons at once and other characters such as Hawk has a special cloaking ability letting her sneak up on enemies and then to kill them.

Through this review you will notice I will make a lot of connections with Halo and that’s because a lot of things about the game are similar. The controls for example are basically mirrors of each with one tweak. The D-Pad in Brute Force becomes quite important; it is this you will use to change characters throughout the game.

So you start the game up and what are you expecting. Well there are two ways you can play this game like. The first one you can pretend this is Halo and go gun blazing and bullets flying. Or you can play the game the way it was meant to be played as a cooperative I am not sure if it’s a good thing that the game can be played as both, but I did find it was possible to take both approaches.

So if you play the game like it was meant to be played, then you are going to have quite a bit of strategy. For a cooperative game the computer AI has to be right on the money for the game to work out like it should. Well in fact Brute Force does have a few faults in the computer AI that will find you screaming at your partner trying to get some cover, or for your partners to do something besides being a spectator. Giving commands to your squad is a big portion of the game. To do this you simply press the arrow button to the character you want to talk to, and then you will have four options. These options are Stand Ground, Fire at Will, Cover Me, and Move to. The two commands that seem to be the least effective are the cover me and fire at will. The fire at will command just seems to end up getting your buddy killed, and the cover me portion of it seems to just make your team mate a spectator.

But hey who says you have to worry about the computer AI? Who needs the computer when you can cooperatively play with three other friends. Now this is where the game shines. And this means you can play the game at a faster pace while completing objectives with friends. I would though say that you should play this game at the harder difficulty levels when playing with friends. The Normal mode isn’t all that challenging, but the Hard and Brutal settings can be much more of a challenge. The brutal mode is actually a big increase from the first two difficulty modes, and really requires you to put your heads together to complete the game.

The multiplayer modes will probably disappoint many not because they are bad modes per say, but the lack of Live support just makes all of us scratch are head and wonder. The multiplayer modes include Deathmatch and squad Deathmatch, both equally entertaining, but there is just something missing from the game to make it a great multiplayer title.

There really isn’t much to say about the sound throughout the game. Usually the background music seems to match the mood of the environment, but doesn’t really do much else. It just seems to play a nice tune in the background to keep the game going. The voice acting throughout the game isn’t overly impressive; the lines can be pretty cheesy and don’t really do much for the game. And for the sound effects, well let’s just say after all the gun shots you will be hearing fired you won’t notice them after a while.

Graphics

The graphics in Brute Force are one of the more impressive looking games to hit the Xbox. There are a lot of good things happening throughout Brute Force that at times it is hard to take it all in. But when you look at the game at a whole you will find that Brute Force is very impressive.

The environments mainly take place out doors and remind me of Halo (which is definitely a compliment). The game takes place on six different planets and you can truly see a good amount of unique features for every planet. The characters are also top notch. Each character is very nicely done with a lot of attention to detail. Each character really has there own unique look and feel to them. You will though find that we can’t say the same about the enemies throughout the game, which look extremely bland and boring.

Overall you will find the graphics not to be anything revolutionary but just very nicely done. The cut-scenes are very impressive and do a very nice job of keeping the story moving in a very nice looking fashion.

Fun Factor

Brute Force can be a quite enjoyable game, and it can be a huge annoyance, it all depends on how you play the game and if you are playing it with friends or by yourself. First when you play the game with friends it just seems to raise the bar of fun quite a few notches. But when playing by your lonesome the whole squad based game seems not to work like the game was designed to and therefore it can be a bit disappointing. The multiplayer is fun and challenging and is a great game to play if you have a lot of time on your hands.

Overall

Brute Force doesn’t seem to live up to all the hype that the game was set out to be. But with the hype aside you will find the game to be quite good. There are a lot of fun filled hours to be played on this game, and with all the multiplayer options, it is a good game to hold on to. And hopefully soon we can find some good downloadable content for the game, which could give some more variety to the game. If you are looking for a squad based action title this is a good option for you, or those of you who are unsure this makes for a mighty fine rent.

The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.