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|Third-Person Shooter Games
Microsoft Fall 2002--Its title might fool you into thinking it's a mindless shoot-'em-up, but this game aims much deeper. Think of it as Doom meets Command & Conquer. You control a squad of four commandos (ranging from a scout to a minigun-toting alien) who learn new abilities as the game wears on. A good battle plan is essential, but you can also control your troops on the fly when the crap hits the fan.
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Brute Force has been in the works for quite some time and after much refinement finally makes its appearance on the Xbox. Although not the tactical squad game that it was built up as, it does provide an exceptional third person shooter experience that overshadows its earlier claims. Comparisons were also made to Halo, but unfortunately Brute Force has a number of issues that keep it out of Halo's league. Even with those issues, Brute Force still puts together an excellent action game that easily makes its mark.
Brute Force is a sci-fi shooter based on a squad of four that's employed by the military. As they are set out on different missions, their unique strengths and abilities will come into play, as you'll attempt to complete each mission and get your squad out alive. As stated earlier, the tactical squad aspects are rather overstated so getting your squad though isn't going to be as strategically based as you would hope. If fact, controlling your squad is limited to four commands such as 'fire at will' and 'stand your ground.'? In addition your squad's AI isn't the greatest either as they will follow those simple directions, but usually they don't do a good job of protecting themselves and end up being killed in most heavy battles. Although annoying, this can be worked around and keeping the weaker members out of the heavy action for instance will allow you to enjoy the action based gameplay that actually does resemble Halo.
One major disappointment revolves around its multiplayer abilities (or lack thereof). If it were a Playstation 2 or Gamecube game, this wouldn't even be an issue but when you have access to a resource like Xbox Live, not using it is actually a detriment. There are however other appealing multiplayer options that do offer great split screen gameplay such as death match and squad death match. In addition, there is also an option to play through the campaign cooperatively which increases the replay value significantly.
Although not as great as it could have been, Brute Force still puts together a solid experience. If you're not expecting a tactical squad game and can focus on the action, there will be few complaints. With outstanding graphics and well executed audio features helping to increase the game's appeal, those who enjoy Halo's style of action wouldn't want to pass up Brute Force.
This cooperative squad-based shooter thing is nothing new. Many have come before (X-Squad, Rainbow Six, etc.) and many have failed. Sony's SOCOM is about as close to console-perfection as anyone's gotten lately, but then it's not on Xbox, is it? So, answering the call for squad-based action, Microsoft enters the fray with some chicken soup for the special-ops soul: Brute Force. BF is a third-person shooter that relies on the diverse qualities of its four well-armed protagonists --Hawk, the sniper; Tex, the gung-ho hard case; Flint, the Halle Berry-lookin' scout and Brutus, the alien--to invigorate the gameplay.
Although Brute Force cannot be played online, gamers can still tackle missions with the assistance of three computer-controlled allies. You can even cycle between any of these characters as the situation demands--meaning that if Tex is pinned behind a rock by some gunners, you can switch to Hawk and, from a better vantage point, dispatch enemies with her sniper rifle. Or if you prefer, you can have up to three real-life friends join the action--at any time--simply by pressing Start on the corresponding controllers.
Employing each character's unique skills is key to minimizing casualties and completing mission objectives. Using your scout to pinpoint enemy locations, your sniper to take out enemy sentries, and your demolitions expert and close-combat veteran to clean up is merely common sense. You'll learn that stealth and smarts matter just as much as brute force in this game.
Fortunately the CPU is pretty savvy at managing the other three characters, leaving the gamer free to enjoy the game however he or she wants.
Snapshots and Media
- Aliens Versus Predator: Extinction
- Armed and Dangerous
- Battlefield 2: Modern Combat
- Call of Duty: Big Red One
- Codename Tenka
- Delta Force: Black Hawk Down
- From Russia with Love
- Full Spectrum Warrior
- Quake II
- SOCOM U.S. Navy SEALs: Fireteam Bravo 2
- Star Trek: Armada
- Star Trek: Armada II
- Timesplitters 2