by Microsoft Game Studios
Developed by Digital Anvil
Released - Out Now
Price : £39.99
Force has been a highly anticipated Xbox title. Since it's release
in the US it's become one of the best selling Xbox games to date.
There could be a few reasons for this. The game has been described
as Halo in the third person perspective (and whilst this isn't strictly
true it isn't too wide of the mark) but I honestly feel that it's
the first game on the Xbox to fully capture the magic of four gamers
you play the game on your own or co-operatively, the key to success
in Brute Force is to harness and combine the special abilities of
each member of your team. Tex, a human male, who is a heavy assault
trooper and has a berserker special ability which allows him to
fire two weapons at once; Hawk, a female human, who is a scout and
has a stealth special ability which makes her virtually invisible;
Flint, a human synthetic female, who is a sniper and has an advanced
targeting ability and finally there is Brutus, a male Feral, who
is a shock trooper and has the Spirit of Vengar (a supernatural
ability that allows him to charge his enemies) as his special ability.
Their special abilities are all very useful and when used in the
correct manner will always get you out of a sticky spot.
game introduces each character to you one at a time and in doing
so enables you to appreciate the abilities of each one. To begin
with there's just Tex then you rescue Brutus before acquiring Hawk
and Flint. Of course the single-player can only control one character
at a time and you can give simple orders (stand ground, move to,
fire at will and cover me) to your squad members to help keep them
in check. Giving orders is easy; you simply press and hold the d-pad
in the relevant position (Tex = up, Hawk = left, Flint = right and
Brutus = down) followed by the appropriate button to issue the command.
You can also use the d-pad to switch between the characters should
you want to control someone else. It's a simple system and it works
well without fuss.
Brute Force is an enjoyable single-player game it's the multiplayer
game that is attracting all the attention, and deservedly so. As
well as being able to play the single player campaign co-operatively
(on one Xbox or via system link, no Xbox Live play is possible although
you can download additional content via Xbox Live), you can also
play a deathmatch and squad deathmatch game. Whilst the deathmatch
games are good, it's the co-operative campaign that really steals
the show and it's worth the price of the game just for this feature.
If you don't have four gamers it's possible to switch between characters
too. Players can even join mid-game which is a very welcome feature
should friends make an unexpected visit.
Brute Force looks excellent. The game's campaign has 18 missions
that are spread over 6 different worlds and they all look great.
Not only do the controls make the game feel like Halo but the quality
of the visuals are also equal in quality to Halo too. The framerate
has definitely improved upon Halo though and remains wonderfully
smooth throughout the game. The squad members, and the enemies,
all animate splendidly and it's particularly impressive to see the
way that Brutus manoeuvres himself around. Whilst the enemy AI is
quite good, it's pleasing to note that the AI of your squad members
is impressive and you never find that any of them have got themselves
los,t which is so often the case in a game of this nature.
Force is not as deaf gamer friendly as it could be. The cutscenes
are not subtitled and various hints from your teammates are not
shown in text. Brutus and Hawk will often remark on the fact that
enemies are nearby and this is not shown in text. Thankfully mission
objectives are shown in text (and can be recalled) and tutorial
messages are shown in text to help introduce you to the game. Your
radar will help you out too. Yellow markings signify mission objectives,
red ones signify enemies, green signifies allies, and gray signifies
neutral characters. Combining the radar with the mission objectives
make the game enjoyable but it would be incorrect to say that the
game is fully accessible because your squad members provide valuable,
verbal, clues which you simply will not get.
you're looking for a great four-player game, or even a game to fill
the void whilst you're waiting for Halo 2, then Brute Force should
be on your wish list. The game might be in the third-person perspective
but it feels so much like Halo that it feels like a FPS. There are
some difficulties for deaf gamers but overall it's a good game that
is made great when you play it with friends.
Game Rating: 8.0/10
first game on the Xbox to really be enjoyable as a four-player game.
If you have Xbox Live then you'll also be able to download plenty
of additional content.
There are some problems, as mentioned above, but overall it's still
an enjoyable experience.