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It's been a while since we've seen a top-notch Xbox-exclusive action game. If the team at Digital Anvil gets its way, that's all about to change. Brute Force is a team based third person shooter set in a sci-fi world of psychic aliens, mutant things, spacecraft, teleporters and androids.
This game circulates around the multiplayer aspect. Your team once completely assembled after a few missions, contains 4 characters each has their own special ability and favourite weapons. Tex, the first team member you'll get to play with and the leader of the team specializes in heavy weapons, in fact he can use two weapons at the same time. There is only one word for it ‘heavy’.
The other main characters are Brutus who is a mix of animal and human, is the best at close range attack; he runs on four legs and is certainly the fastest out of the team. His special ability is heat-vision which he uses to pick out enemies that are hiding. Hawk is a woman who can become invisible and is used as the scout, she carries ‘the blade’, which you can use for stealth attacks. Flint the black one and the last of the team that you have to rescue. She is also the only android and was it because she is black they gave her a bad altitude? Her special ability is that she is the sniper who can pick off enemies from great distances.
This varied crew makes for lots of tactical options. You can switch between them at will, and issue limited orders to the three you're not controlling. The commands you can use are "stay here," "attack" or "follow me," which is perfectly adequate.
Brute force contains six planets on which the action is set, each has a unique look from the jungle home of Brutus to desolate mutant-ridden wastelands and fiery lava fields, each one is well characterized, if not particularly original.
Enemy AI isn't quite such an issue, as the baddies tend to have low health compared to your squad, so individual opponents can be taken down quickly. They'll use cover, explosives and other elements to their advantage convincingly, and you'll hear them shouting to each other to co-ordinate movements.
Brute Force will also win friends for its multiplayer capacity. All the single-player campaign missions can be played in co-operative mode, and players can join and quit the game as they like. Being squad-based, it's perfectly suited for co-op play. If you prefer more competitive entertainment, you can play deathmatch games - four players on one Xbox, or eight with two linked machines. In the deathmatch, you can take on a full squad of characters (you will also be in a squad) it will be 4 on 4 war. And yes, this is among the most fun you can have with some friends and an Xbox.
There is one significant failing with Brute force and this is that once you've fought your way through one ruined town full of mutants, you've pretty much fought your way through them all, and there are quite a number of them. This with the collection of rather samely weapons means if the single-player game is all you've got to play, you are properly going to end up bored sooner rather than later.
I feel that Brute force is a game worth buying if you have become tried of playing HALO and need some new blood. Brute force is a team-based shooter that you will love to play with friends or family. I feel you should pick up a copy, call your friends and stock the fridge, because you'll be in for a long night.
If you have any problems with the game you are playing or just want to write in and tell us about a game you do or don’t like, send it to Southwarkmagazine@Hotmail.com