" Sure, I can understand that 3rd party developers don't always include the support…but there is absolutely no- none, nadda, zero-excuse for Microsoft to release what is obviously a multiplayer oriented game and not include Live playability! "
Title: Brute Force by Microsoft
Format: Xbox 3rd Person Shooter
Reviewing Monkey: Dungapult
The Hype: One of the most hotly anticipated games to grace the Xbox library, Brute Force has been often described as Halo with squad tactics. But can any game with leading characters named "Tex" and "Brutus" really deliver? Read on, my monkeys…Read on.
What This Monkey Thought...
Graphics: Brute Force is pretty, no doubt about it…but unfortunately pretty is about as far as it goes. First off, due to the nature of the game's camera and the ridiculously dark levels it typically sports, you are going to need both a big and expensive TV to really see what Brute Force is capable of. Even with that in place, however, our crew seemed to agree that, in majority, the graphics were still inferior to many of Xbox's launch titles, including Halo (you, by the way, will see a lot of references to Halo in this article…you'll understand why shortly). So what does it say that a game which was delayed still isn't as pretty in most ways as your launch property? Not good things, too be sure. 3.5 out of 5
Playability: Okay, my monkeys, I want
you to close your eyes and picture Halo in your head. Now, I want you to slide
the view to 3rd rather than 1st person, add 3 nit-wits behind you (who, in fairness,
occasionally pull their own but are more often just alternate characters for
you to switch to and draw fire with), and replace all of the weapons and aliens
with more derivative, less realistic, and more arcady versions. Does this sound
appealing? If so, and in fairness it does for many people, then you'll have
a winner for the base play of Brute Force. If it doesn't, and as someone who
prefers realism to abstract run-and-gun it doesn't for me, it will fall a bit
short of satisfying.
In play, to be perfectly frank, Brute Force has best been dubbed "Halo Light", a less intense more generic shooter that, while definitely having merits of its own (such as more diverse weapons and selectable characters) it really does end up feeling like some kind of weird adoptive offspring of the award winning Master Chief game, and never really comes into its own. The missions are mindlessly hack-and-slash, the puzzles are a long way from inspired, and the enemies lack any legitimate AI to keep things interesting. Really, the only standout feature is the addition of special abilities (such as invisibility and automatic targeting) and slightly modified statistics for each character, which can add an element of randomness to the game that Halo sorely lacked…but unfortunately this is countered by the numerous shortcomings Brute Force has to its predecessor. 3 out of 5
Story and Drama: You are an elite special forces operative…blah, blah…sent with a small squad into ridiculously out numbered encounters…blah, blah… yeah, you get the idea. More, much more, of the same. And, in a stroke that will set game dialogue back 10 years, Brute Force sports some of the most pointless, ridiculous, and poorly written voice script in video game history. Fortunately, the acting is so bad your ears will go numb and start bleeding long before you finish hearing the various character's lines. 2 out of 5
Multiplayer and Replayability: Hands down the high point of Brute Force, the deathmatch and squad based deathmatch options are a ton of fun and the maps are unique enough to keep things interesting. We've had hours of 8 player fun here in the office and will likely do more in the future. That's the good news. The bad is 2 fold. First, there is only deathmatch and a very limited number of maps so it won't stay fresh for long. Second is that, in a move that absolutely baffles all of Monkeydom, Brute Force only supports link play and not Xbox Live multiplayer. Wait, let me say that again. Brute Force only supports link play and not Xbox Live multiplayer. Now, wait…let's get this straight…they (Microsoft) are billing themselves as having the next generation on-line experience and their new "hot" title doesn't even support it? Do they know how ridiculous that looks? Sure, I can understand that 3rd party developers don't always include the support…but there is absolutely no-none, nadda, zero-excuse for Microsoft to release what is obviously a multiplayer oriented game and not include Live playability! Sure, it includes downloadable content, so maybe there will be more game types and maps added…but given their history on the matter (Mechassault) that's not exactly promising. 3.5 out of 5
|Man, there's nothing worse than being stoked about a game coming out and having it barely, if at all, tread water-- and Brute Force definitely falls into that category. Little more than a Halo clone, it leaves more off the table than it brings.|
The Good: Kinda fun run-and-gun with strong multiplayer…
The Bad: Which is neither strong enough to carry the game or Live compatible
The Overall Ugly: Not a waste of money but certainly nothing you should get excited about.
What it's Worth: 20 bucks.