On 06/13/03 by Turner 'Bulldog' Hopkinson
Developer: Digital Anvil
Release Date: 5/27/03
Platform Played On: Xbox
Available On: N/A (Xbox exclusive)
Welcome to what you can call the first "20 second" review on GameGossip. Don't get too accustomed to seeing these because we certainly do not plan on turning these into a regular feature. Once in a while and only for games we personally feel like covering. To address those who question what's the point of even writing this it is, in short, to cut through all the crap you find in multi-page reviews, get to the core of what makes a game what it is, and to rapidly give you an idea on how we feel about each of the three dominant facets (gameplay, graphics and sound). If you're hungry for more information you'll be glad to see that we've included several links to "full" reviews as well.
Brute Force was touted heavily as being a team-based shooter with amazing artificial intelligence. They got one thing right, it is indeed team-based and you can easily switch to any character on your team. What the developer didn't get right was the artificial intelligence. Every time I hopped into a game I would give my fellow squad members commands (you have a slim selection: follow, attack freely move, etc.) but sadly those commands seemed to have little effect, if any at all. While "follow" did indeed make my teammates stay back they stayed so far back they were either getting shot at and subsequently killed or severely wounded by caches of enemies off hiding in the many side passages in each level or simply too far back to provide me any help when I needed it most. However, on the flipside of the AI equation Digital Anvil did a brilliant job with the enemies. They use cover, decide when to shoot, lay down cover fire, work as a team, and throw grenades frighteningly accurately at you. Going a bit further I'd say while it isn't the best enemy AI I've ever seen in a game it's pretty far up on the list. Besides the minor issue of team function everything else comes together nicely to form a cohesive, solid Xbox game. Halo it's not though and if you're expecting something as good as that then don't say I didn't warn you. Oh yeah, one last thing; there is no Live! capability and in my eyes this greatly harms the longevity that the game will last.
Not too much to say about them. Not the best I've ever seen and by no means the worst. The highpoint of them would have to be the cut scenes followed closer by the rendering of the in-game characters. Sadly the terrain textures aren't of that high quality and that detracts from the realism scale heavily.
Take it or leave it. Nothing spectacular about them but nothing abhorrent either. Explosions sound like explosions, gun shots sound like gunshots. About what you would expect from any first tier game.
The bottom line is this. The game is simply not as good as I had been expecting to be. This isn't saying it's a bad game overall and it certainly is not a bad choice to add to your Xbox collection, it just wasn't quite what I was expecting.
In a Word: Decent
Word to the Publisher: Stick with one storyline and develop it.