Brute Force (video game)

Brute Force (video game)

Infobox VG
title = Brute Force

developer = Digital Anvil
publisher = Microsoft Game Studios
designer =
engine =
released = vgrelease|United States of America|USA|May 27, 2003
vgrelease|PAL Region|PAL|June 20, 2003
vgrelease|Japan|JPN|October 9, 2003
genre = Third-person shooter
Tactical shooter
modes = Single player, Multiplayer
ratings = ESRB: Mature (M)
PEGI: 16+
platforms = Xbox
media = DVD
requirements =
input =

"Brute Force" is a video game released for the Xbox by Microsoft in 2003. The game is a squad-based third-person shooter that uses four members of a team which fight in numerous battles. These members in the squad include Flint, a sniper, Brutus, a shock trooper, Tex, a heavy assault trooper, and Hawk, a scout. Each character on the team has their own strengths and weaknesses. The story is of a science-fiction setting where humans spread throughout the galaxy. Tension arises with the threat of a hostile alien race that appears. The squad, "Brute Force", is sent in to confront the enemy. Additionally, each character has their own backstory. "Brute Force" began as a PC game in 2000, but was soon after turned into a first-party title for the Xbox, following the buyout of Digital Anvil by Microsoft.


"Brute Force" takes place in the year 2340, when the human race has spread out across the galaxy and settled around 50 star systems, which are collectively known as the "Known Worlds". The major colonies and some alien races are governed by what is known as the Confederation Republic (usually referred to as the "Confed") . They patrol borders, protect their people, and keep watch on hostile alien races. The playable characters in "Brute Force" are a team of elite operatives that work for the Confed. In the game, a new, hostile alien force is beginning to attack the fringes of the Republic. The squad is thus sent out to the frontlines to confront this enemy.Leigh, Violet. [ Known Worlds] . (URL accessed July 19, 2006).]


Brute Force was developed to be a third-person squad-based shooter. This allows for both open-ended type gameplay and adding a tactical component by playing the characters according to their abilities. Engagements can be handled via stealth, sniper fire, or direct assault. Each of the four playable characters has a special ability for approaching combat in their own way. Tex and Brutus are suited to direct assaults, Hawk is suited to stealth, and Flint is suited to sniping enemies. The player switches between and issues order to the characters via the D-pad. [Staff (May 20, 2002). [ "E3 2002: Brute Force"] . "IGN".] No online gameplay is offered with Brute Force, however there is cooperative play, where another player may at any time control another character during the campaign. Up to four players are supported this way.Kasavin, Greg (May 28, 2003). [ Brute Force review] . "GameSpot".]

After the mechanics of the squad-based gameplay, AI was perhaps the most important parts of development. This was actually to complement the team-based system, which would allow the enemies to act intelligently and allow your team to support the player and work together as a team. The gameplay has four different command modes to which the AI reacts differently. The characters are also aware of the environment in finding areas for cover and sniping, as well as going to heal themselves.

The single player campaign missions are composed mostly of a series of battles where the player attempts to fight their way to the end. They consist mostly of objectives such as disabling structures, eliminating a target, or collecting an artifact. These missions take place on six different planets with different environments — a desert, a swamp, a volcanic planet, and an alien lair.


"Brute Force" was developed by Digital Anvil, one of Microsoft's internal developers. The team had previously worked on games such as "Wing Commander", "Strike Commander", and "Starlancer". "Brute Force" was designed to be a first-party game for the Xbox and begun in March 2000, before the console had launched. However development had begun before the takeover of Digital Anvil by Microsoft, and the title was originally meant for PC. Microsoft promptly turned it into an Xbox exclusive title.Thorsen, Tor (December 1, 2005). [ "Digital Anvil melted down"] . "Gamespot".] The core team of developers was composed of 30 people, but counting testers and other outside contributors more than 100 people had worked on the game. Only three months were spent on the concept stage of development, but would spend the next two years on the prototype cycle of development. [McLain, Alex. [ Breathing Life into Brute Force] . (URL accessed July 18, 2006).] Numerous influences on the game were cited. During the beginning of the project the developers looked toward "Rainbow Six" and "Counter-Strike", stating that they wished to reach a level of intensity that fell somewhere between these two games. The also wished to implement a strategic element to the game, which was influenced by "X-Com", where a team-based system was used to overcome obstacles. "Halo" also had an impact on the game, but according to the developers only to a minimal extent, mostly in terms of interface design and combat balancing. Some aspects were admitted to being similar to Halo for the sake of making the game accessible to those who had played Halo before. (The controls are, for example, almost identical.)

Digital Anvil was known as a developer of space combat games, and with "Brute Force" they set out to try something new, specifically a ground-based game. They also wanted to attempt a team-oriented game that would put the player in control of a squad of characters set amidst numerous environments. The game was conceived from these few core ideas. Development should also be looked at in the context of a first-party Xbox game following the enormous success of Halo. For one the game was meant to attract gamers who were fans of Halo, but also sufficiently different enough. Secondly the developers wanted the game to be a showcase of what the Xbox hardware was graphically capable of. However the team did admit that they had no idea what the system was capable of when they first started developing for it.

The game was first officially unveiled in October 2001 at Microsoft's X01, and shown in more detail later at E3 2002 and X02, where according to the developer much of the speculation was that the released media was not actually in-game. Although it was also said that the technology was one of the biggest challenges of development, and had not received final development kits until mid-2001. [Staff (August 30, 2002). [ "Brute Force Q&A"] . "GameSpot".]

"Brute Force" has the distinction of being the last game developed by Digital Anvil, as the studio was closed down officially on January 31, 2006. The staff was integrated in to Microsoft Games Studio in Redmond.


VG Reviews
Cinescape =100
Team Xbox =96/100
Game Informer =83/100
IGN =81/100
OXM =80/100
Euro Gamer =80/100
GSpot =76/100
Electronic Gaming Monthly =67/100
G4TV =60/100|
compilation = yes|
MC = 77%
GR = 78%|
There was a great amount of hype for "Brute Force" leading up to its release. The game broke Xbox sales records of both first day and first week sales, beating out even "Halo". [Varanini, Giancarlo (June 20, 2003). [ "Brute Force sets Xbox sales records"] . "GameSpot".] However there were quite a few complaints concerning the gameplay, many criticisms stemming from a 2001 video that was included with many of Microsoft's first-party launch titles, in which the four characters complete a mission by using their unique skills in unison to achieve goals. The final game, however, included very few of these instances, instead resorting to a more action-based shoot'em-up where individual traits were unessential to victory but could certainly make a level much easier. This hurt the gameplay, as the entire game was developed to be a tactical shooter. The various characters were also seen as being unbalanced, many noting Hawk to be the least useful on the team (with the notable exception during the optional battle in Ferguson Base.).


External links

* [ Official "Brute Force" webpage]

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