In this age of three-dimensional rendered graphics and Dolby 5.1 sound, one would think that video games would be at least slightly more enjoyable than they were in the early 1980s when the Intellivision was found in so many homes. Unfortunately, they aren't, and Brute Force shows one thing that the programmers forget about making them that way. More on that in a moment.
The very early levels of the game are, in fact, quite fun, and allow the player to kick some butt on a level that can distract the player from the drudgery of the outside world quite easily. Unfortunately, once we get past a few levels, the fun factor soon stops and the game becomes downright annoying. One early level features a mission to rescue and protect a spy, which is alright in itself, but the fact is that this spy loves to run into enemy-controlled areas where they can just shoot the stuffings out of him. In other words, the programmers don't know any legit means of lengthening the game, so they make one mission so incredibly hard that it ruins any sense of fun carried over from the previous levels.
If you are lucky enough to get past this part of the level, and progress to something more interesting, the game resumes its normal sense of enjoyment once more. At least for a while. Unfortunately, the last half-dozen or so missions just make the whole thing incredibly tiresome to get through because one has to keep respawning in order to get anywhere. Any sense of challenge soon disappears in the realisation that the programmers can't make the levels challenging without making them so incredibly impossible. So one just keeps continuing and continuing in order to get through them.
Unfortunately, the game really comes off as trying too hard to emulate the success that was HALO, possibly the best game to come of this first-person, three-dimensional maze shooter since Wolfenstein itself. The designers are essentially the same, and the original idea worked a treat, but they don't seem to have progressed past it. In fact, they seem to have gone backwards, since HALO was actually fun up to a certain point, whereas Brute Force was simply a matter of trying to get to the next level in order to see the next cutscene.
Speaking of the cutscenes, they are in fact quite nicely done. The graphics are well-rendered, and they picked some excellent voice actors for the roles. The best thing about the game is in fact the cutscenes, which probably tells you a lot about the gameplay. All in all, Brute Force gets a five out of ten from me. It is by far the better of the two games included with the Beast Pack, but they really should have cut to the chase and put HALO in there instead.
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