Generally favorable reviews - based on 45 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 32 out of 45
  2. Negative: 1 out of 45
Buy On
  1. 100
    Probably one of the best looking games on the Xbox, no questions asked.
  2. A game that takes the combat action of "Halo" and tosses it in the blender with the advanced tactical strategies of "Ghost Recon" to give you the best of both worlds while creating something completely new.
  3. Offers an intuitive interface perfectly suited to the fast pacing of this game. The unique abilities of the primary characters compliment each other creating a perfect ensemble and opening up the game to multiple possibilities limited only by your tactical imagination. I can’t recommend this game enough.
  4. The replay value is especially high for gamers who like a challenge by beating the harder difficulty levels, and trying out different tactical strategies to improve performance.
  5. netjak
    It is flat out gorgeous eye candy, it has decent sounds, and great gameplay. If it weren’t for the weak AI and limited environments, the game would have been nearly perfect.
  6. Play Magazine
    The attention to detail - from the enemy AI and verbal exchanges to visual clues like dust, ash and fog (I even found physics on old tires rolling off of exploded debris) - is impeccable, and the team play aspects, especially in a one-player campaign, equal maximum immersion. [July 2003, p.78]
  7. Cheat Code Central
    While it may not be for everyone, this game certainly lived up to the hype and the wait. It has a great story, fantastic voice talents and enough modes to keep fans of this type of game busy for a long time.
  8. With outstanding graphics and well executed audio features helping to increase the game’s appeal, those who enjoy "Halo’s" style of action wouldn’t want to pass up Brute Force.
  9. One of the best squad-based shooters out there. The developers really knew what they were doing, making the game much easier to get into than most games of this kind. Seamlessness is key, and for the most part Brute Force has it.
  10. Good, daft, surprisingly tactical fun. No set-pieces to match Halo, but all the sniping and destruction you could ever hope for. [GamesMaster]
  11. Lots of weapons for lots of shooting for shooter fans who love to shoot.
  12. Game Informer
    The levels present players with enough scenarios to justify each character's presence, which helps prevent the onset of monotony. [July 2003, p.112]
  13. If Brute Force has one failing in terms of gameplay, it’s repetitive level design. The missions are fairly linear, and your squad is equipped with a radar that always tells you where you need to go.
  14. The only outstanding aspect of the game which I wish had been refined was the A.I. of your allies. Since they act on their own accord on a fairly base level, you'll often find them at one extreme or another.
  15. 81
    Works well as a rich action-shooter but it just doesn't have the brains to get by as a tactical squad-based anything.
  16. And with their waving grass and bubbling lava, Brute Force's graphics are even richer than its game-play possibilities. Those synthetics keep looking better and better.
  17. But perhaps the over-riding criticism of Brute Force is that it should have been an FPS. It seems like Digital Anvil designed it in the third person for the sake of it, without acknowledging that it completely screws up the opportunity to play it split screen, thanks to inherent third person viewpoint issues.
  18. We'd not recommend an outright purchase solely for the deathmatch, but the multiplayer campaign mode is brilliantly done.
  19. Official Xbox Magazine
    The graphics are solid, the gameplay has some great moments, and the co-op play is a blast. However... it never manages to be the great game we were desperately hoping it would be. [Aug 2003, p.74]
  20. 80
    Though the story is a bit lacking in the plot department and the tactical aspect of the game is almost forced, the game itself is still a finely polished single player experience. The multiplayer aspect of Brute Force is also exceptional for what it is, but the unfortunate Xbox live deficiency truly hurts in the end.
  21. Brute Force provides you with controls that are seemingly easy to just pick up and learn. They're responsive and YES they are a bit like Halo thanks to Bungie's help on the project.
  22. True, storming enemy positions is an option, but with environments this wide-open, you’ll just get your ass handed to you by a heavily armed battalion of baddies (or asshole buddies) if you do.
  23. The four-player coop mode is particularly notable, considering so few titles incorporate so many players with such a high degree of complexity. However, there is a lack of polish to certain aspects which hold it back from being a legendary experience.
  24. 80
    If you're tired of "Halo" -- and by now, you probably are -- it'll completely sate your desire for pretty, violent multiplayer action, and the options opened up by controlling a full team of commandos give it an original, fresh feel.
  25. If you can get the multiplayer to work for you, or have friends in the room with you to play with, the game can really show its colors. Still, with the single player campaign only taking 8-10 hours to complete, this may be best played as a rental.
  26. A horridly underdeveloped story, too short campaign mode, sometimes weak AI, and no Xbox Live multiplayer support at a time when Microsoft has proclaimed that every first-party Xbox game will have Xbox Live support adds up to a much-less-heavenly-than-Halo experience.
  27. 78
    A great third-person action title with a neat squad twist. Sometimes the missions might get a tad repetitive, and it might not be the biggest revelation in terms of gameplay you've ever seen, but throw in some friends and you'll have a blast.
  28. A well-done game, filled with dangerous opponents and plenty of targets to shoot at, but it also doesn't fulfill its potential.
  29. You'll be drawn deep into Brute Force until the conclusion of the game. Sadly, the abovementioned deficiencies throw the squad based gameplay slightly off balance and can turn the game into an average single-character oriented shooter.
  30. Playboy
    Keeping track of the entire team while under fire requires strategy, so try being more Rumsfeld and less Rambo. [July 2003, p.34]
  31. Brute Force reminds me of a number of girls I dated - Right off the bat, you're happy with how she looks and the fun that you having with her - but a few weeks later when you start to see how shallow they really are - you start to lose interest.
  32. There is much fun to be had by Brute Force, and if you just don’t get wrapped up in the hype of hoping for the next "Halo," you will have a great time with Brute Force, Xbox live or not.
  33. The main issue is that the emphasis on action means that the tactical side often falls by the wayside; ultimately you’ll find yourself sticking to a power character such as Tex or Brutus and just wade in guns blaring to destroy everything.
  34. An empty shell of a game that revolves around non-stop action. Which is great, if that’s your favourite flavour of jam.
  35. Unfortunately, there isn't an online option to let friends play over the Internet-based Xbox Live service.
  36. Very polished and thoroughly enjoyable. But for a game that was subject to so many delays and such high expectations, it's disappointingly limited in scope and is sorely lacking innovation or refinement of any kind.
  37. 70
    Brute Force is fun for a while, a forgettable destruct-a-thon with an OK squadly gimmick, but that’s about it. This gang of four doesn’t add up to one Master Chief.
  38. It's like an action movie that, if you don't set your expectations high, you'll end up enjoying. [Aug 2003, p.109]
  39. It's not a bad game, but it certainly isn't worthy of the hype. The lack of sufficient multiplayer support and the repetitive, underwhelming Campaign steal some of the thunder, which a shame since there's some good, solid gameplay in here.
  40. 67
    The cut-scenes will make you feel seriously embarrassed for the people who wrote them. [Aug 2003, p.32]
  41. Features some of the most flaccid enemy designs seen in a long while. [Aug 2003, p.74]
  42. Despite some well-done presentation and solid controls, major missteps in the level design and entire multiplayer system cause Brute Force to lose all the fun from what should be a great time for you and your friends. [Aug 2003, p.69]
  43. 60
    Like a toaster wrapped in gold leaf under the Christmas tree. The contents simply defy the billing. But if you're looking for some disposable, forgettable fun, this is one Xbox game that'll cure your itchy trigger finger.
  44. Has beautiful graphics, intuitive control, excellent sound, and a fun co-op campaign offering three difficulty levels. It is also a rather dull experience when playing alone and doesn't push the genre in any way, shape, or form -- in many cases, it takes the genre back.
  45. Entertainment Weekly
    The elite unit's top secret missions are as one-dimensional and repetitive as their foes. And the four commandos...utter lines that would have sounded cheesy even on a '70s cop show. [18 July 2003, p.83]

Awards & Rankings

#10 Most Discussed Xbox Game of 2003
#9 Most Shared Xbox Game of 2003
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 48 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 32 out of 48
  2. Negative: 7 out of 48
  1. Mar 10, 2014
    This a classic in my eyes. When I was maybe 10-11 years old, I played this game with friends to death. Logged probably 500+ hours on thisThis a classic in my eyes. When I was maybe 10-11 years old, I played this game with friends to death. Logged probably 500+ hours on this beast and would play it again in a heartbeat. I really need to buy an original Xbox again, regret selling it a lot. Full Review »
  2. NikQ.
    Jan 2, 2007
    I'm writing this reveiw a year into the xbox 360 generation, and I still think this game looks good. The only flaw of this adventure is I'm writing this reveiw a year into the xbox 360 generation, and I still think this game looks good. The only flaw of this adventure is it can sometimes be impossible if you have no medkits, but otherwise, I love playing as all the different commandos for different enemies. Full Review »
  3. JMan
    May 19, 2004
    Not Halo, but still very good.