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WEEKEND: BYTE SIZE: Brute Force isn't quite strong enough to beat off its rivals; Review.

Byline: RICHARD ASHDOWN & HELEN COTTERILL

Brute Force

Xbox, Digital Anvil/Microsoft - pounds 44.99

BRUTE FORCE has been on the drawing board for a couple of years and has been held up as a potential Halo-beater.

It's a tall order to live up to and while Brute Force is good, it's not that good.

It's a third-person perspective action shooter set in a future of interplanetary conflict and human cloning.

You control a team of four nano-enhanced soldiers, each with a special capability crucial for certain elements of the game's 18 levels.

Tex is a heavy hitter who can fire all his weapons at once, Brutus can unleash the spirit of Vengar to pick out concealed enemies, Hawk is a scout capable of turning invisible and Flint is a deadly sniper.

The squad-based approach lets you switch between characters and you can lay down orders to the rest of the team through a simple interface reached off the d-pad.

You can only carry two weapons at one time, but if you want to take a weapon off a vanquished foe, you can swop. This makes for an interesting dynamic in some levels where ammunition is limited, forcing you to scavenge for less powerful but rechargeable energy weapons.

Halo and Brute Force both benefit from excellent graphics and sound, but that's where similarities end. Brute Force has an excellent co-operative multiplayer mode, but lacks the pace and diversity of its rival in single- player.

If you were choosing which of the two to buy, there is no contest, but Brute Force is a good game in its own right, and a worthy addition to anyone's collection. 7/10

Richard Ashdown

MegaMan Network Transmission

GameCube, Capcom - pounds 39.99

IT'S the year 200X and everyone carries PETs (personal terminals), which contain an artificial robot you can send into cyberspace.

If you think story sounds bad, then the game itself isn't much better.

As MegaMan, you shoot through 2D areas with a few tactics involved. Unfortunately, it doesn't take a genius to work these out and the game becomes tiresome very quickly.

MegaMan was created 15 years ago, so after two successful outings on the GameBoy Advance (MegaMan Battle Network I and II), it was inevitable that he should pop up on the GameCube.

However, once ensconced in this ZX Spectrum-like gaming world, there is no incentive to carry on playing.

You would be better off finding another use for the disc such as a novelty coaster. 1/10

Helen Cotterill

CAPTION(S):

SHOOT 'EM UP: A scene from the action game Brute Force
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Jul 5, 2003
Words:431
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