After Microsoft released Halo: Combat Evolved for the Xbox in 2001, it became apparent that the "shooter" genre was becoming more popular on home consoles. With that in mind, Microsoft had hopes of creating another shooter that would entice Xbox players just as much as Halo. That was when Microsoft enlisted their internal developer Digital Anvil to create Brute Force. To increase sales and media attention, Microsoft decided to strategically release Brute Force before Halo 2. When Brute Force was released on May 27, 2003, the game broke then-current Xbox sales records for first day and first week sales.
The game features basic squad control and special abilities for each of its four characters. The game's notable omission was Xbox Live multiplayer support, as only system link and split-screen multiplayer and co-op are supported.
Brute Force is set in the year 2340. As the player you take control of four special operatives working for the Confederation Republic, the governing organization of the Known Worlds. The Known Worlds consist of over 50 star systems home to both humans and aliens alike. Your job is to keep the peace inside the republic, and also to protect the people of the republic from hostile invaders. The story begins once it is discovered that the outer areas of the Confederation Republic are being attacked. You and your team are sent to investigate the problem, and to neutralize the threat.
Tex is the squad's walking tank, able to take significant amounts of damage and carry heavy weaponry. His special, known as berserk, allows him to fire two weapons at a time, one from each hand. Tex is also the only member of the squad who is able to disable sentry mines.
Brutus is the most rounded member of the squad, able to carry both a large weapon and a rifle. His special, Spirit of Vengar, allows Brutus to see enemies as heat signatures, highlighting them against the background and revealing invisible enemies. While using his special, Brutus' health regenerates and if he physically runs into a non-boss enemies, they are killed immediately. Brutus becomes playable after he is rescued in the 2nd mission.
As the team's scout, Hawk moves quickly but is not able to take much damage. Using her speed and her special ability, the ability to cloak herself and appear invisible to enemies, Hawk can eliminate enemies at no danger to herself or the team by sneaking up on them and hitting them with her powerblade melee weapon. Hawk is unable to carry the larger weapons.
Flint is a cyborg character, whose augmentation makes her an unmatched shot with a rifle. She is the team's sniper and her special ability, auto targeting, allows her to automatically target and quickly dispatch her enemies at range.