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Brut@l Review

Brut@l Review

I found Brut@l to be one of those games that helps players cross over into a genre they are unfamiliar with. I have very rarely gone near a dungeon crawler game, but it was so open, intuitive and easy to use. I initially thought Brut@l would have been a turn-based game, but the fact it wasn’t worked strongly in its favour.


In the solo mode, you can choose from four characters; Warrior, Ranger, Mage or Amazon, each offering their own styles and characteristics, but the real strength in the game lies in the dungeons and enemies that lurk within them. The characters have different traits, and you can craft weapons from items that you acquire, or treasure chests you open up. You can even cook up potions that may further aid you in your quest.

You can really tell it’s a next-gen title because the visuals are so striking and powerful. Exploring the dark dungeons that are only illuminated by subtle, yet sublime lighting gives an ominous feeling. The gameplay in Brut@l is amazing too, as there are so many components to it which kept each of the 26 levels feeling fresh, all the while still keeping that continuation throughout. Enclosed within the 26 levels are some really varied enemies, each encapsulating the whole ambience of the game. Two particular examples being the zombies and the spiders. The former can only be killed by using fire, and the latter being pretty terrifying - they are spiders afterall!


This game does not feature online play and while this may be a downside, I found it a welcomed addition to see a game in which real care had been placed into local multiplayer. The offline co-op was so much fun, and although the genres of two games I’m about to discuss below are completely different, the point about helping players cross over genres is illustrated by this observation; as for me, there were playing the Xbox classic, Left 4 Dead, and Indiana Jones on the Nintendo Wii.

This description does appear strange, but to gamers like myself who are unfamiliar with this genre, its varied and enjoyable gameplay lends itself to a wider audience, rather than being ‘just’ a dungeon crawler. Here’s the reasons why: the Indiana Jones - despite its faults - had a co-op mode which strongly encouraged teamwork and solving puzzles together, with the elements of Left 4 Dead including the basic need for survival, fast-paced battles, dark lighting, and having to progress past a range of enemies. Graphics-wise, they reminded me somewhat of MadWorld on Nintendo Wii, with that contrast of light and dark, aligned with a cartoony animation.


On the main menu there is a Dungeon Creator mode. This had me sceptical initially, as I didn’t believe there would be much to see, and I worried about the level of depth that would be included. However, it is really in-depth and has plenty of customisable components. You can layer floors and move platforms to your liking. You can rotate blocks, add enemies, edit enemies, power ups (fire, ice, poison etc), and you can even make enemies spawn from treasure boxes. Additions can be obvious or subtle, and designing dungeons with all these options is really fun. Also, you can’t place too many enemies in one location so it allows for more dynamic dungeons with the potential for enemies lurking around every corner. There are even wonders of the natural world, with stalactites and volcanoes included in the creator - although you may want to add some lighting, or you will struggle to see them.

Brut@l was easy to pick up and play, and although memorising buttons and getting used to the different traits of characters was tricky at first, I found that even bashing square in order to thwart enemies didn’t deter from the fun, nor did it become too much of a rinse and repeat. One thing to watch out for is the perma-death in Brut@l, as there is no respawning in the dungeons. Having to revisit the same areas can be frustrating, but the sense of achievement having surpassed a dungeon is quite rewarding.


However, along with the slight frustration of no respawning, sometimes you feel there could be some more enemies when the puzzles become more trial and error, rather than skill based. It’s easy to get lost and double-back on yourself, which can become tiresome. Not only that, but the game takes longer than I’d expect to load and save, but these are only minor gripes.

8.50/10 8½

Brut@l (Reviewed on Mac OS)

This game is great, with minimal or no negatives.

I really liked Brut@l. It has vivid graphics, good depth, a strong solo mode with its presentation of dungeons and the enemies, and this was topped off with a really intuitive Dungeon Creator. There is plenty on offer here, and it certainly doesn’t restrict itself to fans of the genre.

This game was supplied by the publisher or relevant PR company for the purposes of review
Nathan Hunter

Nathan Hunter

Staff writer

A man who’s in a long-term relationship with Liverpool FC. Gaming, music and his love of the weather follow narrowly behind.

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