The HU04 Brute is a giant vehicle that the Air Raider can call on in Earth Defense Force 2025 and Earth Defense Force 4.1: The Shadow of New Despair. It is also proof that EDF aeronautical engineers are chosen from a pool consisting entirely of raving lunatics.
This aerial leviathan is the toughest and most powerful of the Air Raider's helicopters, armed with a pair of deadly heavy cannons. While slow, ponderous and remarkably reluctant to actually take off, the Brute is a force of nature when it gets in the air.
Like the BMX10 Proteus, the Brute is distinctly less useful in singleplayer since it lacks a driver's weapon. However, it can be quite effectively employed as a pair of deployable guns which happen to have a helicopter attached to them, since unlike the Proteus it does not require a driver to bring its armament to bear. The Brute SA9 in particular is quite serviceable as a pair of high-powered sniper rifles in singleplayer if it can be protected.
Control and handling
Helicopters in the two games feature extremely strange handling. Rather than having buttons to alter height up and down like most videogames, there is no button to descend, and the ascend button functions by spinning up the rotors so that they generate lift, which gradually decreases if the ascend button is left alone as if the rotors are some kind of flywheel. The helicopter will only start to descend once the rotors have slowed down enough.
It is probably better to imagine them as hot-air balloons with the ascend button the equivalent of using the burner; even if the burner is off, the balloon will not descend by itself until the air in it has cooled down.
Helicopters are the only vehicles other than the SDL1 which are damaged by contact with scenery; this includes their rotors. Small scenery objects will cause minor damage to a helicopter as the rotors spin up, while having it wedged against the side of a building can prevent the rotors from turning at all. Therefore, it is necessary to request and land helicopters in clear spaces to avoid wasted credits or needless damage.
Exiting a helicopter in mid-air is possible since there is no such thing as fall damage; while it might be expected that the helicopter would be destroyed by such silly activity, it will actually continue to hover until its rotors spin down, and then descend vertically and land, not taking any damage unless it collides with something on the way down. It is also briefly possible to get back into the helicopter after exiting it since the circle is quite large, though there is not much point in doing this on a Brute.
Since the gunner's seat "get in" circles do not disappear when the Brute is airborne it is actually possible to board it in mid-air, though barring very bizarre actions by one or more players this is only really practical for a Wing Diver.
It should also be noted that unless the player really wants to damage their wrist, it is best to turn vibration off when using a helicopter while playing 2025. The vibration from simply applying power to a helicopter's rotors is toned down significantly in 4.1.
As with the E651 Titan, it can be difficult to use a Brute effectively since it cannot be deployed immediately; while it comes out faster than the Titan, it is still difficult to get one airborne when aggro'd enemies are around since it is virtually helpless on the ground. Once airborne it is difficult to control (only mitigated slightly at higher levels) and the tail rotor does not seem to be powerful enough for the helicopter to actually be stable, meaning the player controlling it must constantly try to turn it against the force of its own rotors.
However, once it is in the air with a full crew, anything below is in for a world of hurt. The damage a Brute can dish out borders on ridiculous: in fact, the Brute SA9 actually has the highest total damage output of any deployable vehicle in either game. The 200 rounds in the two Dauntless SAs equate to a total of 1,152,000 damage, 84,800 more than the entire armament of a Titan M3, and just one gun throws out 14,400 damage per second.
The first and last Brutes excel at laying down suppressing fire from high altitude with their armor-piercing machine guns, while the Hell Flame is more suited to very low-level support. As it is armed with flamethrowers, the Brute Hell Flame's shots always travel to their maximum range, hitting anything they contact along the way and often dealing damage to the same enemy multiple times with the same shot, meaning its damage output can be absolutely incredible.
The Brute D7 is very different to the others, effectively a flying tank with two very powerful, slow-firing cannons.
Like the Titan, the Brute's main weakness is aerial enemies, though the guns can pivot upwards (and unlike the Titan the camera actually follows them), enough that they can even target the weak point of a Transport Ship if the Brute flies underneath it. This is not a particularly good idea unless the Transport is very high up, since if not it will usually land on the Brute and drag it down to the land of ants and suffering it was trying to avoid. While a Brute is able to return fire against any enemy not in the dead zone created by the fuselage, it is too slow to evade airborne foes and presents a gigantic target to them. It is also weak against Hectors if the gunners do not spot them in time, since unlike other enemies they are fairly good at aiming their weapons skywards and as noted the Brute is not exactly built with evasion in mind.
The two guns have slightly different camera positions, which conspire to make the left-hand gun somewhat easier to aim. The shots from weapons other than the flamethrower arc, but do not inherit momentum from the helicopter, so the rounds will hit the precise point on the ground they were aimed at. In 4.1 one of the EDF's helpful bendy laser sights is supplied with each gun, meaning the round will land exactly where the laser sight touches the ground.
All Brutes have a crew capacity of 3 and require 6,000 credits to drop. They cannot be dropped at the start of a mission and require 2,400 more credits to be accumulated before they can be deployed.
|Level||Name||Health||Armament||Ammo||Fire rate (shots / sec)||Damage||Firing range (m)|
|17||HU04 Brute||1080||Dauntless Heavy Gun x 2||80||2.0||360||720|
|38||HU04 Brute Hell Flame||6000||Heavy Frame (sic) Gun x 2||2000||30.0||98||80|
|63||HU04 Brute D7||7200||Pitbull Quickfire Cannon x 2||40||0.3||7200||960|
|81||HU04 Brute SA9||14400||Dauntless SA Heavy Machine Gun x 2||100||2.5||5760||720|
- The Brute is loosely based on the UH-60 Blackhawk.
- Oddly, the Pitbull Quickfire Gun is the slowest firing gun on any Brute variant, though it does fit the obsolete definition of a quickfiring (QF) naval gun. These were guns designed to attack torpedo boats in the age of pre-Dreadnought and Dreadnought battleships, and were defined as having a fire rate of at least 12 rounds per minute: the Pitbull's 20rpm comfortably meets this definition.
- Yes, heavy "frame" gun, even though it's called Brute Hell Flame. We know.
- In EDF 2025 all but the Brute Hell Flame displayed half of their actual health on their stat card: the Brute showed 540, the Brute D7 3600, and the Brute SA9 7200. They had the same total as in 4.1 during actual gameplay.