Brutes were heavily-armored guards during the Renaissance. They donned durable armor, carried large, heavy weapons and were one of the strongest guards. However, this was offset by their slow movements due to the weight of their equipment.
Brutes were tricky enemies to defeat, due to the power behind each of their attacks; some of which could neither be blocked nor countered.
A counter could only have been performed with another heavy weapon, such as those the Brutes themselves carried, a long weapon often carried by Seekers, or by a Hidden Blade. The successful timing chance for the latter, however, was notoriously small, as an Assassin was given only a fraction of a second to react.
Accompanying this, a Brute's regular attacks could also be countered through a disarm maneuver, which left them open to a lethal, follow-up attack. The timing required for the disarm was short, however, albeit slightly longer than that of the Hidden Blade counter.
Additionally, like all other enemies, Brutes were most easily dispatched through being assassinated from above, or while undetected; with either the Hidden Blades or a ranged weapon, such as the Hidden Gun or crossbow.
There were two variants of a Brute's special attacks, of which neither could be blocked nor countered, and could only be avoided by striking pre-emptively or through dodging.
A Brute would perform a Smash by raising their weapon overhead and taking a strong downward swing; knocking their target onto their back, and inflicting around the damage as one of their regular attacks.
The Smash special attack also took less time for a Brute to prepare (approximately one second), in comparison to a Disarm Smash.
More forceful than an empty-handed disarm, a Brute performed a Disarm Smash by holding their weapon out behind them and then swinging it from right to left, breaking through an opponent's guard and often knocking away their weapon.
The attack essentially did no damage, but as mentioned, it opened an enemy up to attacks from other foes in a fight, as well as bestowing the inconvenience of being without a weapon.
Brutes were not highly intelligent, and could be escaped once their line of sight had been broken by blending or hiding. They were also neither agile nor quick, and could not free-run or climb. As such, taking to the rooftops was an easy method of escape.
Certain Brutes appeared to have a black-brown finish or trim on their armor plating, marking them as higher-ranked Brutes that were more resistant to enemy attacks. Brutes of Rome also bore unique, more intricate armor than their counterparts in other cities.
Additionally, Brutes rarely ran from a fight, even if they were forced to face an opponent alone; unless they were disarmed. Inversely, killing a Brute caused other guards accompanying them (particularly those with lower ranks) to flee.
- Dante Moro carried a Labrys axe, and fought like a Brute; though with an immunity to being disarmed (unless through the Disarm Smash).
- Bartolomeo d'Alviano behaved like a Brute in combat, and carried what appeared to be a Bastard Sword (though the design of the hilt differed from those carried by Brutes), which he fondly called "Bianca".
- Francesco Salviati carried a Bearded Axe with him when in his villa, and fought like a Brute.
- Silvio Barbarigo, although initially unarmed, would behave like a Brute should he pick up a heavy weapon.
- Mercenaries also fought like Brutes, and carried similar weapons.
- The Templar spy from Ezio Auditore's trip to Spain resembled a Brute.
- Some Papal Guards, when equipped with heavy weapons, would fight like Brutes.
- Il Carnefice (the Executioner) carried a Bearded Axe and fought like a Brute when encountered.
- Auguste Oberlin (the Blacksmith) fought like a Brute, and carried either a Bearded Axe (when he faced Ezio), or a large hammer.
- In Assassin's Creed II, Ezio used certain taunts that were specific to Brutes, usually insulting their weight and equipment. Among them were: "Can you even hear me in there?!", "Well, you're certainly well-fed!", "That looks heavy!", "Fatti sotto, porco! (Come on, pig!)", and "Ehi, grassone! (Hey, fatty!)"
- In Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, Brutes were noticeably rarer than in Assassin's Creed II, and could only be disarmed after being taunted.
- In the memory "Infrequent Flier," during the cutscene where Ezio abandoned a burning Flying Machine, you could see a Brute and a Seeker on the roof of the Palazzo Ducale. Strangely, these were the only two guard archetypes that could not free-run or climb.
- When using the throwing knife special attack, Brutes could be killed with a single knife despite their heavy armor.
- In Assassin's Creed II: Discovery, Guard Captains possessed the same appearance as Brutes, and were armed with Bastard Swords. However, unlike Brutes, they were extremely fast.
- The Almogavars in Assassin's Creed: Revelations closely resembled Brutes in build and characteristics.