There are two Armored Brutes. The first is on Rameses' cruise ship, who is similar in appearance to a Co-op Boss, and wears heavy armor. The second is one of Marlowe's agents, and is encountered with the parked convoy outside the entrance to Iram of the Pillars.
Armored brutes move slowly. They carry a PAK-80 machine gun which will cut down the player's health considerably faster than soldiers with assault rifles. Encased in thick metal armor, they are seemingly impervious to bullets and shotgun shells from head and below. Melee combat is completely ineffective as well; if the player attempts to engage either of these brutes in hand-to-hand, the brute will automatically counter and kick the player away decrementing their health, making them very hard to kill. The only way to defeat a brute is to use explosives or many bullets to the brute, a direct hit from an RPG-7 or M-32 Hammer or any other gun will kill them (often a brute is supported by an enemy wielding one of these weapons, so kill the explosive weapon soldier first).
There are also armored shotgunners throughout the game. Unlike armored brutes, armored shotgunners can be defeated in melee combat though it takes longer than regular soldiers. Armored shotgunners are not invulnerable to bullets though their body armor allow them to absorb a lot of firepower. It is possible to shoot the helmet off of an armored shotgunner and then finished them off by shooting the exposed head.
Brutes are tall, heavily armored pirates encased in thick metal armor, that wield a PAK-80 machine gun in one hand. In an interview game designer Richard Cambier said you will "need co-op to take down the Brute."
A pirate Brute is encountered in the Co-op Adventure level Syria. The Brute carries the final idol needed by the players to reach the tower, thus he must be killed to proceed. In combat, The Brute behaves like a Heavy Weapons Troop from Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. If approached, The Brute will knock players away with a simple kick. Like his predecessor, a Brute's main weakness lies in headshots: enough gunfire directed at a Brute's head will tear off his welding mask, leaving his face exposed. Unlike the Heavy Weapons Troop, Brutes have the ability to sprint for a short distance in order to flank the players, as well as a limited ability to climb obstacles, making them a lot more harder to defeat than their predecessor. However, unlike their Uncharted 2 counterparts, Brutes appear only a few times per round, and come one at a time.
- Brute Beater - Successfully counter all of a Brute's damage-giving attacks
- It takes 15 T-Bolt Sniper shots to the midsection to kill a Brute and it takes 30 PAK-80 shots to the midsection to kill a Brute.
- Using the PAK-80 is much easier and quicker, as the T-Bolt Sniper is rarely found, or is activated as a kickback with only five rounds.
- The combined force of three teammates and the kickback Army of Three can severely damage or kill a Brute.
- A Cluster Bomb kickback can heavily damage a Brute and tends to strip away the majority of his armor. A Brute can also occasionally be killed if all of the explosives of the cluster bomb make contact, namely in confined quarters.
- In Survival and Gold Rush rounds, it is suggested you avoid encountering the Brute, and defeat weaker enemies for points. Once the round is over, the Brute will die and drop the PAK-80, increasing your chance of survival if you encounter another Brute.
- The Brute's face will change with each gaming session: for example, one variant is a black male with a yellow beanie, while another is a white individual wearing a turban.
- On Co-op Arena Crushing, the Brute and the choking soldiers are the only enemies that do not wear clown masks.